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.”