Lightyear halts production of $270,000 solar-electric vehicle

Lightyear 0 at CES earlier this month. (Reuters)

solar powered electric vehicle Manufacturer Lightyear said it is halting production of its flagship Lightyear 0, its premium EV with a €250,000 ($272,000) sticker price. Although Lightyear only started production of the vehicle three months ago, it is restructuring to focus on building a cheaper model, the Lightyear 2 reported for around €40,000 ($43,500). electr.

The news comes as many electric vehicle manufacturers are cutting production and delivery dates due to a range of macroeconomic factors such as: semiconductor shortage, Battery supply problems and rising material costs due to inflation. At the same time with recession fears With a dark cloud hanging over consumers and EV startups struggling to get vehicles off the assembly line, it just doesn’t make good business sense to throw money into an extremely expensive model.

The Lightyear 0 was always intended as a technology demonstrator to be produced in limited numbers. In a press release, Lightyear said it had to overcome “many challenges” to make its vehicles a reality. The company hasn’t specified what the challenges are, but to uphold its vision, the Lightyear 0 must die for the Lightyear 2 to thrive.

“We are now focusing all of our energy on building Lightyear 2 to bring it to customers on schedule,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear, in a statement.

Lightyear opened the waitlist for Lightyear 2 at CES earlier this month, a five-seat hatchback with a promised range of 500 miles per charge. The company hasn’t shared many details about the car, but the Lightyear 2 already has over 40,000 reservations from individual buyers and about 20,000 pre-orders from fleet owners like International leasing and carsharing companies Leaseplan, MyWheels, Arval and Athlon, a company spokesman said TechCrunch.

light year 2

The Lightyear 2 is scheduled to begin mass-market volume production in late 2025. It’s not clear if the company intends to push back that production date, as it won’t be building the Lightyear 0, which there’s already prep work on -selling 150 units. Earlier this month, a Lightyear spokesperson told TechCrunch that the first Lightyear 0 had been produced and shown to the company’s first customer. The company said it has been building one car a week since November and expects to ramp up weekly production later this year.

Lightyear didn’t respond to TechCrunch in time to comment on the production date of the 2s or if it will catch up on its 0 sales.

However, Lightyear said in a press release that it had applied to the court for a moratorium on payments Atlas Technologies BV, our operating company responsible for the production of the Lightyear 0.” The company has not specified which court it has filed an application for suspension with, but according to the Dutch Business Agency, Companies can request a debt freeze for 18 months to give them time to restructure.

Lightyear will likely try to raise more cash to stay afloat. The company rose $81 million in September as it prepared to start production of the Lightyear 0, but Hoefsloot noted that the company hopes to “complete some key investments in the coming weeks to scale up the car to a wider audience.”


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