A former top manager at Audi has agreed to back the solar electric cars made by the Lightyear Dutch company. Bernd Martens, who has been Audi's Purchasing Director for a long time, will become Lightyear's Chief Operating Officer (COO). He will be in charge of all of the company's operations. The former doctoral student at Mercedes worked as a freelancer for a long time after leaving the Volkswagen subsidiary in Ingolstadt in February 2020. Since November, he has been a leader at Lightyear.
Martens wrote on the online career site LinkedIn, "We have goals that cover the whole world: everyone everywhere should be able to get around in a clean way. The first series production shows the world how far clean solar energy can take us. In the next step, we'll set a price that everyone can afford so that everyone can buy this car."
With its first model, Lightyear 0, the start-up gets a drag coefficient of 0.175 (cW). This makes the sedan with solar cells on the body the most aerodynamic series vehicle in the world. The five square meters of double-curved solar cells on the Lightyear 0 allow its 60kWh drive battery to charge itself when driving or parked outside. The developers say that under ideal conditions, the WLTP range of 625 kilometers can be increased by an extra 70 kilometers per day (In an earlier message, I said, "Lightyear One has a range of up to 800 kilometers", but I was wrong).
Beginning this year, the Lightyear 0 will be delivered to customers. The company wants to sell up to 946 copies of its first model, costing each buyer 250,000 euros. The Lightyear 2, a solar-powered electric car for the general public, will be available starting at 30,000 euros in 2025. In September, the new company got 81 million euros in new funding for its plans.
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