Lightyear, a Dutch high-tech company, has developed the world’s first solar electric vehicle (SEV) and is officially starting production of the Lightyear 0 at Valmet Automotive’s plant in Finland. The plan is to produce one vehicle per week and gradually increase production in the first quarter of 2023. Lightyear is the first car manufacturer to produce an electric vehicle that generates electricity directly from sunlight. The launch of the innovative technology, after six years of development, completes one of the most difficult phases for new car manufacturers.
“We have achieved many milestones over the past few years, from important funding successes to great partnerships. However, today is the most significant and probably the most challenging in our company’s history. With the start of production, the Lightyear 0 will be the most aerodynamic car ever made, with a drag coefficient of just 0.175,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear. “The start of production of the Lightyear 0, the first solar car, takes us a big step further in our mission of clean mobility for everyone worldwide. We may be the first to achieve this, but I hope we are not the last.”
Closer to clean mobility
The Lightyear 0 marks a crucial first step in transforming the mobility sector: By developing an efficient vehicle with a smaller battery capacity of 60 kWh, Lightyear aims to enable consumers to self-charge their electric vehicle and drive more sustainably. The stage is set for a successful mobility turnaround: In the six years since its founding, the company has grown into a scale-up company with over 500 employees and established a reliable supply chain with renowned partners such as Valmet Automotive, Bridgestone and Koenigsegg.
SEV manufacturing as a joint effort
Lightyear’s manufacturing partner, Valmet Automotive, is a trend-setting manufacturer with more than ten years of experience in electric vehicle production and over 50 years of expertise in working with major and well-known car brands. “We share Lightyear’s motivation to create new, more sustainable mobility solutions and are pleased to be part of this innovative development in the automotive industry. Over the last few years we have cooperated closely to understand the Lightyear 0 technologies and to prepare everything for a smooth production of the solar electric cars,” says Olaf Bongwald, CEO of Valmet Automotive. www.lightyear.one