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Transportation Businesses China

New Company Set To Resurrect the Aptera 98

Posted by timothy
from the hope-this-happens dept.
Zothecula writes "Ever since it was first unveiled in 2007, many people were captivated with the sleek, futuristic looks of the Aptera. When Aptera Motors went out of business in 2011, not having commercially produced a single vehicle, those same people were understandably disappointed. Now, word comes that a new company may be manufacturing and selling Apteras as soon as next year." Says the article: "Aptera USA has most of the original company’s prototypes, equipment, patents and designs, so it wouldn’t be starting from scratch. Given that fact, Deringer hopes that Aptera USA could be making cars as early as the first quarter of 2014. He’s currently in the process of hiring engineers, and the company has already put in an order for 1,000 bodies from its Detroit-based supplier." Until there really is a super-charger network from central Texas to California, I wish I could get one of the gas-powered (or gas-electric hybrid) Apteras. Why should Tesla have all the fun?
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New Company Set To Resurrect the Aptera

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  • by ninjagin (631183) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @09:18AM (#43973049)
    Oh my. I'm very enthused by this news. I really hope that it rolls. I think they need to stay away from the all-electric pitch and go for the hybrid angle first. I hope also that they are permitted to borrow, perhaps with some government assistance, to get the product launch going.
  • I was so disheartened when they closed their doors in 2011. Jay Leno bought one of their prototypes it seems looking at his car collection.

  • http://www.twike.com/ [twike.com]

    Or buy one from Neiman Marcus?

    http://green.autoblog.com/2006/10/06/neiman-marcus-tries-on-some-green-for-the-holidays-christmas-bo/ [autoblog.com]

    It's at least better looking than the Aptera.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Because that thing will fall over the minute you turn a corner. See Reliant Robin for evidence.

      Also it makes the aptera look like a work of art.

    • Why not import a Twike? Or buy one from Neiman Marcus?

      Because it has the same failings - limited utility and poor performance in pursuit of fuel economy. And anything you buy from Needless Markup is going to be outrageously expensive. Plus saying the name "Twike" makes you sound like Elmer Fudd.

      It's at least better looking than the Aptera.

      Even if I agreed with you (and I don't - the Twike is hideous) that is like saying your boat leaks less than it used to. They're both really quite unattractive.

  • In the US three wheeled vehicles are legally classified as motorcycles. Helmet laws by state [consumerreports.org]. There is another company that makes a motorized tricycle that is working on getting the helmet laws changed.
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I have never understood this.

      Helmet laws seem very inconsistant. Why are you not required to wear one in a convertible? To be consistant it should be based on what sort of protection the vehicle provides for your head.

      • by pipatron (966506)
        Or how easy it is to fall out of or off the vehicle in an accident.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          I would imagine it is pretty easy to be tossed out of a convertible in an accident. Lots of people fail to wear seat belts, or to do so properly.

      • US standards say that a convertible has to have pylons, roll bars, or something so when the car flips it does not crush the people inside. In theory, if you have your seatbelts on, you should just hang there. Older cars are grandfathered in.

      • I have never understood this.

        Helmet laws seem very inconsistant.

        Because some state lawmakers aren't completely retarded.

        Mostly, but not completely.

      • Nearly any accident in a motorcycle involves you being thrown from it. A convertible is a car; the only accident where this would be an issue is a rollover, and due to their lower center of gravity, this is less likely than in a regular car. Convertibles also have roll bars and stiffer A-pillars to provide some protection.

        • the only accident where this would be an issue is a rollover

          Or possibly a humpback bridge, if someone isn't wearing their seatbelt.

      • by tompaulco (629533)

        I have never understood this.

        Helmet laws seem very inconsistant. Why are you not required to wear one in a convertible? To be consistant it should be based on what sort of protection the vehicle provides for your head.

        I'm probably missing a few counterexamples, but it seems to me that any vehicle where seatbelts are not required ought to have helmets required. Obviously this doesn't include back seats, older cars that had no seatbelts, etc. Basically if you are expected to be disconnected from the vehicle in an accident, then you need your own protection.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Why are you not required to wear one in a convertible?

        Because if a 3000 lb car lands on you, you might as well be wearing goggles.

    • You don't have to wear a helmet in an Aptera because it has an enclosed cabin.

  • The Chinese-built mass-produced 2e should be less expensive than its American sibling, but Deringer believes that US buyers will want what his version has to offer. “From the initial research that I’ve done, I get a lot of people in Silicon Valley and California and Texas and other places who would like the car hand-made, not Chinese-made, and they want it to match to what their requirements are,” he tells us. “We can do that in the US, it can’t be done in China.”

    .

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I hope they reconsider and decide to pursue the early prototype using batteries with a ultra-high efficiency motor/generator configuration. Without a model such as that in their lineup Aptera will be relegated to urban-toy status and will NEVER be taken seriously as a viable commuter vehicle.

  • by sjbe (173966)

    Now, word comes that a new company may be manufacturing and selling Apteras as soon as next year."

    And be out of business the following week. Seriously, I can't really see these things selling in any meaningful quantity. Certainly not enough to keep this company as a going concern. They're weird looking and impractical. Some might like the aesthetics but most won't. (Personally I think it's pretty ugly) Few people could use one as a primary vehicle which puts it into the expensive toy category. It apparently is fuel efficient which is great but it seems to have made a LOT of compromises in other a

  • Companies fail.
    For reason.
    Respect that...

  • .. I see them rolling off of the assembly line.
  • ... when we need him?

    These things are going to be worse than Corvairs/Volkswagens when they hit the road. Three wheeled vehicles are very unstable, having the poorest handling characteristics of cars and motorcycles.

  • Until there really is a super-charger network from central Texas to California, I wish I could get one of the gas-powered (or gas-electric hybrid) Apteras.

    If you're really making the Texas -> California road trip often enough that it's not an outlier, then an electric vehicle is not the right vehicle for you even if Tesla's Supercharger network (which is proprietary to Tesla, BTW) comes to fruition. The good news is that the (in)ability to make outlier trips like that doesn't have much bearing on the utility of EVs for the 3-4 standard deviations of driving that we do.

  • You have to gradually change styles. Coming out with a design that's aesthetically too radical will turn off a lot of consumers. "Radical" implies untested and unproven to some.

  • Um, how about it's because Tesla makes real cars and not bad sci-fi movie props.

  • I think the Aptera is all kinds of cool, but I can't see enough people shelling out the bucks for it to make it viable. Teslas are luxury vehicles sold to people with money to burn. I don't see those folks getting excited about an ultra-light 3-wheeler.

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