The Aptera 2e, one of the coolest-looking electric cars in the world, is not a car, says the U.S. government. General Motors, which wants to kill off any electric cars that aren’t the Volt, heartily agrees.
Meanwhile, 4,000 people have ponied up $500 apiece to get a 2e as soon as they roll off the production line.
Why does the government say the 2e isn’t a car? Because it doesn’t have four wheels.
Why does the government’s opinion matter? In this case because Aptera can’t get access to government loans designed to jump-start production of electric cars. This also explains why General Motors, which has applied for $10 billion in such loans, is so eager to see the 2e squashed.
Stephen Power, WSJ: The vehicle in question is the Aptera 2e, a machine that looks like a cross between a Cessna plane and a tricycle. It’s the brainchild of Aptera Motors Inc., a three-year-old, closely held car company in Vista, Calif.
Aptera wants to borrow $75 million from a Department of Energy program created by Congress in 2007 to speed development of fuel-efficient cars.
Aptera’s backers include some big-money donors to the Democratic Party, and its quest for help has received a boost from a group of mostly California lawmakers who want to help a home-state enterprise. Allies of Detroit’s big auto makers are lined up against them.
Of course it’s a car. Just look at the thing.
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