January 15, 2020

Europe invests 2.5 million euros in Dutch scale-up Lightyear

The European Innovation Council pilot is investing 2.5 million euros in solar electric car company Lightyear. The Dutch scale-up is one of 17 special SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) companies that falls under the ‘Horizon 2020’ program of the European Commission. Europe’s new investment in Lightyear provides additional support to produce their first electric solar car, the Lightyear One, which will be launched in early 2020. Horizon 2020 is an incentive program of the European Commission for SMEs with disruptive ideas and new products. By investing in Lightyear, the European Commission supports Lightyear’s vision of sustainable mobility for all. Due to its high efficiency and integrated solar cells, the car rarely needs to charge, increasing the appeal of electric driving.

“The funding from Europe validates Lightyear’s mission and the rapid progress and results we’ve achieved to date,” says CFO and co-founder Qurein Biewenga. “The EU recognizes the importance of the cutting-edge technology we’ve developed at Lightyear. The European Commission is taking the lead in the millions of investments planned for this year.”


“The support of the European Union is an extremely important step on our path toward production,” says Lex Hoefsloot, Lightyear CEO. “The investment will be used to develop prototypes early in the process so we can build on our knowledge for later iterations. In this way, we can take our aerodynamics, efficiency and ease of use to a higher level.”

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About Lightyear

Lightyear is on a mission to make clean mobility available to everyone, everywhere. Lightyear develops electric cars with an energy-efficient design and integrated solar cells. This allows motorists, depending on the climate, to drive up to twenty thousand kilometres per year on the power of the sun. The fast-growing company was founded in 2016 and currently employs more than one hundred twenty employees. The team is made up out of a mix of young talent and experience from the automotive industry, including former employees of Tesla, Audi and Ferrari. In 2019, Lightyear recently received the Horizon 2020 grant from the European Commission under grant agreement number 848620. In the summer of 2019, Lightyear launched its first driving prototype, Lightyear One, and opened a new office. The prestigious TIME Magazine acknowledged Lightyear One as one of the ‘100 best inventions’ of 2019. The first model is expected to be delivered in 2021 in an exclusive series of 946 pieces.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 848620