In a weekly column, alternately written by Lucien Engelen, Mary Fiers, Maarten Steinbuch, Carlo van de Weijer, Tessie Hartjes, and Auke Hoekstra, Innovation Origins tries to find out what the future will look like. All six contributors – sometimes accompanied by guest bloggers – are working on solving the problems of our time. Everything to make Tomorrow Good. This Sunday, it‘s Tessie Hartjes’ turn, about Lightyear’s ambassadors. Here are all the previously published columns.

Lightyear cannot do without its ambassadors. Our Lightyear Ambassadors tell the story of Lightyear in places where we don’t come ourselves, make other people enthusiastic, order a Lightyear One, invest, give regular advice or arrange for introductions. It is an enormously valuable network full of special people. Every now and then when I think of it, I get excited again; all of them contribute in their own way to a better world. They are drivers of many beautiful companies or initiatives. Just last week I hear myself proudly say that it is a group of enormously gifted people and the person on the other side nodded approvingly ‘I believe that right away’.

Lightyear hal Helmond juli 2018

A look into Lightyear’s new production hall

That’s why I was so disappointed when I saw that one of our ambassadors was unlucky to be mistreated in the media. Nick Matulessy first came into contact with Lightyear over a year ago and has since become a true Ambassador. Through handy optimizations in the process, his company, Architectdirect.nl, offers quick advice and quick first designs. This company is located in Mierlo, not far from the Automotive Campus where Lightyear is located. Nick has a Tesla and his enthusiasm about it was publicly questioned by the suggestion that he would be paid by Tesla. It’s a pity that his drive and enthusiasm are so badly rewarded.

Nick leaves his Tesla at our office almost every week so we can use it. He then goes on to run the last part of his trip and then, after a shower in the office, begins his day of work. Not only can we test the Tesla well with this, but he also lends us the car if we have a long trip ahead of us; making as many electric kilometers as possible. He doesn’t mind making that possible by sleeping an extra evening in the office, if it isn’t too often. For the sake of convenience, there is even a standard extra key for his Tesla in our office. This is not the result of Tesla’s marketing department; it is purely Nick’s drive.

Besides Nick, we have many more great ambassadors. For example, Joost Ector, the architect of the well-known Metaforum and one of our early customers, wrote a nice blog a while ago about Lightyear, which has similarities with Nick’s statement about austerity, translated to “moderation is the forgotten vegetable among the virtues“. Joost has personally worked hard for the hall of the Metaforum, something the Solar Team gratefully uses for their car presentation.

Without knowing it for some time, we also appeared to have another beautiful Ambassador in the person of Ruud Veltenaar – he always brings us into his story that he tells in many different places.

Lightyear ambassadors juli 2018

Lightyear ambassadors

Mark Vletter (and his partner Ben Hoetmer), Cas van Arendonk and Jan and Mirande de Jonge, among others, are valuable ambassadors who immediately booked a Lightyear One last year (see photo). Soon we will update our website so that we can give the rest of the ambassadors (also the ones I didn’t mention) a good place online. In order to allow our ambassadors to exchange experiences, we regularly meetings once every while. We keep them up to date regularly via Whatsapp but on those evenings we can give them a real look into the whole process. It also offers a pleasant moment to get to know each other and hopefully there will be valuable new introductions.

Colleagues as ambassador

Our ambassadors are found far and near. My fellow columnists Maarten Steinbuch, Carlo van de Weijer and Auke Hoekstra are among the nearest. Thanks guys!

One of the moments we can now look forward to is in September, when in our production hall, currently under construction, we will be giving our Ambassadors a first look and feel of the Lightyear One design; then we will be showing the very first physical models. An exclusive preview as a thank you for all the support. In this way, we hope to maintain their enthusiasm for a long time to come and also to create new ambassadors. Will you be one of them?

In Dutch:

Was NRC victim of a Tesla marketing stunt?

Metro: “An exquisite idealist or a secret marketer?

Volkskrant: report of a mad workday

Mark Vletter on Lightyear

Lightyear hal Helmond July 2018