Dutch solar-powered car startup Lightyear secures €81m additional capital investment

Dutch solar-powered car startup Lightyear secures €81m additional capital investment

Published: 06-09-2022 13:09:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 5029 | Tags:

Lightyear, a Dutch high-tech startup developing the world’s first solar car, announced a total investment of €81 million, which includes capital from the public consortium consisting of Invest-NL, the province of North Brabant, 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. The funds received will ensure the Company advances in the production of Lightyear 0, the premier solar electric car set to hit roads this year, and continues to achieve the development milestones for its mass-market follow-up model, Lightyear 2.

Invest-NL is an impact investor committed to businesses and projects that will make the Netherlands more sustainable and innovative. As the National Promotional Institution (NPI) of the Netherlands, its strategic focus lies on speeding up the transition towards a carbon-neutral and circular economy. Invest-NL is co-leading the consortium with the province of North Brabant, BOM, and LIOF. These public agencies join Lightyear’s mission at a pivotal moment in the industry and Lightyear’s timeline. The investment is intended to propel Lightyear’s current momentum and enable its next steps toward international expansion beyond Europe.

Rinke Zonneveld, CEO, Invest-NL: ''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. 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, Lightyear: ''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.''

In June, Lightyear launched its production-intent vehicle of the world’s first solar car, Lightyear 0, which is slated for production this fall. 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. As Lightyear continues to pioneer its technologies, new funding ensures the company can advance on delivering its mission of clean mobility for everyone, everywhere. 

Electric and solar electric mobility are gaining momentum as continued legislation, and public attention demands cleaner sources of energy and transportation. Most notably, the E.U. recently voted to approve the ban of the sale of internal combustion engines (“ICE”) by 2035, further supporting the need and use cases for alternative energy vehicles. In the last year, Lightyear has announced partnerships with industry leaders such as LeasePlan, Valmet Automotive, Bridgestone, MyWheels, and NXP. Among other recent investors is the esteemed megacar manufacturer Koenigsegg. Partnerships and collaborations such as these serve as proof points of the industry’s shift to sustainable mobility.  

In the coming years, as the demand for charging stations grows, there will be more reliance on the electricity grid, which can overload the grid capacity of cities, states, and countries. Lightyear 0 features five square meters of patented, double curved solar arrays, allowing the vehicle to charge itself while commuting or simply parked outdoors, and thus, relieves drivers of charging station dependency and offloads a congested grid. With the swiftly rising demand for solar technology and solutions such as Lightyear 0, a future of clean mobility is no longer a question.