Just when things were looking up for Dutch automaker Lightyear, the solar-powered car pioneer has been dealt a massive blow.
Lightyear, the Dutch automaker and pioneer behind the solar-powered Lightyear 0 and forthcoming Lightyear 2 electric vehicles, has just been dealt a massive blow, as it has announced the successful filing for bankruptcy by Atlas Technologies, the division responsible for manufacturing these revolutionary EVs.
The news arrives on the back of a recent declaration from the company that the Lightyear 0 - the brand's $265,000 halo launch model - would be shelved so that the focus could be moved to the Lightyear 2, a mainstream successor to the 0 that would be sold for a targeted $40,000. We even caught our first glimpse of the Lightyear 2 at CES, and things were looking strong for the Dutch mobility brand.
Lightyear, if you didn't know, first revealed the Lightyear One concept in 2019, evolving it to become the production Lightyear 0. This BEV was supplemented by a roof-mounted solar panel and ultra-aerodynamic bodywork that promised to revolutionize the EV segment, and received buy-ins from the likes of Koenigsegg and even the Dutch government.
It was the latter investment that was supposed to fuel the development of the 2, which is intended to be the brand's equivalent of the Tesla Model 3 - a mainstream, affordable EV to expand the brand's reach globally. With its combination of plug-in battery, efficient aero, and solar panels to charge on the fly, the Lightyear 2 will travel a claimed 500 miles on a charge (WLTP measurement) and was slated for production in 2025.
However, with Atlas Technologies B.V. being declared bankrupt, the Lightyear 2's future is unclear. In a statement from the automaker declaring the bankruptcy, Lightyear stated that it "regrets having to make this announcement for all employees, customers, investors and suppliers and will work closely with the curator and all the people who are involved and hope for their understanding and support."
The court has appointed Mr. R. van Oeijen from Holla legal & tax as trustee, who will "focus on the position of the employees and creditors as well as assessing how the Lightyear concept can be continued."
Atlas Technologies B.V. is the parent company with ownership of the Lightyear intellectual property. If it can secure new investment or possibly sell off the IP to someone willing to further the development and production, there may be hope that the innovative idea can be continued. However, we remain cautious and will wait for more information before getting our hopes up.
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