Lihgtyear One: why the Dutch Tesla competitor is being built in Finland

In its own words, Lightyear has chosen the Finnish Valmet Automotive as production partner after a careful selection process. Never heard of it? Nevertheless, Valmet has been active in the automotive industry for 50 years. For example, the Finnish company has built the Porsche Boxster, the Mercedes SLK and the Saab convertible models. In addition, the car manufacturer in Uusikaupunki has been involved in technology for electric cars for years. It even has its own production line for batteries for EVs.

According to Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear, Valmet Automotive is a great partner: “It has a proven track record and more than a decade of experience in the production of electric vehicles. Moreover, there is a good cultural match with us company.”

Lightyear One drives 710 km on battery charge

Incidentally, that was not the only positive news about Lightyear. The company recently reached an important milestone with a prototype of the Lightyear One. On a test track in Germany, it drove 710 kilometers on one battery charge. Impressive, especially because of the not overly large battery pack of 60 kWh. Almost all existing electric cars can suck a point there.

However, with this fantastic range we have to make a caveat. The car drove for nine hours at an average speed of 85 km/h. We are more curious about the range at 100 and 130 km/h. After all, those are the circumstances under which you want to use a large EV. Moreover, Lightyear itself wants to realize a WLTP range of 722 kilometers. The solar panels in the roof must make an important contribution to this.

Price Lightyear One

Lightyear still has about a year to grind the car fine. Valmet will build a first series of prototypes in January 2022. In total, more than 900 cars have to leave the production line in Uusikaupunki. If everything goes according to plan, the first production models will be available in the summer of 2022. The Dutch Tesla competitor is not going to be cheap: the expected starting price is 119,000 euros. Not surprising when you consider that the body is largely made of light, but expensive carbon fiber. But there is hope: Lightyear also wants to produce smaller and more affordable electric cars in the near future.

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