Over the past few years we have seen several EV startups striving to be bigger than Tesla. They have produced a lot of innovative ideas and designs. Boasting impressive efficiency numbers like Aptera or massive utility and flexibility like Canoo. Dutch Company Lightyear revealed its “Lightyear 0” last year for >$250,000 and at CES previewed the “Lightyear 2” , a realistic consumer model for ~$40K. They are taking reservations now. Lightyear’s vehicles have impressives efficiency numbers and can charge with solar PV on the car itself.

Reservations for consumer cars have been the metric from startup EV manufacturers to validate their success, made popular when the Tesla Model 3 got reservation numbers like the first iPhone. These reservations also help raise the much needed capital for manufacturing the cars. The Lightyear 2 is set to be delivered in late 2025. This is the first test of my prediction that the new EV OEM rush is over. Are consumers willing to reserve (assuming it requires a deposit) an EV, to be delivered in nearly 3 years, with a plethora of EVs from established OEMs coming to the market? Is having solar on the car a gimmick or is it something people want?

We will see. The Aptera has solar and gets ~10 miles per KwH (Tesla’s get ~4) but they have yet to deliver. Aptera is still taking reservations if you are interested. If Lightyear is able to garner significant reservations. Solar PV on the vehicle might be a key, even though it does not provide much of a charge per hour.

Thomas Hall


Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStart’s Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.

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