8/18/2010 2:42 PM
For some time there has been a fair degree of doubt over whether the Aptera 2e will ever make it into production. For some, the doubt began with an initial glance at the vehicle, which is so far afield of a traditional automobile that it could be daunting for many buyers. Nonetheless, Aptera has managed to stick around for nearly four years thus far. But, are their days numbered?
Aptera originally planned to use the XPrize Automotive competition as a forum for validating the concept and design of the Aptera 2e. That, however, did not go so well. For example, one test required competitors to change lanes at a minimum speed of 45 mph (on a straight pass) with no throttle or brakes to control the vehicle. For Aptera, it took 40 tries to complete the test satisfactorily – and on one attempt, a door even popped open. In some of the other tests, the 2e squeaked by at best.
Despite lackluster performance in the trials, Aptera remained a contender in the competition, and put on a smile about the vehicle's launch prospects. There is evidence, however, that their prospects appear to be dimming. The company is still searching for additional funding in order to be able to bring the car to production. Any money from XPrize will not even be a drop in the bucket, and there is uncertainty about the likelihood of the DOE financing that Aptera is hoping for. There are rumblings in the blogs and media that the launch date, which went from 2010 to 2011, will very likely be pushed to 2012. The reservations section of Aptera’s website asks for deposits, but promises only that the company is working hard to make the vehicle available as soon as possible. This series of unfortunate missteps and happenings will no doubt be very damaging to the sales prospects of a vehicle that was already going to require a leap of faith for buyers to accept. Stay tuned.
to "Is Aptera Dying on the Vine?"