Dutch solar electric car company, Lightyear, announced on Tuesday that it has secured €81M in additional capital from various sources.
The investment comes from public consortiums 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.
While the exact breakdown of the funding is unknown, Invest-NL reportedly invested around €25M.
The Dutch company says it will use the funds to advance the production of Lightyear 0 and accelerate the development of Lightyear 2
The announcement comes a month after Swedish hypercar manufacturer Koenigsegg’s investment in Lightyear. The investment is part of a technology-sharing partnership in which both automakers will share proprietary and patented information to develop ultra-efficient vehicles like the upcoming Lightyear 2.
Lightyear: What you need to know
Founded in 2016 by Arjo van der Ham, Koen van Ham, Lex Hoefsloot, Martijn Lammers, and Qurein Biewenga, Helmond-based Lightyear is a tech company developing an ultra-energy-efficient automotive platform.
In June, the company launched its production-intent vehicle of the world’s first solar car, Lightyear 0, which is slated for production this fall.
Lightyear 0 features five square meters of patented, double curved solar arrays, allowing the vehicle to charge itself while commuting or simply parked outdoors.
The Dutch company says that in optimal conditions, this solar charging enables Lightyear 0 to power itself with 70 kilometres of range per day on top of its estimated 625 kilometres WLTP range.
The interiors of Lightyear 0 are vegan and eco-friendly, featuring plant-based leather, fabrics made from recycled PET bottles, and wooden deco elements from sustainably-restructured rattan palm.
The company says that the car’s outer body panels are made from reclaimed carbon, residual carbon fibre materials that would otherwise go to waste.
Lightyear has also been developing Lightyear 2, with a price of €30,000. It is expected to go into production by 2025. The Lightyear 2 has 10,000 reservations from leasing and car sharing companies LeasePlan and MyWheels, each reserving 5,000, respectively.
Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightyear, says, “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.
“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,” Hoefsloot adds.
Last year, the company announced partnerships with industry leaders such as LeasePlan, Valmet Automotive, Bridgestone, MyWheels, and NXP.
Invest-NL: What you need to know
Invest-NL is an impact investor committed to businesses and projects that will make the Netherlands more sustainable and innovative.
As the Netherlands’ National Promotional Institution (NPI), its strategic focus lies in speeding up the transition towards a carbon-neutral and circular economy.
“Lightyear has been making consistent progress since its founding and holds a promising future for developing 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.”
A few days back, Invest-NL co-led an investment in the Netherlands-based large-scale electricity storage company, Elestor.