November 4, 2021

Lightyear enters into a partnership with NXP Semiconductors to support development of its first mass market solar vehicles

Helmond, the Netherlands, November 4, 2021 — Lightyear and NXP announced they entered into a partnership, which provides the high-tech company developing the world’s first solar electric vehicle with NXP technology for the coming years. Their mutual goals under this agreement are to get the first solar cars on the road and to accelerate the development of autonomous cars.

Lightyear uses NXP technology in their Lightyear One exclusive model - which is planned to go into production in the summer of 2022. The technology is applied among others in its battery management system, the driver-vehicle interface, the vehicle control unit and the solar converters. Lightyear’s mass market model - which is scheduled to go into production from 2024/2025 onwards - will also use NXP’s technology.

“The partnership with NXP is very valuable to us, as it enables rapid prototyping. This accelerates our time-to-market significantly”, says Lex Hoefsloot, co-founder and CEO of Lightyear. “With this partnership, we will also focus on inserting autonomous driving in our next mass market model. In order to realize this, we need a strong and knowledgeable semiconductor chip partner with a far-reaching footprint in the autonomous driving industry. NXP’s leading technology enables us to significantly reduce our development time, and at the same time ensure top-level quality chip technology.”

Further collaborations

In addition, Lightyear and NXP have joined forces in the European ITEA3 subsidy program with a project called COMPAS. This project includes the development of digital twins in order to provide a real-time digital representation of Lightyear’s cars. The result of the COMPAS project will help Lightyear to better simulate the durability of its electronic systems during the design phase, in order to shorten the development time and the amount of iterations needed, and thus speeding up the time-to-market.

“Lightyear is a perfect partner for us as they are developing the world’s first long-range solar car and we have been successfully working together with them for many years already”, says Maurice Geraets, Executive Director NXP Semiconductors Netherlands B.V. “They are pushing the boundaries of sustainable mobility, and we are excited to join on their journey to realize clean mobility”.

Both companies continue a long-standing collaboration, which already started during the 2013 World Solar Challenge.

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Lightyear and NXP partnership

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About Lightyear

Lightyear is on a mission to make clean mobility available to everyone, everywhere. Lightyear aims to eliminate the two biggest concerns for electric cars - charging and range - with an energy-efficient design and integrated solar cells. This allows motorists, depending on the climate, to drive up to twenty thousand kilometers per year on the power of the sun. The fast-growing company was founded in 2016 and currently employs more than two hundred employees. The team is made up of a mix of young talent and experienced names from the automotive industry, including former employees of Tesla, Jaguar, Landrover, Audi, McLaren, and Ferrari. In 2019, Lightyear 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 in the region of Brainport Eindhoven. The prestigious TIME Magazine acknowledged Lightyear One as one of the ‘100 best inventions’ of 2019. In 2020, Lightyear won the ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Most Disruptive Innovator’ Award of the Technology Fast 50 program organized by Deloitte. The first model of Lightyear One will go into production in the summer of 2022 as an exclusive car series.

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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