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December 9, 2021

Lightyear receives Innovation Credit of €3.8 million from RVO for scaling up solar cell technology

Helmond, the Netherlands, December 9th, 2021 — Lightyear, the high-tech company developing the world's first long-distance solar car, is receiving an Innovation Credit of €3.8 million from the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO, Netherlands Enterprise Agency). With the financing, Lightyear can develop a production facility for vehicle solar roofs, which will allow the company to scale up its production capacity and better anticipate the growing demand for solar roofs on vehicles. Last July, Lightyear already announced that it will expand to a production site for solar cell technology and solar roofs in Venray. Lightyear's headquarters will remain in Helmond.

Important sector

With the Innovation Credit, the RVO is supporting the research and production of Lightyear's innovative solar cell technology. To develop this technology even further, the high-tech company is also working with renowned partners such as TNO. The new production facility in Venray will make it possible to further scale up research, development, and production of its solar technology, with the final goal of making clean mobility possible for everyone and everywhere in the world.

"We are extremely honored to receive this funding from RVO," says Hans Heijmans, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director Solar Products at Lightyear. "We see it as a statement from the government that they believe in the technology Lightyear is developing and that solar mobility is seen as an important solution."

Marcel Segers, Senior Investment Manager at RVO, explains, "The leading technology that Lightyear is developing with this project has the potential to introduce a new future for mobility. Scaling up the development of this solar cell technology, in line with the broader market demand, will stimulate sustainable growth."

Lightyear is currently exploring various options, both public and private, of further funding for Lightyear's mass-market model, which is expected to enter production in 2025.

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Lightyear and RVO

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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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Iskander de Lange or Indira Hasanbegovic [TEAM LEWIS]

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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