Lightyear’s 2022 Target for Long-Range Solar Car Production

A Dutch automotive start-up says it has successfully completed the first pre-production model of the world’s first long-range solar powered passenger vehicle.

Valmet Automotive says the Uusikaupunki car plant in Finland has built the first Lightyear 0 pre-production vehicle for start-up Lightyear, the high-tech company developing the solar electric car. The pre-production series is a step toward the start of production of the customer series of the Lightyear 0 model scheduled for late 2022. The car builder has already worked in partnership with the other solar assisted vehicles from Sono Motors.

A dedicated team of Valmet employees trained and instructed at Lightyear’s facilities in Helmond, the Netherlands have now completed the very first vehicle to its design specification first seen in June. All the pre-production vehicles will be built in facilities dedicated for prototype and pre-series manufacturing. The construction work of the assembly line for the Lightyear 0 customer production series is proceeding on schedule with active support from Lightyear technicians. The assembly line will be located in the newest section of the Uusikaupunki plant.

The Lightyear 0 assembly line will feature advanced technological solutions, including a co-operative robot for laser welding and has a focus on work safety and ergonomics. The selection and training of additional car builders for the Lightyear 0 assembly has already started at the plant.

Valmet Automotive announced its manufacturing contract with Lightyear in July 2021. The Lightyear co-operation is also hoped to lead the company towards the cutting-edge of EV manufacturing technology and knowhow.

Pasi Rannus, senior vice-president of manufacturing at Valmet, said: “We are immensely proud at Valmet Automotive to have completed the first pre-production Lightyear 0 solar electric vehicle. This is an important step toward the start of customer car production and making an automotive dream come true.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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