by Fred Lambert
September 16, 2021
Lightyear, a startup developing electric solar cars, has announced a significant $110 million round of financing to bring its first vehicle to market. A lot of money is being raised in the EV sector right now.
Lightyear first caught our attention because it spun out of Solar Team Eindhoven, a group of engineering students from the Technical University of Eindhoven (Netherlands) who have been competing in the World Solar Challenge with their Stella and Stella Lux, energy positive solar cars – meaning that they can produce more energy than they consume.
But while the new team at their alma mater is working on the latest student project, Lightyear has graduated to developing an actual production car. Back in 2019, they unveiled the Lightyear One, an electric sedan with integrated solar cells that helps push the range to 450 miles (725 km) based on the WLTP cycle.
It’s an ambitious project, and it is going to require significant funds to bring the vehicle to production. Today, the company announced that it managed to raise $110 million:
“We reached the $110 million funding milestone with the help of one of the largest international insurers in the Netherlands, Cooperation DELA. This investment aligns with their long-term focus on sustainability. Together, we can work on our shared mission of bringing clean mobility to everyone, everywhere.”
Cooperation DELA, an insurer based in the Netherlands, where Lightyear is also based, and Joop van Caldenborgh, an art collector, participated in the round of funding. Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and cofounder of Lightyear, commented on the announcement:
“It is great to see the acknowledgement from investors, which is a testament to the confidence that they have in Lightyear. Thanks to the trust and funding received from our investors, we can further grow as a company and bring our Lightyear One exclusive model on the market in 2022.”
The company still aims to deliver its first units to market in 2022. The Lightyear One, like most first vehicles from a manufacturer, is not cheap. The company previously announced a starting price of €149,000 including VAT ($170,000 USD).