- Dutch EV startup Lightyear operating company Atlas Technologies BV entered bankruptcy days after production of its first EV was discontinued.
- The company initially announced it was suspending Lightyear 0 production to focus all energy on bringing the Lightyear 2 to market, starting in 2025.
- The EV 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 indicated it was stopping production of its innovative, partly solar-powered Lightyear 0 sedan to focus on its next model, the company has entered bankruptcy. The Dutch startup, which appeared at CES less than a month after production of its first model started, has now halted payments to its operating company, Atlas Technologies BV, which contracted Valmet Automotive in Finland to manufacture the high-tech—and high-priced—electric sedan.
The fate of the company’s second model, the Lightyear 2, is now uncertain as the company is facing bankruptcy. Lightyear aims to start production in 2025 for the Lightyear 2, as well as a starting price of just under the $40,000 mark, promising 500 miles between recharges thanks to solar panels and other technology.
“As announced on January 23, we have had to submit a request for opening a payment processing hold in relation to Atlas Technologies BV, our operating company responsible for production of Lightyear,” the company said in a statement.
The company’s request was granted by a court in the Netherlands, which declared bankruptcy for Atlas Technologies BV. However, the bankruptcy concerned only the manufacturing portion of the company, although the prospects for the entire business, and the employment of more than 500 employees, are now in doubt.
The company revealed just a few months ago that it had raised $80 million prior to its commencement Lightyear 0 is produced in Finland.
Earlier this month the company opened a waiting list for Light year 2which will incorporate much of the technology from the company’s first model, only a few of which are believed to have been produced since early December.
“In the coming period the trustee will focus on the position of employees and creditors and assess how the Lightyear concept can proceed,” the company added.
Lightyear sees solar technology as the key to addressing range anxieties as well as charging costs, engineering its first model for six years, to deliver a range of 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, though it promises an overall range of 388 miles in the WLTP cycle.
It remains to be seen whether the company, which has raised enough cash before production of the $260,000 sedan begins, will be able to reorganize and attract more investment into its second model, or whether other automakers are willing to come along. to save.