• Jul 13th 2011 at 11:56AM
  • 33
2010 Aptera 2e - Click above for high-res image gallery

Remember Aptera? Well, after the automaker's 2e struggled at last year's Automotive X-Prize competition, Aptera went silent. That is, until the automaker announced its intentions to relocate. After that announcement, Aptera returned to hush mode. Why? Well, it seems financial difficulties could be a brewin' over at Aptera.

Our buds over at All Cars Electric checked in on Aptera and discovered the automaker is no longer accepting reservations for the 2e. Well, at least not at this point in time. Aptera's 2e reservation page currently offers a pretty ominous message:

This page is temporarily unavailable. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Why? Well, ACE says an unnamed Aptera employee claims "there's an issue with the Wells Fargo escrow account at the moment, so we're unable to accept reservations" and that Aptera is undergoing a restructuring, so the site will soon be modified to reflect these changes.

The folks over at ACE reached out to Aptera for official comment on the situation, but did not received a response from the automaker. Seems a bit fishy, doesn't it?



Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 AOL

[Source: All Cars Electric]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ampera seems to have generated three reactions: The first group, love the concept and the looks, and would be eager fans. (probably not buyers). The second group, dislike the vehicle and think the concept and viability of something so clearly impractical,unsafe,and unmarketable, is counterproductive to EV adoption. The third group, laughed their asses off at the Ampera design, and shook their heads in disbelief that anyone would be crazy enough to invest in such project. This group now regrets that a few of these peculiar little vehicle's weren't sold to brighten up an EV industry that has grown all too serious! I wanted to buy a few for EV resort rental. I thought that as a novelty they would attract tourist hire. (maybe labelled "Clarkson Specials") Having built the first workable prototypes, the company should have tried to secure the services of a low production body builder, and outsourced the installation of the drive-train. The finished vehicles could have been shipped to customers, with servicing arrangements through a network of Auto-electricians. I agree with Nick, and his namesake from Montreal, although the Ampera was never going to be a mass produced mainstream vehicle, a profitable, low volume production of a few hundred a year was possible. Hey, here's DF's big chance! DF should immediately offer his services (and Money) to take back the company from the 'douche' and, with founder Steve Fambro, make it profitable!?
        Nick From Montreal
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Well, after their inevitable bankruptcy, someone could buy back the molds/assets and sell this as a kit. There's a lot of fiberglass/composite low volume kit makers out there and Aptera could be one of them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        It's Aptera moron.
        EVnerdGene
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        there's the rub: "low volume production of a few hundred a year was possible. " Marco Polo And how many tens of millions were invested?
      Ride Recon
      • 4 Years Ago
      http://www.riderecon.net Links to automotive news sources. Updated daily. Drudge Report inspired. Bookmark it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I talked with team at Aptera and they are revamping the the process. Apparently Wells Fargo did a process change on them and left them out to dry. Now they are scrambling to fix the system so that they don't take a bigger black eye. Just another case of big banks not giving a hell about whoe they burn. This is legit. I talked to the top brass at Aptera
      writofreplevin
      • 4 Years Ago
      Rumor has it that Aptera 2E will use EEstor exclusively.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 4 Years Ago
        @writofreplevin
        that is some true grit you got there : )
        Spec
        • 4 Years Ago
        @writofreplevin
        LOL. Yeah . . . any day now. The poor EV industry struggles enough, it is too bad that there are so many frauds. :-(
      Spec
      • 4 Years Ago
      They missed their window. Think, Aptera, and other small EV companies had to get product out the door before the major auto makers jumped in. But now with the GM Volt and Nissan Leaf in showrooms and the Ford EV on the way, these little guys are pretty much toast. :-( I think it is particularly sad for the Aptera since it would have been such a nice little commuter vehicle. The aerodynamics and light weight meant that it could have a 100 mile range yet be charged up overnight with just a 110V outlet.
        JakeY
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Totally agree. Most of the small EV maker had chance if they released earlier. When Nissan announced the Leaf at $34k I knew they missed their chance. Wish them the best of luck though (they'll need it).
      Nick From Montreal
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stop torturing these guys. They are not doing well, they are out of money and will never be able to compete with cars from Nissan, Ford or Mitsubishi. I'm kind of surprised they still have money to pay employees and a rent. Hopefully, they are working on a Plan "B" that doesn't involve selling a 3-wheel vehicle.
        Spec
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Nick From Montreal
        Yeah, when the tax-credit came out and excluded 3-wheel vehicles (except for a small credit), that pretty much killed Aptera.
          Nick From Montreal
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @letstakeawalk Sorry for not being clear. To me, venture class refers to a business that has a chance to scale up and create value for shareholders. To me Aptera could have been successful as a low-volume boutique manufacturer, but they took venture investment and had zero chance of repaying back their investors. "Non-scalable" or "limited growth potential" could be better terms. I know because I had a software company that could have done well as a 5-10 people shop but failed when we took investors and couldn't scale up to what they were (understandably) expecting.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, wasn't Aptera approved for the tax rebate?
          letstakeawalk
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spec
          What is a "venture-class" company? I've never heard anyone use that term to describe a company. Aptera is a manufacturer, just like Tesla or Fisker. However, it doesn't seem that Aptera's business plan is as well developed as either of those two, which is why they're having problems. A good business plan would have attracted investors (perhaps including venture capital, which is a financial business that provides funding to other kinds of businesses), by laying out out a clear plan of operation. Perhaps your understanding of how a manufacturer operates is different than mine, which is why I'd like to read what you mean by "venture-class". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Industry_Classification_System
          Nick From Montreal
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Yeah, that and that X-prize video showing very poor handling of the vehicle with doors opening and all. I think Aptera isn't a venture-class company like Tesla or Fisker. The 3-wheel design, while avoiding crash tests, limited the cars usefulness and appeal amongst the general population. Zero chance of mass production - ever.
          letstakeawalk
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spec
          "...venture class refers to a business that has a chance to scale up and create value for shareholders." OK, so you were just inventing terms that had no real meaning. As far as investors, you make it sound like Aptera had borrowed too much money, "...had zero chance of repaying back their investors." when it seems the exact opposite was the case. Aptera was not able to attract enough investors to get anything going - specifically, they have zero production capability they don't have a manufacturing facility. Aptera seems to have a very poor business plan - feel free to blame the people who are currently running the company. As you point out, they have a vehicle design that is unlikely to be popular due to safety and practicality issues. Their quality control is suspect, at the least. Scalabillity isn't an issue - they can't even build a limited production run; they have no manufacturing capability at the moment, with no appearance of anything getting set up in the near future. Aptera needs to get their proverbial ducks in a row. They have an idea, they have some funding. Apparently, they need *more* funding, because they don't seem to have enough to take the next step towards even limited production. Don't blame their current investors for loaning Aptera *too much* money when Aptera's management is at fault for Aptera's current situation.
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Nick From Montreal
        Good for you, NIck! Yeah, maybe the project was never really gonna see any real production, but in years to come, the Aptera will be treasured as one of those weird impractical vehicles, people love to marvel at for it's sheer eccentricity. Maybe they could sell the remaining prototypes to a movie studio?
          Nick From Montreal
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Aptera's look, luxury car-like interior and composite construction were inspired by the Cirrus SR-22 aircraft, which has been a best seller for several years now. Like Cirrus, Aptera could have succeeded as a small volume manufacturer and could have sold to a legion of fanatics. Instead they went the venture investor route, where all creative founders go to die (or get thrown out of their own company).
      Captain Spadaro
      • 4 Years Ago
      And nothing of value was lost!
      • 4 Years Ago
      There are some details about Aptera's banking problems here http://www.apteraforum.com/showthread.php?t=2036&page=58 Seems they are not refunding cancelations at the moment either.
      sdtofudog
      • 4 Years Ago
      Aptera has been non-newsworthy for several years now. It was – at best – a clownish interim-technology vehicle with no market staying power. You have to run fast to stay ahead in today's competitive automotive environment, and Aptera was anything but light-footed. Intriguing concepts attract grandiose-minded opportunists and career wanna-be types who can mire light-footed companies in a nanosecond. Pretty soon there is nothing left for the vultures to pick over. RIP, Aptera.
      Nick
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's a mismanagement issue. Aptera has enough money at one point, to bring the car to market. Then, the detroit guy came in, pissed everyone off, has the car completely redesigned, spent all the money and lost a ton of time. Perhaps they could re-arrange the company to sell kits? That would cut costs on both sides.
      • 4 Years Ago
      and the drive-thru window . . .
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 4 Years Ago
      Aptera has been fishy ever since the douche from detroit took over. trouble at Aptera is hardly new. I wrote Steve Fambro (founder) a couple of days ago, inquiring how it could be that the extreme premise of the aptera faired so poorly at the xprize. he expressed a lack confidence in the new leadership and that the earlier version of the Aptera was twice as efficient. he also said the new one is a lot heavier. for further clarification of what went wrong he suggested I ask the current leadership.
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