Solar carmaker Lightyear files for bankruptcy
Thanks to Tesla, Rivian, Lucid and now traditional automakers, electric vehicles are in vogue, but solar-powered models are struggling.
In December 2022, Lightyear 0 has gone into productionbut just over a month later, the factory line was halted and Light year bankruptcy and in management.
Last weekend, the Dutch carmaker stopped paying its subsidiary Atlas Technologies, which is responsible for the development and production of solar-powered electric vehicles. Atlas is now in the hands of an administrator or person in charge.
In a statement, the company said: “In the coming period, the person in charge will focus on the position of employees and creditors and assess how the Lightyear concept can be continued.”
All of this comes just days after Lightyear announced it was discontinuing production of the Lightyear 0 to focus on developing a smaller, more affordable vehicle, called the Lightyear 2.
Lightyear 0 is built in Finland by contract manufacturer Valmet. Launching in mid-2022Lightyear 0 is a large electric car 5 meters long with about 5 square meters of solar panels on the roof and bonnet.
In sunny Mediterranean countries, Lightyear 0’s panels can capture solar energy to provide a range of 70 kilometers per day. Farther north in more cloudy countries, such as the Netherlands, this number drops to about 20 kilometers.
Like regular EVs, the Lightyear 0 can be plugged into the grid to recharge. It is powered by a 60 kWh battery and has a WLTP driving range of 625 km.
While other EV manufacturers have combined their desire to save the planet with tearing performance, Lightyear prioritizes efficiency.
The elongated body, partially concealed rear wheel arches, thin tires and flat undercarriage all contribute to a drag coefficient of just 0.19, lower than the 0.20 registered by the most efficient versions. of this vehicle. Mercedes-Benz EQS.
Although it has an electric motor for each wheel, the performance is very leisurely with a 0-100km/h time of around 10 seconds.
With a starting price of €250,000 ($383,000) before sales tax, it’s likely Lightyear has struggled to generate enough orders to meet its 946-per-year production limit.
Since the company has just begun management, it’s unclear if the company has a path to develop the Lightyear 2, a smaller, more affordable model that costs around €30,000 ($46,000).
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