- The operating company of Dutch EV startup Lightyear, Atlas Technologies BV, entered bankruptcy days after production of its first EV was halted.
- The company initially announced that production of Lightyear 0 was suspended to focus all energy on bringing Lightyear 2 to market, starting in 2025.
- The startup’s first EV has a starting price of around $260,000 while offering a range of 388 miles, and is manufactured under contract by Valmet Automotive in Finland.
Just days after Lightyear said it was halting production of its innovative, partially solar-powered Lightyear 0 sedan to focus on its next model, the company has filed for bankruptcy. The Dutch startup, which was at CES less than a month after production of its first model began, has now stopped payments to its operating company, Atlas Technologies BV, which contracts Finland’s Valmet Automotive to produce high-tech—and high-tech. valuable—an electric sedan.
The fate of the company’s second model, the Lightyear 2, is now uncertain as the company is in bankruptcy. Lightyear is aiming for the start of production in 2025 for the Lightyear 2, as well as a starting price just under $40,000, promising a range of 500 miles between recharges thanks to solar panels and other technology.
“As announced on January 23, we had to submit a request for the opening of the suspension of payment proceedings in respect of Atlas Technologies BV, our operating company responsible for the production of Lightyear,” the company said in a statement.
The company’s request was approved by a court in the Netherlands, which declared bankruptcy for Atlas Technologies BV. However, the bankruptcy only involves the manufacturing side of the company, although the overall prospects of the venture, and the employment of more than 500 workers, are now in doubt.
The company revealed just a few months ago that it had raised $80 million ahead of the start of Lightyear 0 production in Finland.
Earlier this month the company opened a waiting list for the Lightyear 2, which will incorporate many of the technologies from the company’s first model, only some of which are believed to have been produced since early December.
“In the coming period the trustees will focus on the position of employees and creditors and evaluate how the Light Year concept can be continued,” added the company.
Lightyear saw solar technology as the key to overcoming long-range concerns as well as charging expenses, designing its first model over six years, to power up to 43 miles per day. The sleek sedan, with a drag coefficient of 0.175 Cd, features a relatively modest 61.2-kWh battery, despite promising a total range of 388 miles in the WLTP cycle.
It remains to be seen whether the company, which has raised some cash before the start of production of the $260,000 sedan, will be able to restructure and attract more investment for its second model, or if other automakers will be willing to come on board. to save