July 19, 2021

Lightyear selects Valmet Automotive for the production of Lightyear One

Lightyear selects Valmet Automotive for the production of Lightyear One

Helmond, The Netherlands, July 19, 2021 - Lightyear, the solar electric vehicle pioneer announces that it has signed a Letter of Intent with Valmet Automotive - one of the world’s largest contract vehicle manufacturers - to be its production partner for the manufacturing of the Lightyear One car series.

After a thorough and extensive selection process which took over a year, Lightyear selected Valmet Automotive as production partner. Valmet Automotive is an EV pioneer, which has been involved in the development and production of electric cars for more than 10 years. The company has more than 50 years of experience with large and well-known car brands, as well as guiding start-up and scale-up companies to production. More than 1.7 million vehicles – such as Mercedes-Benz, Saab, and Porsche – have left the production lines of Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Valmet Automotive also has its own battery production line and has recently invested heavily in additional engineering and testing capabilities for EV powertrain developments. 

“Two years ago, we announced our prototype Lightyear One. We are really excited to have found a production partner with whom we will manufacture this exclusive model”, says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear. “Valmet Automotive is a great partner, has a well-established track record and over a decade of experience in EV production. It’s also a good cultural fit with our company. We are proud that we will soon realize the actual production of Lightyear One with Valmet Automotive.”

“Our experience as a car manufacturer, as well as our focus on electric mobility and battery systems make us predestined for processes in which mobility must be redefined. We are ready to enter new areas also in manufacturing cars and are therefore pleased that Lightyear has selected us as their production partner”, says Olaf Bongwald, CEO of Valmet Automotive.

Lightyear recently achieved an important technology milestone by driving 710 km of range with its Lightyear One prototype car, demonstrating the long-range performance and validating their in-house developed technology. In the coming months, Lightyear will continue with its performance testing, further optimizing the vehicle as well as completing the necessary homologation tests.

Lightyear is now gearing up for the industrialization phase of the Lightyear One model, which will go into production in the summer of 2022 as an exclusive first series. As a result of this partnership, the first prototypes of the Lightyear One model will be built in Finland in January 2022. 

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Lightyear & Valmet Automotive

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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