Lightyear’s Operating Company Enters Bankruptcy

  • Dutch EV startup Lightyear’s operating company, Atlas Technologies BV, is entering bankruptcy days after production of its first EV was halted.
  • The company initially announced suspended production of the Lightyear 0 to focus all energy on bringing the Lightyear 2 to market, starting in 2025.
  • The EV startup’s first EV had a starting price of around $260,000 while offering a range of 388 miles, and was manufactured under contract by Valmet Automotive in Finland.

Days after Lightyear indicated it was ceasing production of its innovative and partially solar-powered Lightyear 0 sedan to focus on its next model, the company entered bankruptcy. The Dutch startup, which was present 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 contracted Valmet Automotive in Finland to develop the high-tech and to produce high technology. priced electric sedan.

The fate of the company’s second model, the Lightyear 2, is now uncertain as the company navigates bankruptcy. Lightyear has targeted a 2025 production start for the Lightyear 2, as well as a starting price just under the $40,000 mark, promising a range of 500 miles between recharges thanks to solar panels and other technologies.

“As announced on January 23, we had to submit the request for the opening of the suspension of payment proceedings in relation to Atlas Technologies BV, our operating company responsible for the manufacture 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 concerns only the manufacturing arm of the company, even though the prospects of the entire enterprise, and the jobs of more than 500 employees, 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 would have included many technologies 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 the employees and creditors as well as determining how the Lightyear concept can be continued,” the company added.

Seeing solar technology as the key to overcoming range anxiety as well as charging expenses, Lightyear designed his first model over the course of six years to generate up to 43 miles of range per day. The sleek sedan, with a drag coefficient of 0.175 Cd, had a relatively modest 61.2 kWh battery, although promised an overall range of 388 miles in the WLTP cycle.

It remains to be seen whether the company, which raised a lot of cash just before production of the $260,000 sedan, will be able to reorganize and attract more investment for its second model, or if another automaker will be willing be to come To the rescue.