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Aspiring electric car company Aptera Motors has announced that it is going out of business.
In a letter to supporters, Aptera CEO Paul Wilbur said that the company had obtained conditional approval for a $150 million loan from the Department of Energy, but was unable to raise the matching private investment required to tap into the loan. As a result, it had run out of resources and was forced to shut down.
For several years Aptera had been working to produce an ultra-aerodynamic three-wheel electric car called the 2e, which had a certified energy efficiency rating equivalent to a 206 mpg gasoline-powered car.
But that’s not the car it was planning to build with the loan.
In October, Aptera replaced its website with a teaser page announcing that “2.0 is coming…” than included an image of what looked like a four-wheel car in a wind tunnel hidden under a cloak.
In today’s letter, Wilbur confirmed that the company had switched its focus, at the behest of investors, to the development of a five-passenger, four-door sedan similar in size to a Toyota Camry. Using the same innovative, lightweight composite construction as the 2e, Wilbur said this new car was expected to deliver 190 mpge and be sold for less than $30,000.
FoxNews.com has obtained a rendering of that car, which depicts a streamlined sedan with covered wheels and a tapering rear end, along with a second shot of Aptera chief engineer Tom Reichenbach laying next to a full-size mockup of the vehicle.
Aptera now says that it was in talks to build the vehicle at a former General Motors facility in Moraine, Ohio, that used to produce SUVs, and would’ve created 1,400 jobs at the plant.
Wilbur’s letter ends on an optimistic note, saying that he believes the technology developed by his team has contributed to a more efficient future and remains out there for someone else to grab, adding that “we still believe it will happen.”