During a virtual event, EV automaker Lightyear and Bridgestone confirmed a partnership for the world’s first long-range solar-powered vehicle, the Lightyear One SEV.
Bridgestone, which has 90 years of experience developing mobility solutions and tyre manufacturing around the globe, will provide the Turanza Eco Tire for the new vehicle. The tyre represents a melting pot of technologies that combines the company’s ologic tyre with its ENLITEN technology, it claims.
Bridgestone said the tyres were designed to boost the car’s range by offering a 90kg reduction in weight compared to equivalent EV tyres, as well as increased rolling resistance, high inflation pressures, and a slim design.
The tyre specialist has also set its sights on its own climate goals, having committed to halving its emissions over the next decade and pledged to use 100 per cent sustainable materials for manufacturing its products by 2050.
“Lightyear have impressed with their approach to sustainable mobility ever since we saw the team take on the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, and so we’re excited to play a part in the Lightyear One project,” said Emilio Tiberio, COO and CTO of Bridgestone EMIA.
Lightyear first appeared on Bridgestone’s radar during the World Solar Challenge that has been sponsored by the tyre manufacturer since 2013. Solar Team Eindhoven, which eventually spun into Lightyear, actually won the challenge’s Cruiser Cup four consecutive times using Bridgestone tyres, from 2016-2019.
Adds Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightyear:
“With Lightyear One, we want to show how our technology has enabled us to build one of the most sustainable cars on the market that also offers great convenience.”
“This moment represents a new era of driving. Two years of dreaming, thinking and working hard have led to this milestone, which is a giant leap towards achieving our mission of making clean mobility available to everyone.”
“Lightyear One has been engineered using a radically different perspective. We all have a performance background and with that we focus relentlessly on optimising efficiency and safety”.