Netherlands-based SHV is a family-owned company with operations in 64 countries. The Dutch trading company is active in energy distribution (SHV Energy), cash-and-carry wholesale (Makro), heavy lifting and transport activities (Mammoet), industrial services (ERIKS), animal feed and aquafeed (Nutreco), and private equity (NPM Capital).
Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear, says, “We greatly value and share the vision of SHV. Their entrepreneurial spirit, long-term focus, knowledge of different industries, and a global mindset are of great value to Lightyear’s mission, to provide “Clean mobility for everyone, everywhere”. We are now more ready than ever to get our first cars on the market and to demonstrate our technology.”
Minimising charging and grid dependency
Based out of Helmond, Lightyear is commercialising an electric vehicle with integrated solar cells to minimise the charging needs and grid dependency. The company was founded in 2016 by Arjo van der Ham, Koen van Ham, Lex Hoefsloot, Martijn Lammers, and Qurein Biewenga.
Dubbed as Lightyear One, the electric vehicle will have a range of 440 miles (725 km) and will be able to recharge from its own solar roof, minimising CO2 emissions and the charging needs of the user while maximising efficiency.
Last month, the Netherlands-based company inked an agreement with Bridgestone to develop personalised tires for Lightyear One. The company has sought a tyre that offers low rolling resistance and weight reduction, in order to preserve battery life, maximise vehicle range, and reduce environmental impact.
As a result, Bridgestone developed custom-engineered Turanza Eco tyres for Lightyear One, combining its lightweight ENLITEN and ologic technologies for the very first time. The solar car will hit test tracks in Q2 2021 and will be commercially available by the end of Q4.
The solar car company appointed Philippe Humbrecht as Head of Project Management, last month. Previously, Humbrecht was Head of Program Office at McLaren Automotive.
In March 2021, the company secured €40.2M in a funding round led by Zero Point Holding BV – an investment vehicle of a Swiss family to support its growth and path towards the first customer deliveries of the “Lightyear One.” So far, the company has raised €85.3M in funding to date.
In May 2020, Lightyear and Royal DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition, health, and sustainable living, signed an agreement to jointly scale the commercialisation of Lightyear’s unique solar-powered roof for the electric vehicle market. With the solution, both companies aimed to accelerate the global adoption of a broad range of Electric Vehicles (EVs).
The company’s team is made up out of a mix of young talent and experience from the automotive industry, including former employees of Tesla, Audi, and Ferrari. The prestigious TIME Magazine acknowledged Lightyear One as one of the ‘100 best inventions’ of 2019.
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