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The car industry is on the eve of a major change. Investing in sustainable mobility – such as e-mobility – is of vital importance if Europe wants to keep on playing an important role. For those not aware, we are talking about the Lightyear solar car over here, which offers a disruptive solution.
The electric family car, dubbed as, the Lightyear One, can recharge itself while driving. In this way, clean mobility is no longer dependent on charging stations.
The new partnership
Reportedly, Eindhoven-based system supplier company, Sioux has announced a strategic partnership with Lightyear. According to the new development, Sioux will be actively involved in the development of this revolutionary car of the future, both as an investor and as a technology partner.
Gerben Hilboldt, responsible for the automotive branch at Sioux was quoted saying, “Lightyear will turn the automotive industry upside down. Previously the success of e-mobility was inextricably linked with smart grid development, since the network of charging points is a precondition for the adaptation of electric vehicles on a large scale. Lightyear opts for a different approach, by making use of an inexhaustible source of energy: the sun. Solar energy can charge the car while driving, so that the dependency on charging stations disappears. This also means driving on solar energy without any costs, especially in summers as we are now experiencing. Sioux embraces these innovative ideas. Not only by buying a solar car and investing money in the company, but also by being involved in an early stage in the process of thinking and working. This really makes the difference.”
Lex Hoefsloot, CEO, Lightyear also added, “The concepts and designs have been worked out and we received the first investments. The next step will be the execution towards production. Sioux offers us an extensive support in software development. They have a rich experience in the automotive industry and help us with the realisation of a sustainable car, which not only feels intuitive but is also very easy to operate. Not just investing, but also participating in building the Lightyear One demonstrates the unprecedented confidence that Sioux has in our mission: making electric mobility accessible to everyone and everywhere.”
Raised €5M Series A funding
As per the company press release, the first ten prototypes are expected to be ready in 2020. In April 2018, Lightyear also raised €5M Series A round from 60+ investors to proceed with the development of Lightyear One. Further, the company also signed a collaboration with EDAG, the German automotive service provider to assist the company in engineering and commercial launch of the vehicle.
How does it work?
Founded by the alumni members (Qurein Biewenga, Arjo van der Ham, Martijn Lammers, and Lex Hoefsloot, CEO Lightyear) of an innovative Dutch startup Solar Team Eindhoven, the Lightyear One is a sun-driven electric car with four-wheel drive with a range of 800 kilometers on a full battery. A solar car may be thought of as an electric car, one with an unlimited, free and wireless power source which it takes anywhere it goes.
To make the ‘solar car’ work seamlessly, Lightyear ensures to intervene at two ends. First, it decreases energy use and secondly, it increases energy input. The car doesn’t require dedicated ‘charging point’, which is big pain in other electric cars that depend on charging docks. The user can charge the car via sunlight or a power-plug.
The founders previously work from Eindhoven and helped build Stella & Stella Lux solar cars for the company. Later the team got engaged in building their own startup Lightyear.
Reportedly, Lightyear has now moved its office to The Automotive Campus in Helmond – located in the Brainport Region, a one-stop-shop in automotive technology and mobility concepts. The move was aimed to support Lightyear’s growth in an ecosystem that can help fast-track the company’s innovation and product development.
So, what do you think about Lightyear One? Do you think its practical? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below.
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