Netherlands-based photo voltaic EV maker Lightyear has announced that it’s freezing manufacturing of its flagship mannequin, the Lightyear 0 — less than three months after going into production. As a part of a “strategic restructuring,” the corporate will now give attention to making the Lightyear 2, priced at round €40,000. That is anticipated to enter manufacturing in late 2025.
The corporate’s journey has been a protracted and spectacular one. From a scholar staff at a photo voltaic automobile competitors, Lightyear reworked right into a startup in 2016, and shortly mapped itself on the automotive map with the Lightyear 0. The photo voltaic EV featured some stirring in-house tech, promising to be a sport changer in a distinct segment market. It additionally got here with a prohibitive price ticket: €250,000.
Lightyear says that it hasn’t taken this determination to pivot evenly, because it impacts its “workers,” “traders,” “shoppers,” “suppliers,” and “the federal government.” The explanation behind the transfer stays imprecise, with the announcement citing “challenges” over the previous months, which made the motion a needed step to “safeguard” the startup’s imaginative and prescient.
It’s not unreasonable to imagine that battery supply bottlenecks, semiconductor shortages, and rising prices of supplies attributable to inflation may need impacted Lightyear. And past that, with recession issues growing, switching from a restricted luxurious product to a extra reasonably priced one looks as if a well timed strategic transfer.
With the Lightyear 2, the corporate is concentrating on a wholly totally different (and wider) market, in comparison with the primary mannequin that was primarily meant as a expertise demonstrator to be produced in restricted portions.
The brand new five-seater hatchback, with a promised vary of 800km and 50% decrease emissions in comparison with typical EVs, was announced at this year’s CES. Whereas the corporate hasn’t disclosed many particulars but, it said that the automobile will “inherit all of [the 0’s] improvements at a fraction of the market value.”
Based on the CEO and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot’s statement, the brand new mannequin already counts 40,000 waitlist subscriptions from particular person clients, and 20,000 pre-orders from fleet house owners.
“We hope to conclude some key investments within the coming weeks to be able to scale as much as Lightyear 2, an reasonably priced photo voltaic electrical automobile out there for a wider viewers,” he added.