Aptera 2e final design rendering - Click above to enlarge
While Aptera has yet to respond to our request for a comment about about the reported turmoil there, Darryl Siry has apparently been able to talk to some people close to the situation. Reporting in Wired, Siry confirms that founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony are out, along with a number of other staffers.
In many respects, what is happening at Aptera parallels the situation at Tesla in late 2007 when an idealistic founder butted up against the realities of actually delivering a product to paying customers. When auto industry veterans like Paul Wilbur were brought in to help bring the 2e to fruition, they realized that the constraints put on the vehicle by the original designers would make it much more difficult to sell beyond the cadre of early adopters. The design changes that were pushed through delayed production by over a year and, with it, any revenues from sales.
At the same time all of this was happening, the ability to raise further cash from the capital markets had evaporated and, while new legislation passed last month makes companies like Aptera eligible for ATVM loans, that money has yet to be approved or disbursed. As we all know by now, regardless of what the energy source is, the auto industry runs on cubic miles of cash.