When congress established the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program in the 2007 energy bill, it explicitly said that it applied to making cars that come under the federal motor vehicle safety standards. Those safety standards apply only to vehicles with four or more wheels, meaning that three wheelers like the Aptera 2e were not eligible for the money.
This week, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a bill that revises the $25 billion loan program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy. The ATVM program now applies to high efficiency two- and three-wheelers that carry at least two people and get 75 mpg or more. Aptera is now revising and re-submitting its loan application based on the new rules. In spite of not being required to meet federal safety standards, Aptera has committed to passing all the crash requirements anyway. Now the company may be able to get some-low cost funding to help expand and get cars into customer hands.