Oops, looks like the December 2009 delivery date for the Aptera 3-wheeler just got pushed back into 2010. The Aptera has been a highly anticipated car from the green set, and this delaying move is bound to make some people nervous. The questions is, is the Aptera, or any other start-up car company, truly viable in the current economic climate.
Or put it another way: Are Aptera’s problems theirs alone, or are they indicative of what any new car company is facing these days?
In March of 2008, Aptera said that all of the development of the 2e was completed, and they were going to head to production. The only missing pieces, as far as the California based start-up was concerned, was acquiring the right equipment and workforce to crank production up. That was then, and this, unfortunately for Aptera, is now.
In the intervening 18 months, the sleek, all electric, three-wheeled two-seater that gets the equivalent of 200- mpg seemed to be inches away from being a real “car” you could walk in and buy, not just a fanciful concept.
So what’s the hold up? Same thing that can plague any start-up these days: Money. The manufacture and distribution is directly tied to the amount of funding Aptera has. And in the case of the upcoming 2e, developing the car has been running faster than raising cash. In other words, the car is already to produce, someone just needs to turn on the money spigot.
Ergo, the necessary adjustments of Aptera’s production schedule to bring into line with the current realities of financing. Bottom line, so to speak, at this moment is that the first three-wheelers won\’t make it to showrooms until 2010, rather than the end of this year as previously announced. On the upside, Aptera claims that it already has 4,000 deposits for the 2e.
It sort of looks like a familiar story, doesn’t it. Very much like what Preston Tucker ran into … or John DeLorean … or Malcolm Bricklin. It’s sad though. There’s something rather appealing about the 2e, and I hope they get it off the ground.