Lightyear One

Lightyear, Elaphe develop efficient production powertrain

Keeping energy loss low and driving distances high is a challenge. Having the best-in-class in-wheel technology plays an integral role in the overall efficiency of solar electric vehicles.

An in-wheel motor is an electric motor integrated into a vehicle’s wheel, converting electrical into mechanical energy, supplying torque directly to the wheel without gears to significantly improve efficiency. Each of Lightyear One’s four wheels has one. They’re a lighter alternative to conventional transmissions, reducing the weight and power consumption of solar electric vehicles (SEVs).

To bring their vehicle to the market, Lightyear had to think differently, relying on the right resources and support from partners and pioneers sharing approach to mobility.

In partnership with Elaphe, Lightyear developed the most efficient production powertrain in the world by designing Lightyear One’s in-wheel motors to perfectly match a vehicle’s efficiency goals. After testing, Lightyear achieved an efficiency of 97% from the in-wheel motors, losing just a fraction of energy through heat.

Partners on a mission
Since its early founder research in the 1980s, Elaphe has grown to become a leader in in-wheel powertrains, with more than two decades of experience in designing, testing, and producing this type of technology.

They also act with purpose, knowing their work will help to relieve some of the stress put on our planet by radically transforming transportation through a platform of innovative, enabling technologies. Like us, they’re committed to promoting sustainable energy use and minimizing fossil fuel dependency.

An efficient future
Since founded, Lightyear been focused on pioneering vehicle efficiency including using in-wheel motor technology, a crucial element of a wider efficiency ecosystem. Part of their goal to make clean mobility accessible to all, to move sustainably and to contribute to a healthier planet. Lightyear has taken significant steps, creating the most aerodynamic five-seater to date, and achieving industry-leading results in suboptimal conditions.

The co-developed in-wheel motor is another landmark achievement. Elaphe’s proprietary electromagnetic layout achieves world-class efficiencies. It’s helped define Lightyear One’s groundbreaking energy performance and a step towards a better future for mobility. And it’s just the beginning.

Elaphe also prioritizes reliability and durability, the key to a great product for the end-user. The technology is undergoing additional rigorous testing, being put through the final steps of Elaphe’s design and validation methodology before starting production at Elaphe’s facilities in Slovenia in support of Lightyear’s ambitious time to market.

Building best in class
The in-wheel motor is only as good as the other links in the chain, and alongside Lightyear One’s inverter technology, tire performance and aerodynamic design, we’ve achieved the greatest efficiency and lowest consumption rates of any electric vehicle on the market today. This results in a more economical car; one that consumes less energy and drives further, while reducing environmental impact.