Dutch solar-vehicle company Lightyear seems to have made a u-turn. The Helmond-based startup, which has been pretty adamant about its ambitious goal to get its Lightyear One “solar car” into production by the end of 2021, appears to have opted for a different route. A few weeks since announcing a joint-development agreement with DSM, the high-tech business revealed the release of two new research vehicles. Instead of using its own car, however, the Lightyear team opted to integrate its solar panel roof onto a Volkswagen Crafter LCV, dubbed 005, and a Tesla model 3, known as 006.
The cars, which can be found driving around the streets of Lightyear’s home in Helmond, will measure the solar yield as they drive. Additionally, the company will be collecting other real-world data on vibration impact, shock absorption and waterproofness. Through these platforms, the solar startup is looking to validate its technology and design choices, as well as to demonstrate the added value of its integrated solar cells. By year’s end, Lightyear expects to release its next test vehicle, 007, which will be a validation prototype featuring the integration of its solar, in-wheel motor and battery technology combined.