Construction of the prototype model is scheduled to begin in January 2022, followed by full-scale production in the European summer (Brazilian winter) of 2022, according to Lightyear in a press release. Additional performance tests, optimization and regulatory approval are also expected to be carried out in the coming months.
Valmet is a well-known technology developer and supplier in the automotive industry, with some prior experience with electrified vehicles. The company produced, for example, the Karma, before Fisker Automotive had financial problems, and was also responsible for assembling other cars over the years, such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and Porsche Boxster.
Also in the official statement, Lightyear says it spent more than a year looking for “the perfect production partner” to build the solar-powered electric car. “Two years ago we announced our prototype of the One. We are very excited to have found a perfect assembly partner with whom we will build this unique model,” said CEO and co-founder of the company, Lex Hoefsloot.
“Valmet Automotive is a great brand, has a well-established track record and more than a decade of experience in the production of EVs. It is also a good cultural combination with our company. We are proud that we will soon carry out the actual production of Lightyear”, said the CEO.
The One has four small electric motors on the wheels and a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery. In addition, the entire roof, hood and tailgate are covered with solar panels and, according to Lightyear, the energy captured in a natural way can add 50 to 70 km of reach per day during the summer. The company guarantees that the vehicle registers a total autonomy of 725 km with just a single charge and, to further aid the impressive performance of the car, there is a coefficient of drag of just 0,20 Cx.
“Our experience as an automobile manufacturer, as well as our focus on electric mobility and battery systems, make us predestined for processes in which the industry must be redefined,” added Olaf Bongwald, chief executive of Valmet Automotive. “We are ready to enter new areas in car manufacturing as well, and therefore we are pleased that Lightyear has chosen us as their production partner.”
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