Dutch EV start-up Lightyear has decided to open its testing facility and a sales office at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park or SRTI Park.
SRTI Park is the first such facility outside the Netherlands.
Speaking on the new partnership, Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri said: “The UAE has created a holistic innovation ecosystem that helps companies develop and scale up trailblazing solutions. Today, it is a hub for top-notch competencies and scientific innovations, particularly those related to clean energy. This complements our nation’s efforts to combat global warming and contribute to collective climate action, and aligns with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative. We are pleased by Lightyear’s decision to set up its first base outside the Netherlands at SRTI Park, and wish the company success in its endeavors.”
Hussain Al Mahmoudi said: “This is an exciting moment for SRTI Park, which was set up to turn Sharjah into a hub for cutting-edge innovation, R&D, higher education and university-level research. We are delighted to add Lightyear to our list of global innovators. Lightyear figures in the same league as Tesla, Rivian and LUCID as one of the innovation pioneers in the EV industry.”
“Having Lightyear at the SRTI Park boosts the UAE’s position as a nation on the frontline of the transition to sustainable mobility, and in doing so, contributes to combating climate change through innovative technologies. UAE is already the world’s third-largest producer of solar power, making it the perfect place to test and prove Lightyear’s solar extender solutions for EVs. We are confident that Lightyear’s presence at SRTI Park will spark interest among all countries in the region to embrace EVs,” Al Mahmoudi added.
Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightyear, said: “We look forward to collaborating with SRTIP to push further innovation into solar electric vehicles. The GCC region is of strategic importance for our company.”
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the two sides to create Lightyear’s first international presence outside of the Netherlands, reflecting the growing international importance of Sharjah in enabling the development of sustainable mobility solutions through the SRTI Park.
In addition, Lightyear and SRTI Park will boost university research exchange programs on solar-powered EVs, and work on policy initiatives to support governments in creating incentives for electric vehicles, including solar-extended EVs.
The MoU was signed by Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, and Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear, on June 13 in the Netherlands, in the presence of HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, His Excellency Jamal Al Musharakh, UAE Ambassador to the Netherlands, and His Excellency Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the UAE, with facilitation by consultancy firm Sawadi Ventures.