Less than two months ago, Lightyear announced an €81M injection of cash aimed at accelerating and expanding its clean-mobility ambitions. Now, the Helmond-based solar car specialist looks to be putting its plan into gear, as it reveals it has acquired the technological designs of the customized drivetrain inverters that it developed together with Next Level Electronics (NLE), a Dutch electronics development company specializing in high-efficiency power electronics. With this acquisition, Lightyear aims to further progress in the development and production of a more efficient drivetrain platform for its solar electric vehicles.
Founded similarly to the EV developer, NLE was launched by former TU Eindhoven students from the championship Solar Team Eindhoven at the World Solar Challenge. Their expertise in highly efficient power electronics and specifically the custom-designed drivetrain inverters has been identified by Lightyear as a crucial element, along with aerodynamics and rolling resistance, for reaching lower energy consumption and higher range, and making solar panel cars a viable concept.
“NLE has played a significant role in the development of the core technology for the efficiency of our drivetrain design, namely its inverters, so it made perfect sense to make this business decision,” says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear. “This will greatly benefit our knowledge base and technology portfolio, making it possible for us to further develop our drivetrain and strengthen Lightyear’s position in the automotive industry.”