• Mar 17th 2009 at 7:31PM
  • 24

Aptera 2e – Click above for image gallery

We recently opined about the fact that the Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program excludes vehicles not covered by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The subject specifically came up because Aptera is supporting a bill that would amend the rules of the program to allow alternative vehicles such as its three-wheeled 2e to be eligible for support from the low interest loan program.

The problem arises because three-wheelers are considered motorcycles and exempt from U.S. safety regulations that govern cars and trucks. The concern is that many consumers may not be aware that just because a vehicle has a fully enclosed body, it doesn't necessarily meet the safety standards that other modern vehicles do. Aptera spoke with Green Fuels Forecast about the safety elements built into its design and emphasizes that even though it is not legally required to do so (because it only has three wheels), the 2e is being crash tested and built to automotive safety standards. We'll let the Feds and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety decide whether Aptera has succeeded in its safety quest.

As for the loan program, perhaps it should be adjusted to allow vehicles that meet safety requirements to be eligible regardless of their number of wheels. Or perhaps it's time to revisit the safety rules altogether and have them apply to vehicles capable of higher speeds even if they have three wheels.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll spend the extra $1000 a year on gas over getting killed in a rear end collision in one of these things, thanks..
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok ill be the first to say what were all thinking. It looks like a giant sperm replica.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I remember reading an article practically half a decade ago on it. The owner described it as "looking like sex" I believe.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Safety is the least of their problems. Pumas10 nailed it, a rolling sperm.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering that consumers haven't expressed concern about our federal light truck roof-strength standards, which haven't been updated since 1971 despite the SUV boom, I don't think Aptera should bother. American consumers' perception of safety begins and ends with size, and crash-test results rarely convince them otherwise (see Smart).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm ashamed to admit this, but I really think this car looks awesome. It's almost like a cross between an airplane and a fish, but in a clean and aerodynamic sort of way.

      If you were to put rotors on the top, or wings, you could almost convince me it could fly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Was about to say the same, it looks like it's meant to fly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i think it's a great exercise in 'what if' but i have my doubts it will ever sell in any numbers. i'm thinking Dale, Bricklin, Vector... nothing ever becomes of them, even after a decade or more of PR fluff.

      that being said, i'd love to have one if they're legit. but as far as safety goes, it doesn't even have bumpers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @fixitfixitstop: it has wipers, they're just recessed in front of the windshields leading edge for less drag.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The government doesn't seem to care about bumpers these days anyhow.

        I'm just wondering how it manages without windshield wipers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      These are dreadful-looking cars.

      The only people who would want one of these are Prius drivers with OCD... they have poor taste in automotive styling and would do anything for better fuel economy--at any cost.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ carbon black

        yes you're right, it is designed for the sole purpose to be aerodynamic, which is great and all. but....... its too much functon and no form... design wise.

        it looks less like a car and more like a jetson-looking space ship.we might drive something like this is 25-30 years, but i really don't think we're ready for this yet....

        theres gotta be a way to get 97% of the efficiency while making it look like someone actually meant to make it look that way
        • 6 Years Ago
        Being FWD and ultra-lightweight, it'll probably do quite good in bad weather conditions.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I actually like the way it looks, and I am a Sports Car/Exotic/European/JDM fanatic.
        My favorite car is the NSX Type-R

        I Hate the Prius, but would be fine with owning one of these.

        It is designed for pure aerodynamics, and ended up looking sleek.

        It could just be me, but I like it.........
        • 6 Years Ago
        How would it do in the rain? Or snow? Ice?

        They always show concept cars in sunny weather and perfect conditions. Life is not like that. Things get sideways pretty fast now and again. What about the? does anyone make cars for those days?

        Oh yeah, the Germans do.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would actually buy this to stand out. Then LS7 that B***h.
      Elux Troxl
      • 6 Years Ago
      "As for the loan program, perhaps it should be adjusted to allow vehicles that meet safety requirements to be eligible regardless of their number of wheels. Or perhaps it's time to revisit the safety rules altogether and have them apply to vehicles capable of higher speeds even if they have three wheels. "

      Dude: the reason the Aptera has three wheels instead of four is specifically to avoid the safety rules, not for any aerodynamic or efficiency reasons. The configuration that started out as a regulatory advantage is now a financing liability.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Elux Troxl

        finally a comment that makes sense.
        No way in the world this vehicle will qualify for the tax money since it doesnt pass any US/EU regulations.

        And dont aks me how I know it doesnt

      • 6 Years Ago
      What I don't get is how a government program is going to give you better loans than the finance companies of the Big 3.

      How can you do better than invoice pricing, $2500 bonus cash, extra $500 for your trade, and 72 month 0% financing.
        • 6 Years Ago

        when u do your taxes next year u will get an extra $7500.
        Thats how.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll believe it when I see the crash test videos. Until then, it is just company press release cheerleading.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love this car... but I think it would be better looking with 4 wheel pods, maybe with the rear two narrower in track. With three wheels its not fully convincing.
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