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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.