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Developing the electric car that charges itself: Lightyear One

European Union
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€3 570 500
EU Contribution
€2 499 350
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Low-emission alternative energy for transport (ALT)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Link to CORDIS

Lightyear, an international team of 90 engineers including triple winners of the World Solar Challenge, experienced engineers (180+ years) from the aerospace, racing and automotive industry (e.g. ASML, Tesla, Ferrari and Inalfa) and alumni of the Eindhoven University of Technology, develops the first commercially available electric solar car in the world that charges itself: the Lightyear One.

The extremely efficient family car will be able to drive for weeks or even months on self-generated solar energy. The engineers started from the rationale that the car should be incredibly efficient, in order to make an independent entity having its own energy source. To achieve this, Lightyear had to minimize the car’s energy consumption and maximize its energy input, by using four in-wheel motors instead of one rigid motor, lowering the total mass of the car by using lightweight bio-based materials, redesign to improve aerodynamics, developing a new battery pack; integrating their in-house custom developed solar panels on the roof and the bonnet of the car. Result: a car that excellences in driving range, in weight, in energy consumption, sustainability and operation costs compared to market's-state-of-the-art. Range anxiety, dependency on energy (charging) infrastructure and the use of non-renewable/inefficient energy sources to charge your car will belong to the past.

In this project, Lightyear aims to develop, validate and demonstrate the first Lightyear One and associated assembly line, bringing their innovation from TRL 5/6 to 8. Lightyear expects to produce the first 10 signature cars in 2020 and start serial production from 2021 onwards.

EBITDA is expected to turn positive in 2021 with a fivefold increase of FTEs. This development reinforces competitiveness and performance of European transport manufacturing industries on the global market.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Specific funding programme
Other Programme
EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020 SME instrument


Lead Organisation
Atlas Technologies Bv
Automotive Campus 30, 5708 JZ Helmond, Netherlands
EU Contribution
€2 499 350
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


Technology Theme
Electric road vehicles
Intelligent urban EV concept
Development phase
Demonstration/prototyping/Pilot Production

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