Helmond-based Lightyear has raised 40 million euros in investment capital and can start producing the first solar-powered cars. This will turn the auto market upside down, says director Lex Hoffslot Speech makers.
As a student, Hoefsloot participated in the World Solar Challenge with a team from Eindhoven University of Technology. Now he is facing a new one a challengeBuilding the first 120 passenger cars that run entirely on solar energy.
And this is the first: “We are the first company in the world that can actually start producing passenger cars. There’s also a company in Germany and the United States, but it’s not far yet.”
The first cars should be delivered to customers by the end of this year. There will also be a new prototype with many improvements. “With this we want to prove that the car can travel 725 kilometers on a single battery charge.”
According to Hoefsloot, the time is right for a solar powered car and investors are showing it. Family funds and Dutch investors in particular are pouring money into the company. “There is a lot of interest in the market to invest in sustainable companies.”
As the traditional polluting vehicle is declining, the risk profile for investing in new companies has been revised. Hoefsloot: “The playing field has been leveled. The new manufacturers have a similar opportunity to produce an electric car.”
Recently, Lightyear has mainly focused on improving vehicle technology. In order to survive in the market, you’d undoubtedly have to make a better product, Hoefsloot believes.
The first cars cost around 150,000 euros due to the high development costs. Ultimately, Hoefsloot’s ambition is to start producing cars that interest consumers. Billions of euros are needed for this and an IPO is unimaginable for him. “Step by step. Prove first that we have a head start.”
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