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Lightyear halts production of €250,000 solar-powered electric vehicle • TechCrunch

Lightyear halts production of €250,000 solar-powered electric vehicle • TechCrunch

Lightyear halts production of €250,000 solar-powered electric vehicle • TechCrunch

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Solar-powered electric vehicle maker Lightyear has announced that it is halting production of its flagship Lightyear 0, its top-of-the-range electric vehicle with a list price of €250,000. Despite starting production of the vehicle just three months ago, Lightyear is restructuring to focus on building a more affordable model, the Lightyear 2 for around €40,000, reports Electrek.

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The news comes as many electric vehicle manufacturers are pushing back production and delivery dates due to a range of macro factors including semiconductor shortages, battery supply issues and rising battery costs. materials due to inflation. At the same time, with recession fears hanging over consumers like a dark cloud and electric vehicle startups struggling to pull vehicles off the assembly line, pouring money into a hugely expensive model hasn’t just no good business sense.

The Lightyear 0 has always been designed as a technological demonstrator to be produced in limited quantities. In a press release, Lightyear said it had to overcome “many challenges” to make its vehicles a reality. The company didn’t specify what challenges, but said to save its vision, the Lightyear 0 had to die for the Lightyear 2 to thrive.

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

Lightyear opened the waiting list for Lightyear 2, a five-seat sedan with a promised range of 500 miles per charge, earlier this month at CES. The company hasn’t shared many details about the car, but the Lightyear 2 already has more than 40,000 reservations from individual buyers and around 20,000 pre-orders from fleet owners like international leasing and car-sharing companies Leaseplan, MyWheels, Arval and Athlon, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The Lightyear 2 is expected to begin mass-volume production in late 2025. It’s unclear whether the company intends to push that production date now that it won’t be building the Lightyear 0, for which it has already pre-sold 150 units. Earlier this month, a Lightyear spokesperson told TechCrunch that the first Lightyear 0 has been produced and shown to the company’s first customer. The company said it has been building one car a week since November and plans to increase weekly production later this year.

Lightyear didn’t respond to TechCrunch in time to comment on when the 2 will be produced or if it will achieve its 0 sales.

However, Lightyear said in a press release that it had submitted a request to the “court to initiate proceedings for suspension of payment relating to Atlas Technologies BV, our operating company responsible for the production of the Lightyear 0”. The company did not say which court it submitted a stay request to, but according to the Dutch Companies Agency, companies can request that their debts be frozen for 18 months, giving them time to reorganize. .

Lightyear will likely try to raise more money to stay afloat. The company raised $81 million in September as it prepared to start production on Lightyear 0, but Hoefsloot noted that the company hopes to “conclude some key investments in the coming weeks to develop” the car for a wider audience.

Tech

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