Lightyear, the solar electric vehicle startup from the Netherlands, has just announced that it has secured an additional €81- / $80.2-million in capital from a consortium comprised of the province of North Brabant and several other regional development agencies, as well as Invest-NL, an investment company based in Amsterdam. The money will help Lightyear stay on track to begin production of its first model this year and also continue development of its upcoming affordable second model.

Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear welcomes the investment saying

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.

First will come the €250,000 /$247,000 Lightyear 0 (formerly known as the Lightyear 1), which is an expensive, long-range solar EV slated to go into production in November. The company isn’t planning on an especially high-volume production this year - under 1,000 cars, but it wants to build a lot more of its next model.

The Lightyear 2 is the company’s second model, a solar electric vehicle currently in development, which is expected to go into production sometime in 2025 costing a lot less than the first model, from €30,000 /$29,720. Lightyear says it already has over 10,000 reservations for this new model.

However, by the time the Lightyear 2 hits the market three years from now, Europeans will already have an affordable solar EV, the Sono Sion, a vehicle that doesn’t just have solar panels in the roof, but also its hood, doors and even its quarter panels and fenders. It is expected to go into production in the second half of 2023 and it will be manufactured by Valmet in Finland (the company that will also build the Lightyear 0).

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