Lightyear Just Secured a Generous Pre-Order From Europe's Top Vehicle Leasing Company

Dutch-based auto company Lightyear debuted the world’s first production-ready battery-electric solar-powered car in 2022. Named Lightyear 0, this expensive and very aerodynamic sedan made headlines all over the world thanks to its charge-while-on-the-go technology. But the Lightyear 2 is the company’s most anticipated product. So anticipated that even Arval wants 10,000 units!
Lightyear 2 Prototype 6 photos
Photo: Lightyear
Lightyear 2 already has a waitlist, but some things have changedLightyear 2 already has a waitlist, but some things have changedLightyear 2 already has a waitlist, but some things have changedLightyear 2 already has a waitlist, but some things have changedLightyear 2 already has a waitlist, but some things have changed
Lightyear 0 benefitted from around six years of development. It finally came out last year with a price tag of around €255,000 ($275,663). That’s a little steep for most people who want to make the switch to a guilt-free driving experience and maybe wish to lower their monthly fuel costs. Moreover, the car only has a 60-kWh battery. While that may sound disheartening at first, the sedan weighs only 3,472 lb (1,575 kg) and is the world’s most aerodynamic production vehicle with its drag coefficient of 0.175.

So, when piecing everything together, the made-in-Finland Lightyear 0 starts to make sense. It becomes especially attractive if you live in a sunny area. However, what cannot be ignored is the hefty price tag. But that’s why the young automaker thought out this launching process. Immediately after introducing the 0, the Lightyear 2 was announced as the mass-market version of the premium unit.

From what we’ve seen by now, the Lightyear 2 is a small coupe SUV with heavy wagon (maybe even Polestar?) vibes that sports a sleek silhouette. This shape gives the manufacturer enough real estate on the top of the car for solar panels. So, harnessing free energy from the sun remains a possibility. But things like cameras for side mirrors and other fancy things seen on the Lightyear 0 aren’t on the Lightyear 2.

Initially, it was supposed to cost around €30,000 ($32,446). However, now we know that the starting price will be around the €40,000 ($43,261) mark.

The manufacturer estimates that this better-priced unit will be capable of traveling around 497 mi (800 km) on a single charge, but not all the details are out yet. However, the base concept is found here as well – make a car with a small battery, give it good aerodynamics, slap on some solar panels on its roof, make sure the motors are efficient, watch its weight, and that’s it. The potential, however, is enormous. The world needs more efficient EVs because they may put less strain on the grid everywhere while also shortening charging times.

All this could be what convinced Arval – Europe’s largest vehicle leasing company – to place a pre-order of 10,000 Lightyear 2s. Arval deputy CEO Bart Beckers said this decision contributes to the company’s target of having over 700,000 electrified vehicles on the road by 2025. “I’m delighted to have pre-ordered these 10,000 units. We cannot wait at Arval to start introducing the model to our customers and drivers,” added Beckers.

In exchange, Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot recognized Arval’s role in getting more people inside EVs and said he’s “grateful for their trust and to have their expertise and international footprint to roll out Lightyear 2.”

Sono Motors CFO Torsten Kiedel joined others in congratulating Arval and Lightyear for this deal, even though the companies are competitors in this niche EV segment.

Arval is part of the BNP Paribas Group and specializes in vehicle leasing and fleet management. The entity is present in 53 countries worldwide.

Individual customers who want to pre-order a Lightyear 2 right now must know that it is impossible. However, there is a wait list that can be joined by those who wish to put their hands on the solar-powered mass-market vehicle.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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