Aptera closes up shop, driveable sperm will have to wait

Sad news for everyone who has ever wanted to drive a car shaped like a sperm down the highway: Aptera, who has been working on an ultra-efficient, ultra-futuristic space fighter on wheels, has run out of both time and money.

When Aptera first started talking about their concept for a fuel efficient car back in 2006, it was like nothing that anyone had ever seen. A plug-in hybrid that can run on batteries or gas and get between 200 and 300 miles per gallon? Amazing! And it was still amazing in 2007, when it went up for pre-order, with its spectacularly aerodynamic shape and high-tech interior. But there were delays. Years of delays.

By the end of the decade, people were starting to seriously freak out about gas prices, foreign oil, global warming, and the environment, which is great news if you're a company like Aptera looking to introduce an efficient and eco-friendly new type of car. But, mainstream auto manufacturers like Nissan and Chevy were starting to pay attention too, and meanwhile the economy was busily going down the tubes. Aptera's big chance was to be the first company to introduce an affordable, realistic (mostly) super-efficient car, but by the time the Aptera 2e was more or less ready to go, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt were already in that space, and why would anyone buy a two-seater with three wheels and a tail when you could go and get a "normal" card from a big manufacturer that you'd heard of before?

Aptera was forced to start redesigning the 2e into a more traditional car (a sedan of some sort), which took more time and more money and put them in a class with everyone else doing the same thing instead of a class by themselves. Just this week, Aptera announced that they weren't going to be able to make it. And not like bankruptcy/bailout/ahl be baak not going to make it (the good kind), but complete liquidation and total layoffs (the bad kind).

On a personal note, I've been following Aptera since 2007 (my very first year as a blogger), and I'm still a big fan of the design, the philosophy, and the technology that went into the car. If part of that liquidation involves selling off any of the operational prototypes for cheap, someone from Aptera should definitely drop me a line.

Aptera, via Wired

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