• Mar 12th 2009 at 12:48PM
  • 16
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ApteraForum member HadleyRille generously let us see one of the renderings he made recently of a few hundred Aptera 2es on an apparently endless plane. But, considering that over 4,000 of these vehicles have been pre-ordered thus far, it only makes sense to get a glimpse of what that many of these vehicles would look like. So, if you're an Aptera fan, may we suggest clicking here for your latest computer wallpaper? Here's the thing: this might be the closest we ever get to seeing this many of these EVs.

WIRED reports that the federal government pretty much automatically denied Aptera any of the loan money that it requested because the feds are not interested in funding a vehicle with only three wheels. California Congressman Brian Bilbray is working to change this through an "Innovative Vehicle Act," but it'll take amending the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) to do so.

[Source: HadleyRille, WIRED]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      We really have to rally behind that Innovative Vehicle Act.

      I still can't believe how strong the body of that thing is. Have you seen the sledge hammer challenge? They have a standing offer of $100 for anyone who can put a dent in it with a sledge hammer. Also I hear that they are building and crushing them, but I can't find any crash test videos yet. You can find the sledge hammer video at http://www.EcoSoln.com .
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, maybe Aptera can make it on their own. If they make a good product that a lot of people want to buy....federal funds can be a crutch anyway IMHO =)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hum, isn't that the way this country ran for centuries........before "O" changed everything.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Umm ... I meant Michigan ... doh.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Likely. The DOE has been very reluctant to hand out any loans to small EV (and related) companies. They'd rather keep it in the good ol boys network.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Aptera does not require a motorcycle endorsement in California, although it is registered as a motorcycle. You do not need to wear a helmet to operate it, either. It has seat belts, front and side airbags and most of the safety equipment you would see in a 'car'. Thankfully, it does not have '5mph bumpers' which would ruin the aerodynamics. Crush zones front and rear are designed in. Crash testing data will be available before full production kicks in, scheduled to begin in October, 2009.

      Adding another wheel that touches the ground has a price to pay in terms of drag, so you probably won't see any design for a fourth wheel on this model. Aptera begins production with a fully electric, then comes a plug-in hybrid and a gas-only model.

      The Aptera should be the 'least energy per mile' two passenger highway-capable production vehicle for many years coming.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cool picture!
      • 6 Years Ago
      How much would you like to bet that Detroit congressmen are trying to derail/lobby against Aptera?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, I've read on the Detroit News they are calling for people to boycott southern states like Alabama because companies like Mercedes have begun manufacturing there and offering residents great job opportunities.

        How dare Alabama do that.
      Jon
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sperm cells.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Apparently circumventing federal automotive regulations by building a 3 wheeled car is a two edged sword...

      Honestly I agree with the feds on this one. If you're not going to certify your vehicle to automotive standards, you shouldn't get funds earmarked for automotive companies.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Aptera has chosen the three wheel design to significantly reduce drag. Also they are setting their car up to pass all of the steps necessary to pass the four wheeled vehicle standards even though they will not need to pass it. IMO, they should have access to that funding, especially if they can pass the four wheeled safety tests.

        Check out more information on safety of the Aptera at:
        http://localhost:8080/greenprojects-web/app.jsp#view=projects.viewproject-53
      • 6 Years Ago
      Aptera originally said it would do real crash tests (not just computer simulations) last summer - did they ever take place?

      A big issue is how individual state DMVs treat the Aptera - as a motorcycle, it could require a separate motorcycle endorsement to operate and require both passenger and driver to wear helmets.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They are doing crash testing right now. Supposedly the body is 6 times as strong as steel. Check out the body taking a few hits with a sledgehammer at: http://www.EcoSoln.com
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, Aptera did announce a planned 4 wheel design, but I don't know how far along it was. Maybe they could try again when that one was ready.

      The Wired article had a few comments suggesting simply putting two wheels where one now sits (maybe narrow motorcycle tires?) or perhaps a removable "training wheel" and it would then qualify as a "car".

      But changing the law just might be quicker.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If they add a fourth wheel, then it will be subjected to crash standards. That doesn't look like it would fair well in a crash.
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