Lightyear declared bankrupt, to focus on affordable models
Atlas Technologies, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Lightyear, has been declared bankrupt. For the last six years, the company has been in the works to develop the world's first solar-powered electric car, christened Lightyear 0.
The parent firm submitted a request on January 23 to suspend payment proceedings for its operating company responsible for Lightyear 0.
According to the firm, a suspension was granted by Rechtbank Oost-Brabant located's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. "Lightyear regrets having to make this announcement for all employees, customers, investors, and suppliers and will work closely with the curator and all the people involved and hope for their understanding and support," the company said in a statement.
However, the firm added that in the coming months, the "trustee will focus on the position of the employees and creditors as well as assessing how the Lightyear concept can be continued."
The company discontinued its flagship model
The start of bankruptcy proceedings of Atlas Technologies a few days ago was followed by Lightyear announcing its decision to discontinue developments of its flagship model - Lightyear 0. According to the firm, the decision was taken to focus its resources on developing its advanced variant - Lightyear 2. "We are now redirecting all our energy towards building Lightyear 2 to make it available to clients on schedule," said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder, in a statement.
The firm began the production of Lightyear 0 towards the end of 2022 in its Finland plant. The company incurred higher than the estimated cost for its production, which meant that only a handful of orders were completed compared to its earlier target of 1,000 cars.
Lightyear 2 is planned for 2025
The firm had opened bookings for its new variant earlier this month, which is said to come at a more affordable price. The company says that Lightyear 2 has bagged over 20,000 pre-orders, primarily from fleet owners.
The solar-electric offering boasts a range of close to 500 miles (800) km using its battery pack. The car can also be untied from the electricity grid with its ability to run on free, clean solar power alone. The company plans to start producing Lightyear 2 by the end of 2025 with an estimated price point below €40,000. The vehicles will be first sold in the US, UK, and EU regions.
The firm also unveiled a prototype called Lightyear 1, the first car capable of long distances powered only by the Sun. The claimed range of the model stands at 450 miles (725 km).
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