Photo voltaic-powered electrical car maker Lightyear mentioned it’s halting manufacturing on its flagship Lightyear 0, its premium EV with a sticker worth of €250,000. Regardless of solely beginning manufacturing on the car three months in the past, Lightyear is restructuring to give attention to constructing a extra reasonably priced mannequin, the Lightyear 2 for round €40,000, studies Electrek.
The information comes as many electrical car makers push again manufacturing and supply dates as a result of a spread of macroeconomic elements like semiconductor shortages, battery provide points and rising prices of supplies as a result of inflation. On the similar time, with recession fears hanging over shoppers like a darkish cloud and EV startups struggling to get automobiles off the meeting line, throwing cash into a particularly costly mannequin simply doesn’t make good enterprise sense.
The Lightyear 0 was all the time meant as a know-how demonstrator to be produced in restricted portions. In a press launch, Lightyear mentioned it has needed to overcome “many challenges” as a way to make its automobiles a actuality. The corporate didn’t specify what challenges, however mentioned as a way to safeguard its imaginative and prescient, the Lightyear 0 wanted to die so the Lightyear 2 might thrive.
“We are actually redirecting all our power in the direction of constructing Lightyear 2 as a way to make it obtainable to purchasers on schedule,” mentioned Lightyear’s CEO and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot in a press release.
Lightyear opened the waitlist for Lightyear 2, a five-seater hatchback with a promised vary of 500 miles per cost, earlier this month at CES. The corporate hasn’t shared many particulars on the automotive, however already the Lightyear 2 has over 40,000 reservations from particular person patrons and about 20,000 pre-orders from fleet homeowners like worldwide leasing and car-sharing firms Leaseplan, MyWheels, Arval and Athlon, an organization spokesperson instructed TechCrunch.
The Lightyear 2 is scheduled to begin manufacturing in mass-market volumes on the finish of 2025. It’s not clear if the corporate intends to push up that manufacturing date now that it gained’t be constructing the Lightyear 0, for which it has already pre-sold 150 items. Earlier this month, a Lightyear spokesperson instructed TechCrunch the primary Lightyear 0 has been produced and proven to the corporate’s first buyer. The corporate mentioned it had been constructing one automotive per week since November and anticipated to ramp up weekly manufacturing later this yr.
Lightyear didn’t reply in time to TechCrunch to touch upon manufacturing date of the 2s or whether or not it’s going to make good on its 0 gross sales.
Nevertheless, Lightyear did say in a press launch that it submitted a request to “the courtroom to open suspension of fee proceedings in relation to Atlas Applied sciences B.V., our working firm chargeable for the manufacturing of the Lightyear 0.” The corporate didn’t stipulate to which courtroom it submitted a suspension request, however in keeping with the Netherlands Enterprise Company, firms can request to have their money owed frozen for 18 months, giving them time to reorganize.
Lightyear will probably attempt to elevate extra money to remain afloat. The corporate raised $81 million in September because it ready to begin manufacturing on Lightyear 0, however Hoefsloot famous that the corporate hopes to “conclude some key investments within the coming weeks as a way to scale up” the automotive for a wider viewers.