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Solar electric car company Lightyear has announced that its first car, the One, will be going into production thanks to a new partnership.

Netherlands-based Lightyear will be working with Finnish contract vehicle manufacturer Valmet Automotive to manufacture its solar-powered car.

“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 710km with its Lightyear One prototype car, demonstrating the long-range performance and validating its in-house developed technology. In the coming months, Lightyear promises to continue with its performance testing, further optimizing the vehicle as well as completing the necessary homologation tests.

Lightyear also spent more than a year choosing its production partner before settling on Valmet. The Lightyear claims it was Valmets longstanding involvement in electric car manufacture that tipped the scales. 

“Valmet Automotive is an EV pioneer, which has been involved in the development and production of electric cars for more than 10 years,” Lightyear said. “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.”

However, don’t think that you’ll be seeing Lightyear One models appearing in the coming months – production isn’t set to begin until summer 2022. 

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