But only very wealthy customers can afford it
Dutch startup Lightyear, which has been working on its first electric car with an index 0 for several years, has brought an ambitious development to mass production. The firm, founded by members of the Eindhoven-based Solar Team in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, has started assembling the model at Valmet Automotive in Finland. The innovative electric car is already available for order.
A feature of the model with a record drag coefficient of 0.175 by the standards of production cars was the solar panels installed on the body. The hood, roof and tailgate of the liftback carry solar panels with a total area of five square meters, due to which on a sunny day the owner can receive energy for 70 kilometers.
For an electric car, the body frame is made in the UK, after which it is delivered to Finland for final assembly. Wiring and insulation, mats and other components are installed, followed by the installation of solar panels and glazing. During this time, the front and rear assemblies are pre-assembled, containing the subframe, suspension, motor-wheels and other mechanical and electrical parts.
Other pre-assembly cells also house the instrument panel, center console, doors and tailgate. The assembled elements, together with a 350-kilogram high-voltage battery with a capacity of 61.2 kilowatt-hours, are installed in the body, after which the installation of interior elements and body panels follows. The final stage of assembly is putting the electric car on wheels and subsequent tests – checking the brakes and power, calibrating the wheels and headlights, checking the software and various other tests.
The car is then re-inspected by Valmet Automotive to ensure the quality of the build. It is noteworthy that Lightyear 0 does not have a traditional electric motor – the car is equipped with four wheel motors with a total power of 177 forces and a thrust of 1720 Nm. It is stated that the maximum speed of the electric vehicle is 160 kilometers per hour, and the power reserve is up to 625 kilometers. The cost of the model is an impressive 250 thousand euros.