Lightyear One is kind of a rad-sounding name, but it could describe a million different things. Thankfully for us at Roadshow, it's the name of a new electric car designed by a Dutch company called Lightyear. It was announced on Tuesday, and unlike most of the EVs on sale today, the Lightyear One is going its own way.
"The main goal of the car is to fill in where electric cars fall short," Lex Hoefsloot, head of Lightyear, said in a statement. "Research has shown that range and the lack of charging options are still the top concerns that people have when considering purchasing electric cars."
What does that mean exactly? Well, first of all, the Lightyear One looks like a cross between Porsche Panamera and an art deco-era Voisin -- that is to say, it looks pretty cool and will stand out from other vehicles in a parking lot., a
Next, the One will extend its electric range through the use of lightweight materials, sleek design and, perhaps most importantly for our purposes, with solar panels. There are other, very clever engineering tricks at work here too that help improve overall efficiency.
For example, rather than having one or two motors indirectly driving the vehicle's wheels as is the case in basically every other car ever, Lightyear One will use individual motors attached directly to the drive wheels. Lightyear claims that its design will reduce parasitic loss through the drivetrain.
All its engineering will add up to a range of approximately 450 miles on, which as we've mentioned previously is a little more generous than our EPA cycle. Still, 400-plus miles of range is nothing to sneeze at. Lightyear estimates that in the right conditions, the solar array alone on the One will generate enough energy to drive over 12,000 miles.
The company says it plans to put the One on sale by 2021 in Europe, with a starting price of around 119,000 Euros. That works out to about $135,000, or approximately $7,000 more than a fully loaded Tesla Model S.
The company made no mention of whether it plans to come to the US and didn't immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment.