Aptera’s visionary three-wheeled, two-seat electric vehicle will never become a reality as the company unfortunately announced that it closed its door effective December 2nd. The reasoning behind it – as it is often for many companies – was that Aptera ran out of resources.
Paul Wilbur, President and CEO of Aptera Motors disclosed the company’s closure in a press release and went into some detail on the company’s history and the direction they were hoping to head. They had recently received a Conditional Commitment Letter for a $150-million Advance Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan. That loan would have provided funding towards the development of a five-passenger, midsized sedan similar to Toyota‘s Camry. Aptera was optimistic that this vehicle could have been priced at under $30,000 and achieve more than 190-mpg.
The last remaining hurdle for Aptera was to find new funds to match the Department of Energy (DOE) loan. While this was happening, Aptera was pushing forward with reactivating a mothballed automotive plant in Moraine, Ohio and had even engaged the labor union to discuss the hiring of 1,400 workers. They continued developing their patent-pending composite manufacturing system that would have enabled energy-efficient vehicle production by drastically reducing vehicle weight by as much as 30-percent while tripling its strength.
Aptera also expressed that through real measured performance in tests at Argonne National Labs, they were confident they could have brought to market a vehicle with a 206 EPA miles per gallon rating. Unfortunately, what probably cost them the most was having to change their product plan from their rad three-wheeled, two-seater to a more convention four-door sedan.
Aptera still wants to be optimistic with the future however, stating that much of their technology is open for someone to grab. They still look forward to helping pursue a future with more efficient driving, and perhaps their closure may ultimately open doors to someone with the funding to incorporate their technology into a real-world vehicle.