Lightyear solar car has raised more than $110m this year


Dutch insurer Cooperation DELA and art collector Joop van Caldenborgh have ensured the Netherlands-based start-up behind solar car the Lightyear One have raised more than $110 million of investment this year.

“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[to] the market in 2022,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of the Lightyear business.

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The start-up had initially planned to deliver its prototype to customers last year, however manufacturing was delayed and the start of deliveries is now set for next summer.

To reserve a Lightyear One, deep-pocketed customers will have to pay a €150,000 fee described as a “down payment” on the company's website, suggesting the final purchase price will be even higher.

Lightyear has also successfully generated investment by offering shareholders the opportunity of reserving one of the vehicles, which features a solar panel roof.

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Lightyear's website claims the prototype will “consume only 83 Wh/km – two to three times less energy than any other electric vehicle on the market,” and adds, the company aims to manufacture 946 cars, to be delivered in the European Union, Norway and Switzerland.

The Lightyear One’s 5m² roof consists of a double-curved, glass-covered solar panel backed with maximum power point trackers.

Lightyear is also planning mass production of a second solar electric vehicle, and has said it is aiming to go “into production with this new mass-market model in 2024,” for which it is seeking more investors.

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