Aptera 2e – Click above for high-res image gallery

There was good news and bad news out of the Aptera camp last month. The good: The company raised another $2.25 million. The bad: Reservations are now no longer being accepted. We just got word that the bad news is stacking up: Aptera is refunding deposits for the ultra-aerodynamic, three-wheeled electric vehicle (or planned hybrid version). In an email to supporters, Aptera says it is returning every deposit made thus far, according to Green Car Reports. The email reads, in part:

Our path to production has been longer than anticipated, which has complicated our reservation administration to the point that we have decided to return your deposit. ... [Our credit-card processing system] is designed for transactions to be completed in a six-month window. Since most of Aptera's deposits have been in reserve for more than six months, maintenance of the account has become problematic for our credit card processor and administratively cumbersome for Aptera.

Apparently, anyone who put in a deposit will now be added to a "newly created VIP database" and that, "As our production date approaches, we will use the database to direct you to your local retailer so you can be among the first to own an Aptera vehicle." The Aptera website doesn't have any of this news update, but it does still say "Reserve yours today!" without a working link. So...


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope they have their resume's ready and can move fast enough so their stench of what they did to Aptera won't follow.
        mehulkamdar
        • 3 Years Ago
        Steve, Time for you to buy the company back for pennies on the dollar and market the cars, I think. The design is great and the potential immense - maybe a partnership with a foreign manufacturer could see success after all. Revenge is a dish best served cold and you could take back what you started and make a success of it just like another Steve did with a company called Apple. :) Good luck and best wishes!
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        that's the spirit : ) do you think aptera could be restructured and the process resumed from the original design? would you do it if allowed?
      vwfailagain
      • 3 Years Ago
      LOL @ 3 wheels.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vwfailagain
        Engineering-wise, I don't have a problem with the 3 wheels. It is less rolling resistance, less weight, etc. But marketing-wise and politically, it has been a complete disaster. Most people (such as you) can't seem to accept 3 wheels thus it really cuts down their potential market. And then when the tax-credit came out only for standard 4 wheel cars, that pretty much killed them.
          Ian Bruce 伊恩·布鲁斯
          @Spec
          @Miles - Right. Just like the Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue... at 38 MPH. http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-national/ford-escape-nissan-rogue-roll-over-nhtsa-side-crash-test-photos-and-video
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          The 3 wheels does have downsides . . . less traction on the road, a little less stability, bad for rain/snow. But those are not serious issues for where I live. @miles The two front wheels are pretty wide so that reduces the roll chance. It would probably go flying though since it is so light. But so what if it did roll? As long as you have your seatbelt on, you'll just have a fun ride. The composite body is pretty damn strong.
          miles
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Actially I consider not enough rolling resistance to be the main problem here - this tri-pod gets T-boned and it WILL roll!
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem with Aptera started as soon as PW and MM got there. Anyone that followed this company form the start knew how promising the product was until a few came on board and destroyed the entire company. Many saw this years ago when the change took place.
      Tyler Reilly
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, PennyOrder.com
      JP
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is no real market for three wheeled bug machines. The small advantage had by forgetting to put the fourth wheel on simply isn't worth the loss of stability, traction, useable space, and weird looks. A similarly efficient vehicle can be built with four wheels and contain more useable space. There is a good reason that most vehicles larger than wheel barrows and tricycles have an even number of wheels.
        Grendal
        • 1 Day Ago
        @JP
        The vehicle was thoroughly tested at the Automotive X-Prize and there was no loss of stability over a standard car. If you place the weight properly a three wheeled vehicle can be just as stable as a four wheeled vehicle. And in the case of a lot of SUV's, even more stable, A lot of people also believe that large SUV's are more safe than small compact cars but statistically a nimble compact car has a lot less accidents than an SUV.
          Nick
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Grendal
          Grendal True but the Aptera has a giant, Hummer like front track.
          Grendal
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Grendal
          Marco Polo - You're right. The attitude of the designers was to appeal to a niche crowd. Their concept was to start small and redesign the vehicle along the way (similar to Tesla). The investors brought in an ex-Detroit management team that was supposed to bring the vehicle to production. They chose instead to try and make the vehicle more appealing to the general public. This involved a significant redesign that delayed production over and over until all the seed money was spent. History has proven that was a really bad strategy. The design didn't kill the Aptera, really bad management did. In late 2008 they had over 4000 people, in California alone, eagerly awaiting this unique vehicle. Three years later they've got nothing. But there are still a few niche customers interested in a lightweight aerdynamic vehicle, but at this point it's unlikely it will be the Aptera.
          Grendal
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Grendal
          @EVnerdGene - Sorry, but I did watch the X-prize. All of it - not just the video of the earliest run. After a suspension tweak the Aptera completed the second round for the slalom in 7 tries. And by the 3rd round they did it on the second run - and that's with a larger than average stance. I'll agree that the X-prize version (the S0-1) was overly heavy and that hurt them and their efficiency. But to get back to the point, a 3 wheeled vehicle is not automatically less stable than every 4 wheeled vehicle. It all depends on where you place the weight.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Grendal
          You obviously weren't watching the X-Prize. Aptera took many tries to make it through the slaloms at the required speed - looked really snarley. Moving their battery pack behind the driver's seat sure didn't help things. Butt-heavy 3-wheeler is a kiss of death. However, there were some other 3-wheelers that breezed through.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Grendal
          Grendal, It's obvious you are a fan of the Aptera. Unfortunately, there are lots of designs which appeal to a small number of devoted fans. When a designer decided to manufacture and market his product, he must decide on whether to restrict production to enthusiasts who can pay a high enough price to make low volume manufacture profitable, or try to sell in volume. Aptera, spent far too much money trying to produce a volume product with a design which would only ever have attracted a very limited number of buyers. .
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like they are wrapping things up over there.. I knew this car would not make it. Like many things ahead of their time, they don't work until the time comes.
      Breconeer
      • 3 Years Ago
      I trust that any interest which might have accrued on funds held will also go back to the customer..
        Chris M
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Breconeer
        I doubt it, any interest accrued during that short of a period would be just enough to cover the credit card processing costs, with little left over.
      TIMMAH!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I passed out a long time ago from holding my breath...
      Archonic
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sure the hundreds of people writing everyday in anger saying "GIVE ME MY DEPOSIT BACK" had nothing to do with it. No, it was their credit card system. Also, VIP database to ensure they're among the first to own the vehicle? Really? Isn't that the idea behind RESERVING them? Starting a car company based on a few ideas makes no sense and never will. You need a dramatic auto-philosophy, tons of industry experts and endless capital to start a car company and be successful. Aptera has none of these; they just have a few neat ideas. As far as I'm concerned, Aptera is a bunch of goons finding new and different ways to burn through millions of dollars while letting down hundreds of people.
        Spec
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Archonic
        They have had a system for refunding money this entire time. Anyone that wanted their money back could get it back. Right now, they are pretty much forcing people to take their money back even if the people didn't ask for the money.
      Smith Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      There does not seem to enough people interested in energy efficiency. The oil companies are winning in their efforts to confuse the public about climate change.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Smith Jim
        sure there are many out there that will swear global warming is a tax scam and a prius is more polluting than a hummer but the truth has a way of eroding evil. truth always wins out in the end. it will also come out that 9/11 was an inside job. just a matter of how much we want to live in chaos first before being mature enough to insist on truth. much better to be reasonable right away but.. that's humans for you
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          @Fordinsight. The attack on the Twin Towers was an horrific act of terrorism by despicable fanatic's with no respect for human life. The best that can be said for them, is that they were prepared to die for their deluded cause. I have followed your posts for some time, and although I don't always agree, I always believed that you are a sincere and basically well meaning individual. Don't be deluded by these evil, traitorous, poisonous lies. Creatures like DF, (and his imaginary supporters), will always find a hearing among those who hate the USA. These are the holocaust deniers, the peddlers of false 'alternate histories' . I lost two family members, and seven close friends/employees in the attack. I can only stand in awe and admiration for the courage and bravery of those passengers on United Airlines Flight 93. The relatives, Friends and countrymen of those passengers, deserve to be proud of their actions. True American heroes! So too are the heroic Firemen, Police, and Emergency service personnel, who risked their lives in the aftermath. (too many paying the ultimate price) These brave individuals do not deserve to have their memories besmirched by vile little trolls and misogynist traitors, pedalling vicious lies. Normally, I can laugh at the antics such creatures, making fun of them is the best method of exposing their idiocy, But some things are just too serious to joke about. 9/11 is one of those events. I don't normally believe in restricting free speech. But, in this case, the survivors, deceased, those who live were irreparably affected, cry out to prevent their tragedy being exploited and tormented by the lies of these vile creatures.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Take your despicable, vicious little conspiracy theory back to the asylum. In the aftermath of every human tragedy, there is always some cowardly little vermin like you, creeping around around delighting in further tormenting the victims, with poisonous lies. Creatures like you, are beneath contempt!
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          9/11 an inside job ? Yes, 19 sm*&%$#ucks let into, and allowed to wander around this county - and getting 25 driver's licenses. Don't ask me what I think of the excellent job the US government did in allowing such a thing to happen., , , and it is not much better now.
          Elmo Biggins
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          I'm with you on 9/11 dan, 100%. Great post.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Marco, it's interesting how you go around telling those who agree with me that I'm the only one with such a belief. you may not want to know it but there is just no way that building 7 could fall like that without demolition. and Larry Silverstein admitted on national tv that it was an intentional decision. president elect John Kerry also admitted to knowledge of the demolition. BBC reported it falling before it fell. people around were warned that it would come down. just WTC7 itself makes it certain that the official story is a lie. and there is so much more that also undermines the official story. well beyond certainty. whatever exactly happened, the official story is a lie. it shouldn't be that hard to believe they would let a few thousand die if they were willing to lie to go to war and kill a million..
          Spec
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Dan is truther? Your reputation hasn't been very good lately and now it just took a serious hit. But that certainly explains your ability to easily believe in things that are simply not true.
          Ford Future
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Whenever you see Building 7 collapse, you have to wonder. Maybe that plane that went down in PA was supposed to hit that target. If it were not for Building 7 the official story could be believed.
      Nick From Montreal
      • 3 Years Ago
      Refunding people is the right thing to do as they have no idea if and when the car could finally be on sale. Good luck to them.
        Ian Bruce 伊恩·布鲁斯
        @Nick From Montreal
        I agree... it's the right thing to do. However, NOT taking deposits if they have 'no idea if and when the car could finally be on sale' would have been even better.
      Mark Sumner
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really hate to see this. I made my deposit back in October of 2007, when it seemed as if this 3-wheeler was right around the corner. No design before or since has so well fit just what I wanted out of a vehicle for my daily commute. Aptera reservation #120. Sigh.
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