Aptera Motors Calls it Quits; Three-wheeled Electric 2e Is Down for the Count

By · December 03, 2011

Aptera Motors

Aptera Motors shuts down after failing to secure funds necessary to develop and produce its three-wheeled electric 2e.

Aptera, the California startup known for developing the space age, three-wheeled electric 2e, has closed its doors after failing to raise the necessary funds to put its ultra-efficient electric vehicle into production. Aptera Motors received a conditional $150 million loan offer from the US DoE, but failed to secure $80 million in private investments required to receive DoE funding, Aptera chief executive officer Paul Wilbur announced on Friday. Wilbur stated:

"A couple of years ago the market was pretty gung-ho about new electric vehicle companies starting up. There is a hesitancy now for investors to put large capital into almost any investment, but the automotive investment—it's pretty difficult to find those investors. We were looking for a big dog to lead the way. We had all of our commercialization plans in place. We were a check away from going into production."

Aptera's primary investors include Idealab, Google and NRG Energy. The startup automaker reports that it will not file bankruptcy, but will implement "an orderly liquidation."

Aptera Motors

Aptera calls it quits. The startup electric automaker is now seeking buyers for its technologies.

According to Aptera's official statement, all operations, including development work on the electric 2e, will immediately cease:

"After years of focused effort to bring our products to the market, Aptera Motors is closing its doors, effective today. 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. It is especially disappointing since we were so close."

"We remain confident, even as this chapter closes, that Aptera has contributed new technologies to build a future for more efficient driving. Through the dedicated staff at Aptera, our board and suppliers we have touched this future. All that remains is for someone to grab it. We still believe it will happen."

All is not entirely lost for Aptera Motors. The startup automaker is apparently in talks with prospective buyers to sell some of its technologies. As for refunds, Aptera made no specific mention regarding how or when it intends to pay back those who put deposits down on the now-dead Aptera 2e.

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