South Africa: Another Day. Another South African. Another Electric Car


What is it about South Africans (or at least former South Africans) and electric cars? They are everywhere. Well, not quite everywhere, but following in Elon Musk's footsteps (sort of), former Capetonian Geoffrey Schlee talks to Business Maverick about the electric vehicle project he is involved in, based in Holland. Other than that it is an electric car, it couldn't be more different from the Tesla Model 3, but it's as interesting. Is it practical? Hard to say.

To great fanfare, fledgling Dutch company Lightyear launched a prototype model of Lightyear One at the end of June, an electric car which integrates its solar power pack into the vehicle. The car is a hatchback and includes 5m² of solar panels, but the eye-popping aspect is the claimed range of 725km.

The launch constitutes a major leap forward for the team headed by CEO Lex Hoefsloot, and includes several South Africans (in fact, South Africans are the second largest nationality after the Dutch), including Geoffrey Schlee who spoke to Business Maverick about the project and his involvement in it.

The Lightyear team emerged out of a group of Dutch students at Eindhoven university who participated and won three years in a...

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