Last summer, Tesla reached a new milestone when the company was valued at a staggering 200 billion US dollars and thus overtook Toyota as the world's most valued carmaker. The imprint in the automotive industry that Elon Musk created with the development of electrified cars is something that will forever affect one of the world's largest industries.
Around the world car makers are now entering a shift of epic proportions, into electric vehicles. German Volkswagen, for example, has an investment plan of about 65 billion US dollars to electrify future car models until 2024.
To highlight the role Tesla plays in the development of electric cars around the world, Volkswagen's sales manager Jürgen Stackmann said in an interview with Ny Teknik :
"We want to thank Tesla for making the electric car sexy - now we make the electric car available"
At the same time, it is not just the big giants who are developing new models to challenge Tesla. New companies are also establishing themselves in the market with innovative ideas that drive development faster and faster.
One of these is the Dutch company Lightyear, which has developed a car model with solar panels on the roof. The advantage of solar panels is that the car can charge itself and that the need for charging infrastructure, which is one of the big challenges today, is reduced somewhat.
Their model, Lightyear One, has a range of 725 kilometers with a full charge while the car also charges between 38.6 and 59.5 km per day thanks to the solar roof. According to Lightyear, the goal is also to be able to deliver a car with a total cost of roughly one US dollar per 10 kilometers to make it available to more buyers.
Like Tesla, there is also potential for Lightyear to influence the industry in advancing development even faster. A good sign for this is that they plan to license out parts of their technology to other car manufacturers.