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Lightyear's Operating Company enters bankruptcy


Dutch EV startup Atlas Technologies BV has filed for bankruptcy days after halting production of its first EV.

The company initially announced the suspension of Lightyear 0 production in order to focus all energies on bringing Lightyear 2 to market, beginning in 2025.

The EV startup's first EV is priced at around $260,000 while offering a range of up to 388 miles, and was produced under contract with Valmet Automotive in Finland.

Just days after Lightyear signaled it would halt production of its innovative, partially solar-powered, Lightyear 0 sedan to focus on its next model, the company entered bankruptcy. The Dutch start-up, which was present at CES less than a month after its first model went into production, has now stopped payments to its operating company, Atlas Technologies BV, which has contracted Valmet Automotive in Finland to produce the high-tech and high-tech vehicles. Pricing - electric sedan.

The fate of the company's second model, the Lightyear 2, is now uncertain as the company navigates the bankruptcy phase. Lightyear is aiming to start production in 2025 for the Lightyear 2, plus a starting price of just under $40,000, promising a 500-mile range between recharges thanks to solar panels and other technology.

"As announced on January 23, we had to file an application to open payment hold proceedings with respect to Atlas Technologies BV, our operating company responsible for Lightyear production," the company said in a statement.

The company's request was accepted by a court in Holland, which declared Atlas Technologies BV bankrupt. However, the bankruptcy concerned only the company's manufacturing arm, though the prospects for the entire venture, and the jobs of more than 500 employees, are now in doubt.

Just two months ago, the company revealed that it had raised $80 million before production of the Lightyear 0 began in Finland.

Earlier this month, the company opened up the Lightyear 2 waiting list, which would have listed several of the company's first-class technologies, a few of which are believed to have been in production since early December.

"In the coming period, the trustee will focus on the position of employees and creditors, in addition to evaluating how the concept of the light year will continue," the company added.

Lightyear saw solar technology as key to overcoming range anxiety as well as charge expense, and engineered its first model over a six-year period, to generate up to 43 miles of range per day. The elegant sedan, with a drag coefficient of 0.175 cd., sports a relatively modest 61.2 kWh battery, despite promising a total range of 388 miles on the WLTP cycle.

It remains to be seen if the company, which had amassed quite a bit of cash before the $260,000 sedan went into production, will be able to reorganize and attract more investment for its second model, or if another automaker will be willing to come to the rescue.

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