Production of the solar-electric Lightyear 0 begins

The world’s most aerodynamic solar electric car, the Lightyear 0, has gone into production.

The Dutch company is celebrating as its ambitious Lightyear 0 project has finally entered mass production.

Last October, Valmet, the company that manufactures the solar electric car, announced that it had produced the first unit of the Lightyear 0, and just over a month later mass production has begun.

This milestone means that in the coming months we will be able to see the first units of this very special car on the roads of Europe, making it the world’s first production solar electric car, surpassing the long-awaited Sono Sion from Sono Motors, which will also be manufactured by Valmet Automotive.

On the occasion of the start of production of the Lightyear 0, the company wanted to detail the entire manufacturing process of this vehicle.


How the Lightyear 0 is manufactured

The manufacturing process begins with the bare body in white, which serves as the skeleton of the vehicle. This body in white is supplied from the UK. After a thorough inspection of the goods, the main wiring harness and floor mats are installed. The vehicle then moves to the next stage of the assembly line, where insulation is applied and all the necessary wiring and piping is installed.

Next comes the robot cell. In this cell, a specialised robot is used to apply the glue beads to the all-important solar panels. Next, the manipulators semi-manually place the glass and solar panels on the body-in-white.

During this time, the front and rear sub-assemblies, which contain the subframe, suspension, wheel motors and other mechanical and electrical parts, are pre-assembled. In other pre-assembly cells, the dashboard, centre console, doors and tailgate are also assembled.

The sub-assemblies are then joined with the body-in-white. Next, the 61.2 kWh high-voltage battery is installed. After this, it is time to install the pre-assembled dashboard, the centre console, the seats and finally the doors and tailgate. As a final step, our latest-generation Bridgestone tyres are fitted.

To finish the process, Valmet Automotive and Lightyear’s specialist team check and inspect key parts of the vehicle such as brakes, power, wheel calibration and headlights, as well as software checks and more.

It is true that the Lightyear 0 will not be an affordable car for everyone, as its price is 250,000 euros, but it is the beginning of something very important, as the company is already thinking of developing a much cheaper model but with the same technology as this solar electric car under the name of Lightyear 2.

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