Lightyear: 2025 production start remains uncertain

Image: Lightyear

Following the restructuring, Dutch solar EV start-up Lightyear is sticking to its plan to bring the Lightyear 2 to series production at a price of less than €40,000. According to a media report, the 2025 market launch is not yet set in stone.

“In the meantime, we are back on track and have formed a powerful team that is preparing the market entry of the Lightyear 2,” Bernd Martens told German Automobilwoche. The long-serving Audi board member responsible for purchasing was Lightyear’s COO from December 2022 and has since moved to the supervisory board.

According to Martens, the company is still examining whether it can maintain the 2025 market launch. Talks with suppliers are ongoing. “I continue to fully believe in the concept of bringing an electric vehicle with solar technology to the market at an attractive price with the Lightyear 2,” he says.

The Lightyear 2, intended for the mass market and priced from €40,000, was first announced at the end of 2021 – at that time, the base price was €30,000. The Dutch company presented more details about the vehicle at the CES this January and opened a waiting list for interested parties. Since the car is not yet fully developed, the key technical aspects could still change. According to earlier information, there are already 40,000 reservations from private individuals and more than 21,000 pre-orders from fleet operators.

Incidentally, Martens was signed in December 2022 – virtually as production of the €250,000 Lightyear 0 kicked off. The manager now says he had to “fundamentally restructure the company immediately to maintain a market opportunity”. The result is well known: The company stopped producing the Lightyear 0 in mid-January due to financial problems. A few days later, the Lightyear operating company Atlas Technologies filed for insolvency.

In February, a new company was founded to fully concentrate on the Lightyear 2. Lightyear completed the restructuring, the refocusing on the volume model, and the reduction of costs in early April. The company still employs about 100 people. (in German, paywall)


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