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Old 08-16-2011, 05:49 AM   #1
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Default Is Aptera Pulling Plug on 200e MPG Battery Car?


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

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.

“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.

The outboard front wheels, gullwing doors and rear swallow tail make the 2-e look more like an aircraft than automobile.

The system was designed to hold deposits for only six months and so, since the cars aren’t yet ready for sale, “maintenance of the account has become problematic for our credit card processor and administratively cumbersome for Aptera.”

The 2-e, which first went into testing in 2007, was one of the finalists in last year’s Auto X-Prize, which generated an array of unusual green machines. An early version, the Type-1, used an unusual diesel-electric hybrid and claimed an average fuel economy of 230 miles per gallon. The 2-e, as the name suggests, is a pure electric vehicle that reportedly reaches an equivalent of 200 mpg.

The prototype uses an unusual 3-wheel configuration, two up front under what look like stubby wings, and a single rear wheel that rides under a sort of swallow-tail rear end.

Aptera, like many new battery-car start-ups, has been struggling to generate enough revenue to keep going – something that has crippled several promising automotive wannabes like Bright Automotive, which scrubbed its initial product program. Aptera is one of many counting on receiving financial assistance from the Department of Energy under a program designed to support the development of high-mileage vehicles.
The problem is that the DoE requires companies like Aptera to prove they can be viable even without receiving federal aid.

The maker has been reluctant to provide specifics of its recent problems. It has said it plans to shift production out of San Diego, though it has not yet revealed where it now hopes to assemble the 2-e. Initial plans had called for the company to sell as many as 20,000 of the battery cars annually.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:51 PM   #2
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hehe...get it....shocker?....

oh well.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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Does anybody really care? Wait, did they get a huge amount of money from the government? Not sure, if so, are they going to pay it back?

edit: Never mind, I read the article.. they were counting on a large DoE grant. But since their business model sucks, they did not get any. Sounds like they just need more congressional favors.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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It's just a problem with the deposit system because they started taking deposits too early. Not because they're taking too long .

And yes, people do care about the Aptera succeeding .
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