The Dutch high-tech company developing the world's first solar-electric car plans on producing one car a week and gradually scaling up its production in the first quarter of 2023. It is the first automotive company to manufacture an electric vehicle that generates power directly from sunlight. After six years of developing its own technologies, Lightyear has surpassed one of the most challenging phases for new automotive companies: entering the market with novel technology.
"We have hit many milestones in recent years, from major funding achievements to great partnerships. However, today is the most significant, and probably the most challenging, milestone we have reached so far", says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear.
"Starting production of Lightyear 0, the first solar car, brings us a big step closer to our mission of clean mobility for everyone, everywhere. We may be the first to achieve this, but I certainly hope we aren't the last."
Lightyear 0 is the company's first step in its attempt to transform the mobility sector: by creating an efficient vehicle with a smaller battery capacity (60kWh), Lightyear wants to enable consumers to skip the charging grid and drive more sustainably. Six years after its founding, the company has progressed into a scale-up with over 500 employees and established a reliable supply chain through reputable partners such as Valmet Automotive, Bridgestone, and Koenigsegg. With that, Lightyear proves that it can translate its aspiration into action.
Lightyear's production partner, Valmet Automotive, is a benchmark-setting electric vehicle manufacturer with more than ten years of experience in EV production and over 50 years of experience with large and well-known car brands. "We share Lightyear's motivation for creating new, more sustainable mobility solutions and are excited to be part of this innovative development in the automotive industry. During the last few years, we have been working closely together to understand Lightyear 0's technologies and prepare everything for smooth production of the solar electric cars for consumers", says Olaf Bongwald, CEO of Valmet Automotive.