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Helmond-based Lightyear is working on a second, cheaper model of its solar car. The young company hasn’t finished a single model of its exclusive Lightyear One yet. The plan is to bring tens of thousands of cars onto the market each year from 2023 onwards, in collaboration with new partners.
The Lightyear One, the first prototype, was presented last June and costs almost 150 thousand euros. The price of the second model should be around 50 thousand euros. To achieve the new ambitions, Lightyear has hired a former manager of Tesla, Johan Vos, as commercial director.
Lightyear originated from Stella, the solar car with which Eindhoven University of Technology won the World Solar Challenge four times in the multi-person car category (link in Dutch). “The company is no longer a startup,” says Vos in the Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad. Since August, it’s located in new premises on the Automotive Campus in Helmond. The company not only wants to sell in Europe, but also has the US on the radar, specifically California.
These new plans require a lot of money. Lightyear is currently engaged in a 30 million euro investment round and a larger round is planned before the end of 2020. The company has chosen to farm out production. “Producing your own parts is extremely capital-intensive,” explains Vos. “We really want to scale up from 2023 onwards.”