The corporate says it didn’t take the choice evenly, provided that it’ll affect its workers, in addition to “buyers, shoppers, suppliers and the federal government.” It’ll additionally presumably have an effect on Valmet Automotive, the firm Lightyear contracted to construct the 0 (and which introduced potential layoffs on the facility chargeable for making the automobile earlier this month). As for why Lightyear’s determined to halt manufacturing, the corporate is obscure — it says it’s confronted a number of challenges over the previous a number of months and that the transfer is supposed to “safeguard our imaginative and prescient.”
Lightyear additionally says it’s asking the courtroom to start “suspension of cost proceedings” for the corporate chargeable for making the Lightyear 0; its company construction features a holding firm in addition to one other group.
The Lightyear 0, revealed in 2019, was meant to be a flagship automobile (as its worth made apparent) and will theoretically rise up to 44 miles of vary by solar energy alone, supplied by 5 sq. meters of panels. That’s not precisely widespread for EVs; the Lightyear 0 was one of many first to enter manufacturing with solar energy capabilities, although it’s unclear what number of the corporate truly ended up making. Its authentic plan was to supply 946.
The Lightyear 2, introduced at this 12 months’s CES, is supposed for a completely totally different market, with the corporate saying it’ll “inherit all of the improvements of Lightyear 0 at a fraction of the market worth.” Based on Monday’s announcement, it already has “20,000 pre-orders from fleet house owners” for the crossover. Creating the 0 gave the corporate “many worthwhile learnings over the previous years” that it’ll use when making the two, in response to a quote from CEO and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot within the press launch.
With that mentioned, it’d be onerous to inform if 0 actually proved itself, given that there have been doubtless solely a handful ever constructed.
Lightyear didn’t instantly reply to The Verge’s request for touch upon what would occur to any already-produced Lightyear 0s or whether or not its restructuring plan concerned layoffs. One other query mark is how the corporate plans on funding work on the Lightyear 2.
Now not promoting nearly a thousand hyper-expensive vehicles will nearly definitely require a change in plans. The corporate says it hopes to “conclude some key investments within the coming weeks with the intention to scale as much as Lightyear 2,” however I’ve to surprise if this information will have an effect on these plans.