Updated on June 26, 2019
Near Eindhoven in the Netherlands works a team of ambitious idealists with different skills and backgrounds but with one mission: to make the world better. An idea that until recently looked like something from a dim and distant future has turned for them into a cherished goal: to build an electric car that charges itself with sunlight. Though many car manufacturers are making huge investments in electric vehicles, this team’s struggle for their idea in the world of big businesses and captured markets competes for our attention, and for good reason. They remind us of the fundamental steps to follow on the way to success.
Remain Faithful to Your Idea
Electric vehicles are promising, but only if you get the energy from a renewable source. Today, people get 90% of electric energy from coal plants, which only shifts emissions to another location. Worldwide, lawmakers are moving too slowly to prevent climate catastrophe due to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel emissions. The problem of global warming requires fast decision-making and leaves no room for compromise. The latest report on rising temperatures issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gives a clear-cut answer to the most pressing question facing humankind: How much time do we have until we finally take measures? The answer is that there’s no more time left for debates. It’s time to play tough!
Lex Hoefsloot, a co-founder of Lightyear, and his team believe that technology should be used to help solve the world’s biggest problems. They suggest not spending our time building infrastructure for electric cars but rather focusing on combining an energy source and a car.
Set Ambitious Goals
Source: Solar Team Eindhoven
A group of young people full of excitement after winning the World Solar Challenge with the first-ever family-sized solar car prototype decided to take the next step and give the world an alternative, clean, and affordable mobility options. Lightyear is planning to launch a commercial prototype of a family solar vehicle that generates its own energy. The car will have a range of 800 kilometres on the battery alone, which can be increased by solar energy generated during the ride. Just imagine taking a two-week surfing trip in Portugal in which you effortlessly drive 1,500 kilometres from Porto down to Faro and back to Porto with zero carbon emissions and zero charging stops. Yet, if needed, the car can easily be recharged with any possible charging option — be it a fast charger or a common EV charging station. This could actually turn the auto industry upside down.
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
Lightyear is comprised of a wide range of experts including world-class solar racers, electric powertrain specialists, automotive leaders, and finance gurus who have united with one mission. The name of this startup reflects their goal, which is to let the world drive one light-year on solar power by 2035 in order to decrease pressure on the environment. These young and highly talented people collaborate effectively thanks to their honesty, independence, and motivation. All team members work together directly and are fully involved in the process.
Here is an inspiring TED talk by Tessie Hartjes, a member of the executive board of Lightyear who is responsible for sales and marketing.
Maijke Receveur, who is responsible for organizational growth, says that working at Lightyear means you aren’t just doing one function but you have to participate in different worlds and feel comfortable about this.
Deliver Your Project Plan
For many reasons, developing a solar-powered vehicle has long seemed infeasible. But recent technological progress has proven that the technology is ready. It’s not a science problem but rather an engineering problem, and Lightyear engineers believe they can solve it. However, there are still some pain points to overcome since Lightyear’s solar car will be fundamentally different from a typical car. It needs to generate its own electricity and store it in small batteries. Thanks to its optimized aerodynamics and lightweight, the vehicle will have a range of 400 or 800 kilometres depending on the battery configuration.
Find Your Own Innovative Approach
When you’re on a mission with a grand plan, it’s important to build the right project management environment. Companies working in complex industries like the automotive industry require a large pool of specialists with complex dependencies. To decrease the challenges on the way to your dream, you need a tight-knit team with a clear focus that’s ready to help each other when needed.
On June 25th 2019, Lightyear launched their commercial prototype of a family solar car, called Lightyear One. The car boasts a range of 450 miles (725 km) on a single charge – this is the first car powered by solar energy that is intended for the actual consumer market.
It’s a great honour for us to support the outstanding missions of young and progressive businesses like Lightyear. This Dutch company has been using Epicflow project management solution since 2018. We’re proud that Lightyear managed to release their dream car according to the planned date. By 2021, Lightyear is aiming to have begun the production of 500 initial release units. Here is a video where you can learn more about the history of the Lightyear One creation:
Discover how our Epicflow web-based solution can charge your business with a superpower — with no emissions to harm the environment!
Images source: Lightyear