Three-wheeled electric-car startup Aptera has already delayed the launch of its inaugural car, the 2e, by over a year, and in May it publicly discussed restructuring and moving its manufacturing out of California to cut costs. But it looks like the company is not completely down for the count: According to a filing, Aptera has raised $2.5 million of a planned $3 million round of debt. So, yeah, they’re not bankrupt, yet (I checked on that, too).
But even as recently as this May, Aptera CEO Paul Wilbur was emphasizing that the company is still hoping for a Department of Energy loan to help it with funding for manufacturing the car. About a year ago Aptera execs said that once the DOE loan had been received, it could start manufacturing in 11 months. That should be a lesson for greentech entrepreneurs that are building businesses based off government support.
Even with newly raised debt, things are looking a little shaky for Aptera. All Cars Electric and Autoblog Green point out that Aptera is no longer letting prospective buyers reserve the car on its website (the reservation system gives an error message). At the same time, automakers Nissan and GM have launched their inaugural electric cars that are in the same price range as the planned 2e, which is classified as a motorcycle in California because of its three wheels.
Aptera has some high-profile backers, including Google.org, NRG Energy and Bill Gross’ Idea Labs, so maybe its funders can keep the company alive until it can get its car out. I hope so — I still want to drive a 2e!