Solar-Electric Car Developer Lightyear Announces Technical Partnership with Hypercar Manufacturer Koenigsegg

Solar-Electric Car Developer Lightyear Announces Technical Partnership with Hypercar Manufacturer Koenigsegg

Author: Eric Walz   

Two of the most unique automakers on the planet are joining forces in a new technical partnership. Lightyear, a Dutch company founded in 2016 that's developing solar-powered electric vehicles, announced a new partnership with Swedish high-performance electric carmaker Koenigsegg. 

As part of this partnership, the two companies will share their knowledge and resources to jointly develop cutting-edge innovations in the EV space.

Lightyear is harnessing the best existing solar technology and integrating in the world's first solar powered EV, the Lightyear 0. The company is aiming to commercialize electric vehicles that use integrated solar cells on the roof and body in order to minimize the charging needs while lessening reliance on the grid for charging. 

Lightyear's EV technology includes an efficient powertrain, high yield solar roof and optimized thermal management system specifically engineered for electric vehicles. 

Lightyear's team includes former employees of Tesla, Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi, McLaren and Ferrari. 

The Lightyear 0 is outfitted with five square meters of embedded solar cells on the roof and hood, allowing the battery to charge when the vehicle is exposed to sunlight. The battery cells function independently and produce a higher yield compared to conventional solar cells, according to Lightyear. 

In optimal conditions, the solar panels on the Lightyear 0 can deliver an additional 70 kilometers of range per day, on top of its estimated 625 kilometers of WLTP range. The Lightyear 0 is also meant to address the inefficient use of large and expensive batteries and a heavy reliance on frequent charging, which the company says can slow EV adoption rates.

The Lightyear 0 was officially launched on June 9, 2022, and is slated to enter production this fall. The solar-panels allow the vehicle to charge itself while commuting or while parked outdoors in sunlight. 

Koenigsegg's technologies will be used by Lightyear to further improve the energy efficiency of its second model, Lightyear 2, which is slated to enter production in late 2024 or early 2025. 

Koenigsegg is known for producing ultra high-performance megacars. The company patented technology includes its "rocket" catalytic converter, supercharger response system, and a variable geometry turbo system.

Koenigsegg's megacar model lineup includes the Germera, Regera, Jesko and Jesko Absolut. The Jesko features a 5.0 liter twin-turbo, internal combustion V8 engine producing 1,280 horsepower with conventional fuel and 1,600 horsepower running on E85 biofuel. 


The Koenigsegg Jesko.

The company is only building 125 of the exclusive Jesko and Jesko Absolute sports cars, which cost $3 million and up.

The hybrid Koenigsegg Gemera, which is limited to a production run of 300 units, can travel up to 50 km (31 miles) in EV only mode and up to an additional 950 km at highway cruising speeds in hybrid mode for a total range of 1,000 km (621 miles).

Koenigseegg developed all of its e-motors, transmissions and inverters in-house. With the partnership between the two companies, some of this advanced technology will be shared with Lightyear.

"Koenigsegg is top of the food chain in the field of high-performance sports cars," said Lightyear CEO and Co-Founder, Lex Hoefsloot. "I've always admired their blend of incredible performance, design, and sustainable technology. This partnership shows we are clearly on the right track."

In March 2021, Lightyear announced a $48 million funding round, led by Zero Point Holding B.V. It was Lightyear's largest financing round to date.

In Dec 2021, Lightyear announced an agreement with automobile leasing and fleet management company LeasePlan to supply 5,000 Lightyear vehicles that customers can subscribe to on a monthly basis. The partnership is said to be the world's first solar car subscription service.

Lightyear's agreement with LeasePlan was announced during a keynote and Q&A session with company CEO Lex Hoefsloot and CFO Laurens Weers. The two Lightyear execs also shared the company's strategic roadmap and product vision to deliver on its goal of bringing clean mobility to everyone with its solar-electric vehicles.

LeasePlan is reserving 5,000 units of the Lightyear 2 that will be made available to its customers. 

In Nov 2021, Lightyear announced that Silicon Valley startup Sibros, a developer of a connected vehicle software platform for automakers, will integrate its OTA Deep Logger in Lightyear 0. It will allow the company to collect real world driving data from all of the EV's sensors. 

The partnership with Sibros provides Lightyear with software to collect and manage vehicle data, as well as the ability to perform remote diagnostics and update the vehicle's sub systems remotely.

The Sibros Deep Logger will help to accelerate Lightyear's speed-to-market by providing a safe and secure vehicle data platform.

It will be interesting to see the results of this partnership in the near future. The combination of Lightyear's innovative solar powered EV technology and the megacar DNA of Koenigsegg could result in the development of a groundbreaking electric vehicle in both performance and style. 

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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