The Lightyear Car: Everything You Need to Know

Apr 26, 2023

A photo of the Lightyear One car

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Unless you know a lot about the future of electric vehicles, you may not know about Lightyear off the top of your head. However, the Lightyear car is making waves in the EV world, despite a few setbacks. It’s a unique car with two editions so far, one unreleased, and it runs off of the sun’s power rather than an earthly resource. 

What Is the Lightyear Car?

Lightyear makes the Lightyear car. It is a company based in the Netherlands that has an aspiration to change the world. These cars aren’t just your average electric vehicle. Instead of a charging port, they operate based on the sun’s rays. Solar power doesn’t mean you can only drive when it’s sunny — the charge can last so you can drive even in the cloudiest climates.

Right now, there are three kinds of Lightyear cars you should know about. The Lightyear technically only comes in two iterations, but the Lightyear One is also an important part of this company’s history. The Lightyear 2 has yet to release, and only a limited number of the Lightyear 0 exist.

Lightyear One

The Lightyear One was Lightyear’s first solar-powered car. It featured a small battery that could absorb the sun directly while also keeping passengers safe, but you could also plug it in to charge if you just wanted a quick jolt of energy.

Lightyear 0

The Lightyear 0 is a rebranding of Lightyear One, produced in 2021 with units delivered at the end of 2022. Just a month later, in January 2023, the subsidiary that manufactures the car, Atlas Technologies B.V., announced bankruptcy. As a result, Lightyear halted production of the revolutionary vehicles. It sold for nearly $300,000 per unit, thanks to its revolutionary technology that harnesses the sun’s rays.

Lightyear 2

While Lightyear hasn’t yet released this car, it’s a highly anticipated vehicle that will improve on what you consider the standard for solar energy. Despite the bankruptcy, the company has continued to seek out other stakeholders in an attempt to change the world once more. The Lightyear 2 is a bit larger than its predecessor, and it features three times less charging time than other electric vehicles.

Both of the Lightyear models are built with sustainability in mind — after all, they rely on the power of the sun to run. Lightyear creates a vegan and eco-friendly car, with interior fabrics made from recycled bottles. The outside of the car is made with recycled carbon fiber materials. Another thing that makes the Lightyear 2 stand out from the previous Lightyear car is that it will be available outside of limited European countries — meaning that consumers in the USA will have the chance to buy it.

How Does Lightyear Car Work?

These cars don’t have the combustion engines that you see in regular cars that take gasoline. Instead, they operate based on solar panels and cells that the sunlight hits directly. The photovoltaic cells on solar powered cars allow them to convert sunlight into energy, which is then stored in the vehicle. 

The energy is stored in the battery, which can help keep the car running even when the sun isn’t directly hitting it. These cars make it so the owner doesn’t have to rely on charging stations to find power, though solar-powered vehicles can also be charged through those means.

Even in cloudy climates, the Lightyear 0 can drive for two months before you must consider charging your car. Because the sun is the power source for Lightyear car models, you don’t need to worry about finding a charging station or running up your energy bill at home by using your own sockets. Investing in a Lightyear car is a great way to harness a renewable resource and save on any fluctuating gas prices in the future.

How Much Will the Newest Lightyear Car Cost?

Right now, Lightyear 2 isn’t available for purchase on the market. However, you can opt to join a waitlist to be one of the first to know when you can preorder this revolutionary car. You might have to wait a while to learn more about the Lightyear 2, though Lightyear has previously mentioned that it will cost below $40,000, making it more affordable than its predecessor while also being an upgrade. Though the car may not release until 2025, more information on it should drop sometime in 2023.

Why Electric Cars Are The Future

The Lightyear car is paving the way for the future by being one of the solar powered cars currently on the market. Because the sun is free, these cars pay for themselves repeatedly after the initial investment — both for you and the environment. Here are just a few ways electric vehicles can revolutionize the world.

1. Better for the Environment

Electric vehicles aren’t really “zero-emission” cars: They release a few emissions during the production and charging processes. However, it’s much healthier for the environment than cars that run on gasoline. Electric vehicles release much less CO2 per mile driven than standard vehicles.

While the change may not seem like much, it matters a great deal when people start switching to EVs in droves. Because the Lightyear 2 is going to be as affordable as other cars and more readily available than its predecessor, it might be a worthwhile investment that many people may consider. If electric vehicles are a more affordable option, more people may adopt it.

2. Decreased Transportation Costs

If you regularly take your car to work and elsewhere in your life, you’re also paying the price for fuel. Nobody can predict how gas prices will look in the future with 100% accuracy. As such, investing in an EV might be better for your wallet. Just by owning an electric car for 15 years, you can save almost $15,000 just on gasoline prices alone. Since you have time until the Lightyear 2 releases, it might be an investment worth saving for.

3. Great Life Span

How long does the average car last? Depending on how much you drive one, it might last you a decade or longer. However, electric vehicles now have the same life span as their gas-guzzling counterparts. The batteries last about 10 years before a replacement becomes necessary. Even then, all you need to do is replace the battery. As time goes on, battery life may last even longer, allowing EVs to outlast gas-powered cars.

The Lightyear Car Is the Future of Solar Power

Many places in the USA are not walkable, so cars are a necessity that can show off your personal style and help you support the things that matter to you. When you pick a solar powered car, you can reap several benefits. Electric vehicles have been on the market for a while now, but the Lightyear car takes this up a notch by offering solar power at a price point many people will be able to afford when the latest edition of their vehicle line releases in 2025. 

Is this car something you should consider? If you have the money for it or want to save up in the coming years, it might be a great investment for a person who cares about the environment and worries over the rising gas prices. Even if the Lightyear car isn’t right for you, there may be other EVs that catch your eye.

Featured image courtesy of Alexander Migl, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.