LeasePlan Netherlands is collaborating with Dutch scale-up Lightyear, which has developed an electric solar car for consumers. LeasePlan Netherlands will become Lightyear's leasing partner for the Lightyear One, the first car produced by the company. The Pioneer Edition of the Lightyear One is expected to drive on Dutch roads in 2020.

Lightyear, founded by triple World Solar Challenge winners, will open its production facility at the Automotive Campus in Helmond, the Netherlands, this week. The Lightyear One is an electric car with integrated solar cells capable of driving 8000 to 10,000 km (4971 to 6214 mi) per year on solar energy in the Netherlands. The exact design of the car is still unknown, but it is reported to be a five-seater hatchback with all-wheel drive and a range of up to 800 km (497 mi).

Lightyear launched the first prototypes in the summer of 2019. The first Lightyear Ones sold (Pioneer Edition) will be delivered in 2020, while the regular edition is scheduled to be available in 2021.

The cooperation between LeasePlan Netherlands and Lightyear is enabling the solar car to be bought as well as leased, which makes the car directly accessible to a broader corporate target group.

Erik Henstra, Managing Director of LeasePlan Netherlands, said, “Lightyear shows that it is possible to drive electrically on solar power. As a leasing partner, we want to offer our customers the opportunity to make a powerful sustainability statement by driving the world's first solar car for consumers. This cooperation also contributes to our ambition to completely eliminate emissions from our own fleet in 2021 and our total fleet of 1.8 million cars in 2030.”

"With LeasePlan, we have a strong partner on board that strengthens us with a solid network in the Netherlands and Europe," added Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. "Corporate drivers play an important pioneering role in the introduction of new technologies. We've seen that before with the electric car. This partnership with LeasePlan will certainly help us as we move towards the broad launch of the Lightyear One in 2021.”