Lightyear, the Dutch solar EV maker that was declared insolvent at the beginning of the year, is getting back to work developing the mass-market Lightyear 2 model after successfully going through a restructuring process.
The Netherlands-based company is better known for the radical, $250,000 Lightyear 0 solar car that briefly made it into production for a couple of weeks at the end of last year before declaring bankruptcy in January of 2023.
Now however, the company says it has raised enough capital to continue working on its second model, the much more affordable Lightyear 2, which is supposed to have a starting price of around $40,000 in the United States.
“I am very happy that we managed to complete the restructuring, which we believe is in the interest of the sustainable success of Lightyear, taking into account the interests of its stakeholders,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder. “The whole team and many of our stakeholders have worked hard to make this possible. I would like to explicitly thank all of them.”
As part of the restructuring, the operating company, the parent company, and the solar panel division have been integrated into a new entity called Lightyear Technologies which now employs a much smaller workforce of about 100 people, compared to the 600 that used to be a part of the initial team.
Additionally, Lightyear will sell some of its stocks and will auction off some of the Lightyear 0 demo vehicles made before the bankruptcy, in a bid to raise additional capital and pay back creditors.
“We have tried to represent the interests of employees from the Netherlands and abroad as well as possible,” said bankruptcy administrator Reinoud van Oeijen. “At the same time, we also tried to limit the damage to the creditors as much as possible. This way, there was a chance of a restart.
It was a complex issue we were facing with many stakeholders. Fortunately, the restart has been achieved within a reasonable short period of time and everyone now has clarity.”
To get back on its feet, Lightyear was aided by several investors: the Impact Investor Group (IIG) raised enough capital for the restart, while SHV, DELA, Eikenbosch Holding, Invest-NL, BOM, and LIOF contributed Lightyear’s intellectual property to the restructured company.
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