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Electric Carmaker Aptera Pulls the Plug

Short of cash, start-up battery-car maker will be shutting down.

by on Dec.03, 2011

Aptera's little battery car won't be making it into production as the California start-up shuts its doors.

After raising only a fraction of the money it needed to put its aircraft-like 2e battery-car into production, California start-up Aptera has had to pull the plug on its ambitious goal of becoming a major player in the coming market for electric vehicles.

The Southern California firm had been counting on receiving a federal loan to cover most of the $150 million it said it needed to launch production of the three-wheeled, highly aerodynamic 2e, which looks much like a private aircraft minus the wings.

But the government failed to come up with funding as the Department of Energy loan program came under increasing fire – an issue that saw the DoE back out of assisting another California automotive ‘s goalstart-up, San Diego-based Next Autoworks.  (Click Here for that story.) Turning to other sources, Aptera had so far only been able to raise $40 million.


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“After years of focused effort to bring our products to the market, Aptera Motors is closing its doors, effective today,” Aptera Chairman Paul Wilbur said in a statement announcing the battery-car maker’s decision. “This is a difficult time for everyone connected with our company because we have never been closer to realizing our vision. Unfortunately, though, we are out of resources.”


Aptera Official Insists EV Maker Here to Stay

Downplays reports of maker’s demise.

by on Aug.16, 2011

Aptera still believes it will be able to put the 2-e into production, says a senior official, though it is counting on a federal loan.

Reports of Aptera’s demise are being greatly exaggerated, insists a senior company official – with apologies to Mark Twain.

The California-based Aptera, which has been struggling to roll out the 200 mpg 2-e battery-electric vehicle, was stung by widespread reports – including coverage on TheDetroitBureau.com — suggesting it faced serious financial problems after an announcement it would refund more than 2,200 deposits placed by motorists interested in the three-wheeled 2-e.

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But while “It is taking longer than we’d like” to get into production, Aptera Chief Marketing Officer Marques McCammon tells TheDetroitBureau.com that “We can get there.”  The company is determined to bring the gull-winged green machine to market.

McCammon confirms that the biggest problem is the slow pace of a review by the Department of Energy, from which Aptera hopes to secure a large – but unspecified – loan that will help it complete development of the 2-e and push it into production.  Other start-ups echo the same concerns.


Is Aptera Pulling Plug on 200e MPG Battery Car?

Maker refunding deposits for 2-e electric despite new investors.

by on Aug.15, 2011

A runner-up in the Auto X-Prize, Aptera claimed a 200 MPGe rating for the 2-e.

One of the goals of last year’s Progressive Auto X-Prize was to come up with an assortment of green machines that could actually find a real-world market.  And despite its sci-fi shape, the three-wheeled Aptera 2-e seemed to be ready to make the leap, the company even taking deposits for the Jetsons-like battery car.

But the dream of putting the X-Prize winner into production appears to be collapsing – despite word, last month, that Aptera had lined up $2.25 million in new investments.  A letter sent to its supporters reveals that the company is going to return the deposits it has so far received, even though the firm says it has created a “VIP Database” that will put those initial enthusiasts first in line when – if? – the 2-e does ever make it into production.

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“Our path to production has been longer than anticipated which has complicated our reservation administration to the point that we have decided to return your deposit,” the e-mail noted.

Despite reports that the refunds mark the end of the dream for the little start-up, the company downplayed concerns about its long-term viability, insisting that the problem is simply a credit-car system used to take initial deposits.