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Aptera: Another Innovative Electric Car Company Goes Bankrupt


Although I never believed in three-wheeled vehicles, there were times in my life when I thought we’d need just this kind of cars to get through our ever-busier cities and parking lots. An electric three-wheeler could have been, from that point of view, a bliss for the human kind. But it looks like reality beats movie, once again.

Aptera, a company that three years ago was all for building the world’s first mass-produced three-wheeled electric car, has now closed its gates, as GigaOm’s Katie Fehrenbacher reports.

Paul Wilbur, their CEO, announced the decision to file for bankrupcy because Aptera is “out of resources,” meaning they couldn’t get enough people to invest in their dream. Although they have been wanting to get a $150 million loan from the DOE, that never happened, and, furthermore, their car would have cost some $30,000 and would have competed with the Nissan Leaf and other more established players.

This happened despite the fact that Google, NRG Energy and Idea Labs provided some support for the company during the time.

It seems to me that the world needs conventional vehicles and people don’t like relying on futuristic, out-of-this-world designs for taking them to work and back. Also, people often don’t like being laughed or even stared at for driving exotic cars. Of course, not everybody is like that, but most are.

And while usually the inventors of cars like Aptera have had a genius spark at one time, that’s not enough to convince all of the unfortunately common folks with money to buy these gadgets and have the company float, if not profit.

So the rule of thumb, as I’ve seen so far, is to build mainstream cars, and sell them to ordinary people. And if that’s not possible, then the best is to convert their old junks for cheap just to show them what an electric car tastes like, and open the appetite for more electron-generated thrills.

So long, Aptera!

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