Thursday, April 25, 2024
NewsBankruptcy: the sunset happened too soon for Lightyear

Bankruptcy: the sunset happened too soon for Lightyear

  • The company had only assembled about a dozen cars.

  • The court approved the request of the operating company responsible for the production of the Lightyear, Atlas Technologies B.V.

  • The Lightyear 2 was capable to drive around 800 km on one charge, according to the WLTP method.


 

It’s never easy to start a business in the automotive industry. Several small companies – or “startups” if you prefer the modern expression – never made it past the profitability stage and had to give up their ambitions.

This time, the Dutch firm Lightyear, which for about six years has been working on an electric car powered by solar energy to increase its range between recharges, finally declared bankruptcy. The operating company responsible for Lightyear’s production, Atlas Technologies B.V., made the official announcement on January 23rd, when a request was made to open a suspension of payment procedure.

This suspension of payment was granted by the Rechtbank Oost-Brabant located in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. The court formalized the bankruptcy of Atlas Technologies B.V. and appointed Mr. R. van Oeijen from Holla as the insolvency administrator.

“Lightyear regrets to have to make this announcement for all employees, customers, investors and suppliers and will work closely with the trustee and all those involved and hopes for their understanding and support. In the coming period, the trustee will focus on the position of the employees and creditors as well as on the assessment of how the Lightyear concept can be continued,” the Dutch company said on its website.

Lightyear 2 | Photo: Lightyear

At the request of Mr. R. van Oeijen, the court will declare a cooling-off period, during which any authority of third parties, other than creditors of the estate, to recover assets belonging to the estate or to claim assets that are under the control of Atlas or the trustee, for a period not exceeding two months, cannot be exercised except with the permission of the supervising judge.

Let’s remember that the Lightyear 1 prototype was revealed in 2019, followed by the production of the Lightyear 0 a year later. The car, which had a roof covered with solar panels, had the potential to add between 20 and 70 km of range per day depending on the weather. Production of the company’s first-ever car was outsourced to Valmet in Finland, at a rate of one car per week.

More recently, Lightyear was spotted at CES in Las Vegas where it presented the Lightyear 2, a production car that was supposed to attract a wider audience thanks to a price tag of around 40,000 euros. The “affordable” car had the potential to travel an estimated 800 km according to the WLTP calculation method, a distance that would have been shorter according to the North American calculation method, notably used by the American EPA and RnC (Natural Resources Canada).

To date, Lightyear had accumulated no less than 60,000 reservations for the 2, which forced the company’s management to stop production of the expensive Lightyear 0 in favor of the Lightyear 2. But the court accepted Atlas Technologies B.V.’s bankruptcy petition and appointed a trustee to oversee the proceedings.

At this time, all is not lost, as it is still possible that the parties involved will reach an agreement. At least for the time being, the payments of the production company are stopped during the reorganization.

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