Eindhoven solar car startup Lightyear enters into partnership with EDAG
With a Series A round among more than 60 investors, Lightyear has succeeded in increasing its total investments to 5 million. And even more is within sight. CEO Lex Hoefsloot announced this today during a presentation at the Hanover Messe, in the presence of Prince Constantijn of Orange.
Qurein Biewenga, CFO of Lightyear, calls it “very motivating” to see how much interest and support there is for Lightyear. “In an unforeseeably short period of time, no more than a month and a half, this series A financing round was even oversubscribed. The best aspect was the interest and support we received from our current and new shareholders and our buyers of Signature and Pioneer editions. Their feedback is a great resource for us.”
The Eindhoven startup, momentarily located at the Automotive Campus in Helmond, is developing a 5-person, solar-powered electric vehicle with a large range. The vehicle allows the user to drive for months without recharging from the grid, depending on the location. Lightyear’s ambition is “to develop a solar car for the general public and thus offer a sustainable solution to the growing demand for mobility worldwide”. Because the solar car can be charged with solar energy and an ordinary electrical socket, it is not necessary to install a special charging infrastructure first, as with ordinary electric cars.
Lightyear will soon be opening a further funding round that will enable the production of the first series, expected by 2020.
Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear, calls his solar car “an integral system, not just an electric car with solar cells on the roof. The car becomes an independent entity because the energy source is integrated into the car itself. To make the concept technically feasible, the car needs to be incredibly efficient. This requires redesigning the chassis, powertrain, and aerodynamics. That is why we have developed an entirely native solar electric platform in recent years. This platform enables us to achieve energy efficiency that is up to 3x higher than the current EVs on the market.”
Because of the substantial technical effort involved in developing a new car, Lightyear is also starting a partnership with EDAG, a leading global automotive engineering company. EDAG will provide Lightyear resources and expertise in the engineering phase. The first prototype is expected to be ready at the beginning of 2019. Andreas Quanz, VP EDAG: “We are very happy to sign this agreement with this exciting new car company. Their advanced knowledge of PV and high-efficiency automotive technology, as well as our solid experience and knowledge of automotive engineering and production, is the ideal combination to make this great car a reality.”
Lightyear is currently building an office and manufacturing facility at the AutomotivCampusus in Helmond. The facility is scheduled to be delivered on August 1. Lightyear One’s prototypes and the first series will be produced in this production facility before being scaled up to larger series production.
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