Lightyear, the Dutch solar electric vehicle, has announced 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 pioneering Lightyear One car series.
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.
Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear, said: “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.
“Valmet Automotive is a great partner, has a well-established track record and over a decade of experience in EV production. It is also a good cultural fit with our company. We are proud that we will soon realise the actual production of Lightyear One with Valmet Automotive.”
Olaf Bongwald, CEO of Valmet Automotive, said: “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.”
Lightyear recently achieved an important technology milestone by driving 710km of range with its Lightyear One prototype car, demonstrating the long-range performance and validating its in-house developed technology. In the coming months, Lightyear will continue with its performance testing, further optimising the vehicle as well as completing the necessary homologation tests.
Lightyear is now gearing up for the industrialisation 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.