Solar EV startup Lightyear raises €81 million in funding

Lightyear has raised €81Mn in funding to secure the production of the first series model, Lightyear 0. The Dutch start-up also hopes to push ahead with developing its second solar car, the Lightyear 2. The new EV will target the mass market at a price of €30,000 once production begins in 2024 or 2025.

But back to the present and the investment. The money comes from a public consortium consisting of Invest-NL and regional development agencies for the provinces of North Brabant and Limburg (BOM and LIOF), as well as new private funds and existing investors SHV and DELA.

Three years after its initial presentation, Dutch start-up Lightyear, which emerged from the TU Eindhoven solar team, unveiled its long-range solar car’s final design and specifications in June, renamed Lightyear 0 from Lightyear One. Production at contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive is scheduled to begin this autumn, with the first examples to be delivered in November.

“Thanks to the support of Invest-NL, the entire consortium, and our other investors and strategic partners, Lightyear is well positioned and remains on track to deliver the world’s first solar car and work towards a more sustainable future,” said CEO Lex Hoefsloot, adding: “In the current market environment, our technology has incredible potential for positive societal influence, so I see investments of this calibre as a testament to Lightyear’s product vision.”

The company has announced the second model, the Lightyear 2. As mentioned, the new solar EV, with which Lightyear is targeting the mass market from 2024 or 2025, is expected to come onto the market starting at 30,000 euros.

Although many details remain unclear, Lightyear has already been able to win a significant customer for the Lightyear 2: Leasing company LeasePlan will take delivery of 5,000 vehicles. “LeasePlan has been a very strong partner for us since 2018,” Hoefsloot said at the presentation of the Lightyear 2. “Today’s announcement is a testament to their commitment to our product vision to make clean mobility accessible for everyone.”

Most recently, Lightyear announced a development collaboration with Koenigsegg. The company’s technologies, known for its extremely powerful sports cars, will be incorporated into the mass-market Lightyear 2 model.


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