Lightyear, a Dutch solar EV startup, recently announced that it had raised an additional €81/$80.2 million in capital. This investment came from a consortium that included the province of North Brabant, several other regional development agencies, and the Amsterdam-based investment firm Invest-NL, according to InsideEVs.
With the obtained funds, Lightyear will be able to continue developing its forthcoming affordable second model while still keeping its first model’s manufacturing schedule for this year on track.
Welcoming the investments, Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear, proudly stated:
“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.”
The first is the pricey, long-range solar EV Lightyear 0, which is set to begin manufacturing in November for €250,000/$247,000. Meanwhile, under 1,000 cars are expected to be produced this year, which is not particularly high volume as the company plans to produce a lot more of its following model.
On the other hand, the company’s second solar EV model, the Lightyear 2, is currently under development and is anticipated to enter production sometime in 2025. It will be offered for a significant price reduction over the first model from €30,000 /$29,720. Impressively, over 10,000 bookings for this new model have already been made as per the company.
However, Europeans will already have access to the Sono Sion, a cheap solar EV, before the release of Lightyear 2 three years from now. This car has solar panels on its hood, doors, quarter panels, and fenders, in addition to its roof. It is anticipated that production will begin in the second half of 2023. Valmet, the automaker that will also build the Lightyear 0, will produce it in Finland.