You know that feeling you get when, after a few years, you remeet your biggest crush from high school and begin fantasizing about actually hooking up for real, only to be jerked back to harsh reality by the appearance of their present paramour? Well then, that is the emotional roller coaster we expect rabid fans of the Aptera 2e might be experiencing right about now.

You see, that great white flightless bird of electric fancy was just spotted at the Beijing Motor Show by Matthew Ungar, an expat who is somewhat familiar with the car's history. He was intrigued to see it on display in China and so, luckily for us, got the lowdown on its purported future and snapped a bunch a pics to place on his (very cool) blog PRC and Me.

This is where the story gets weird. Apparently, the future builder of the Aptera 2e – likely to be renamed something else – is none other than Zap Zhejiang Jonway. Yes, the same Zap Jonway who competed against Aptera in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize with its own three-wheeler, the Alias. It seems that the company bought the molds for the 2e and plans to build the composite chassis in China, and later, ship those to the U.S. for installation of a drivetrain. Sales are said to begin with the U.S. before expanding internationally, though there are yet no details about specifications or price.

Now, if you're thinking, "Wait, what about the Alias? Are they still going to build that too?", relax. A press release on the company's website points its manufacture beginning the fourth quarter of 2012 saying, "This limited edition production is now planned due to popular demand."

Sadly, we remain skeptical that any of this will come to pass. Besides the company's controversial history, there's this; Zap closed its showroom in Santa Rosa a year ago and, under the terms of a lawsuit resolution with former investor Al Yousuf Group, handed over the deed to this and another property, and promised to repay an additional $1.3 million. Also, from its recently filed 10-4:

ZAP incurred net losses attributable to ZAP of $40.8million, $19.0 million, and $11.3 million for years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively and has had net losses in each quarter since its inception. Jonway incurred net losses of $ 10.2 million and $445,000 for the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010.

Hardly inspires confidence in a Zaptera-filled future, does it? Scroll down for the official press release detailing the company's presence at the Beijing Motor Show which, like its financial filing, lacks any specific mention of a certain composite-bodied vehicle formerly known as the Aptera 2e.

*UPDATE: We've received word that the Aptera wasn't bought by Zap Jonway, though Zhejiang Jonway Group will construct the chassis in China for Zaptera U.S.A..

Show full PR text
PRESS RELEASE


ZAP Jonway Exhibits at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Show


SANTA ROSA, Calif., April 26, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ZAP Jonway (ZAAP.OB - News), a manufacturer of gasoline and new energy electric vehicles (EVs), will showcase its traditional gas and all-electric vehicles at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition held from April 23, 2012 through May 2, 2012 at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, China. ZAP Jonway's stand will be in Hall E2.

Alex Wang, Co-CEO of ZAP Jonway and CEO of Jonway Automobile, stated: "The Beijing Auto Show is one of the most important automobile showcase in the world. We are excited to display several of our Jonway Auto vehicles, including our new five-door gasoline SUV, the JNZ A380-G with its fully re-styled interior, and our EV product line."

The 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition is globally recognized as one of the most important auto shows in the world. Held every two years, the 2010 exhibition set a new record for auto shows in Asia with 785,600 visitors and over 2,100 exhibitors from over 16 countries and regions in attendance. The Beijing International Automotive Exhibition is now one of the most influential in the auto industry as China is becoming one of the most important auto markets in the world.

About ZAP Jonway

ZAP Jonway combines the attributes of both companies, ZAP and Jonway Automobile, to design and manufacture quality, affordable gasoline and new energy electric vehicles (EVs). With Jonway Automobile's established ISO 9000 manufacturing facilities, research and development and sales and customer services facilities in China, ZAP Jonway is well positioned to scale up production and sales for both gasoline and EVs for China and the international markets. ZAP, an early pioneer of EVs, brings to the new combined company a broad range of EV design experience that is being applied to new product lines. ZAP Jonway is focused on addressing on EV fleets targeting city delivery trucks and vans used by university campuses, government and corporate markets in China and the United States, while utilizing its gasoline vehicle production quantities to gain economy of scale through its common vehicle parts and platforms. ZAP Jonway benefits from the established China dealership and customer support network developed by Jonway Automobile for its China sales and services. ZAP Jonway is headquartered in Santa Rosa, California and its production facility is located in Zhejiang Province of the People's Republic of China. Additional information about ZAP Jonway is available at http://www.zapworld.com.


Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of ZAP's products, increased levels of competition, new products and technological changes, ZAP's dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights and other risks detailed from time to time in ZAP's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      Richard Randle
      • 2 Months Ago

      interested in buying an aptera 2e as soon as possible.please let me know soon before i buy my second  or third choices. my                            my email is richardrandle@cox.net. waiting to             hear from you

      JP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now that there are real EV's available does anyone really care about Aptera type vehicles?
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JP
        done right it could still be much better than your massively overpriced and inefficient 'real EVs'
          JP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          You don't need to make a three wheeled freak show to make an efficient EV.
        GoodCheer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JP
        I might be, though EV drivetrain and the Aptera seem like a poor mix to me: With so much effort towards aerodynamics and a progressively ballooning weight, the Aptera seems to focus on highway travel, and I think would make a great road-trip vehicle by making driving far FAR cheaper than flying. On the other hand, as a city vehicle, where 100 mile range is of no consequence, the very wide track and relatively poor visibility of the Aptera would probably make it a poor fit. So I'd love a hybrid, or even a conventional gas one, but for an EV, something more like the Th!nk or iMiEV or Leaf makes more sense to me.
      Jonathan
      • 2 Years Ago
      So not going to happen . I'd be willing to bet that this is a cheap copy and that the entire story is a load of BS .
        HVH20
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan
        I would put money on it being the actual Aptera, since the company was sold to a wealthy man in China and the vehicles shipped there about 2 months ago. He has all the Aptera examples in his possession.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @HVH20
          It's definitely the actual Aptera SO-1 in the picture. The same one that lost the Automotive X-prize. The hood not fitting properly is an obvious clue and the silver bling hinges are another. Whoever bought the company also got all the other surviving mules as well - 7 vehicles altogether. The only intellectual property that came along with the purchase included a few patents on the SO-1 design.
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      What do you get when you cross a Chinese FUV manufacturer with an American importer of Chinese scooter cars that has never turned a profit or had a return customer in their company's 16 year history ?
        GoodCheer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        A stack of press releases and a few more suckered investors?
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      didn't see that coming. but if you cut to the chase with chinese low cost and you engineer it right I see no reason it culdn't be succesful. I have no faith in anyone doing anything right but it's possible
        noevfud
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Zap does press releases better then anyone. There will be many done very well until the next poster child comes along. Yes, this car could be done properly and at a low cost and it would sell well but the chance of that is about the same as a Zap Zebra beating a Tesla in the quarter mile.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          I think the only thing Zap actually manufactured itself was press releases.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the way the Aptera ends, not with a bang, but a whimper. It's surprising Zap was able to buy the Aptera leftovers when they're bleeding money all over the place.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hmm, Ricks area code is 707, just like that of ZAP's Warehouse-Headquarters, or is it Headquarters-Warehouse? Does this imply anything? who knows? As we all know, the late-era ZAP has a long history of displaying other peoples slick designs, to generate buzz and and possible investor interest. Just saayin', there seems to be a lot of Jonway distant Cousins in the house.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        Zaptera USA seems to have bought the Aptera leftovers. Good luck to them. I'd love to see them get some of those unique vehicles on the road. It's a much tougher market out there than it was in 2008. Actual production and price will be the critical factors. I'm curious as to what Aptera they plan on building: the style we see above that was overweight and raced for the X-prize or the lighter, earlier design that got everyone interested in the vehicle in the first place. Both styles have positives and negatives.
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was working with a company about 2 years ago that was selling some technology to Jonway for plug in hybrids. The Jonway guys had already bought some tech from Zap which was so bad that the electric motor was frying electronics in the rest of the car, including passenger's cell phones. But the Jonway guys were doing some dirty things on the business side and I concluded that they and the Zap guys deserved each other and I gladly walked away and left them to their shared misery. They had big money backers from nouveau riche in the Chinese mainland including a company who was very big in providing components to the power industry. I guess they're still dumping money on the next scheme to break into the market. I guess I wish them well??? whatever, nothing much will come of it.
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Over a year ago, ZAP (underwater for 15 years) announces they are going to buy a Chinese company capable and currently building and selling FUVs. Oh come now? The only thing I could think of at the time was - finally - ZAP is gonna reap what they sow.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a sad, sad ending to the Aptera. Probably purchased at auction and now being used to lure people into another ZAP scam. It will never be built by ZAP.
      Timo
      • 2 Years Ago
      It still is too wide and too long for a short range two-seater city car. If you want to make two-seater that is really aerodynamic make it a lot smaller and tandem configuration. That reduces frontal area a lot which is way more important than just aerodynamic shape. ~0.15 Cd with dimensions closer to Hummer makes CdA a big one. Overall CdA for that monster is actually worse than GM EV1 which was (is) much narrower car. If you reduce the frontal area to half you halve the CdA, it's simple multiplication. Persu has better three-wheeler: http://www.flytheroad.com/concept.html. The actual efficiency for Aptera did came from its weight, which was quite low (about 800kg IIRC). In order to make that car produce any profits you should plan to build only a few and sell it with huge margin, because there will always be few people that want it just because it looks futuristic. The rest of us that are not great fans of futuristic design do buy cars for their practical values, and this one doesn't have much of that.
        danwat1234
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Timo
        This car would make for a great personal vehicle. It's estimated MPGe is around 190, much better than say a Nissan Leaf. The car is shaped like a rain drop, hence the long back. I hope it comes to market. At one point Aptera said it would sell for around $20K, though who knows how much it will be now. Practical values it lacks; Room for a family vacation Performance on snow/ice/rain? Practical values it has; Super efficient personal vehicle. Fun, hopefully good acceleration if they put a 80+KW motor in it, has stability control, ABS brakes, 3pt seat belts, air bags. A fine vehicle to drive except if it's below freezing maybe.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good article but wrong buyer. This is not a Zap/Jonway owed car. The new owner of this car is Zaptera USA, Inc., not assocated with Zap/Jonway. Zaptera USA is a US Company that utilizes a Chinese Manafacturing partner, Zhejang Jonway Group. Aptera Motors has risen from the dead and will be a cross-border development with manufacturing of the car in China but assembly, quality control, service and warehousing in California. The car will shortly be transferred into the Jonway Group manufacturing facility with planned delivery of its first shipment to the US by the end of this year with sales to occur around the first quarter of 2013. A new web site and reservation system will be up and available to the public in about 30 days. We at Zaptera USA are excited to bring this car to the market so its loyal fans will finally get the opportunity to see and drive this amazing new Electric Vehicle, with its state of the art composite technology. You can reach us at rderinger@zapterausa.com or call us at 707-310-2291.
        George Voll
        • 2 Years Ago
        How much does it cost to reserve one of these state of the art vehicles?
        • 2 Years Ago
        Wish you guys the best of luck!
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Years Ago
        A spin-off from the spin-heads at ZAP ?. Who the hell else would use the ZAP name but people from ZAP ? Ambitious bunch, already screwin' their new partner Jonway ?
        • 2 Years Ago
        Rick, Zap owns 51% of Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. Ltd. You say, "The car will shortly be transferred into the Jonway Group manufacturing facility with planned delivery of its first shipment to the US by the end of this year with sales to occur around the first quarter of 2013." So, it seems important to make clear to everyone that this plainly means that, YES, Zap-Jonway will be manufacturing the car. This is actually a Win-Win for everyone involved -- Zaptera USA, Zap and Jonway.
      M Peter Selman
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, joy...
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