Lightyear, Dutch startup developing a long-range solar electric car, announced on Tuesday that it has secured €81M in additional capital as it prepares to begin production of its first vehicle in the coming months.
The investment comes from public consortium consists like Invest-NL and regional development agencies for the provinces of North Brabant and Limburg (BOM and LIOF). Additional investments come from new private funds and follow-up investments from SHV and DELA. They join an existing and already diverse group of partnerships and investors, including Bridgestone, Koenigsegg, Leaseplan, Valmet Automotive and NXP.
Lightyear says it will use the funds to advance the production of Lightyear 0 and accelerate the development of Lightyear 2. The investment is also intended to propel Lightyear’s current momentum and enable its next steps toward international expansion beyond Europe.
In June, the Dutchh company launched its production-intent vehicle of the world’s first solar car, Lightyear 0 (formerly known as Lightyear One), which is slated for production this fall. The Lightyear 0 is priced at €250,000, excluding VAT.
Concurrently, Lightyear has been developing Lightyear 2, the company’s second, high-volume model, with a starting price of €30,000. Lightyear 2 is expected to go into production by 2025 and currently has 10,000 reservations from leasing and car sharing companies Leaseplan and MyWheels, each reserving 5,000 respectively.
“Lightyear has been making consistent progress since its founding and holds a promising future for the development of an innovative solar eco-system in the Netherlands,” says Rinke Zonneveld, CEO at Invest-NL. “Their technology, strategic partnerships and acumen fit perfectly with Invest-NL’s ambition to co-create new tech-driven market and business opportunities, and we look forward to supporting their growth from Dutch scale-up to global OEM.”
Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightyear, said, “In the current market environment, our technology has incredible potential for positive societal influence, so I see investments of this caliber as a testament to Lightyear’s product vision. 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.”