Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Aptera Pushes Back Electric Car Production
Carlsbad-based Aptera, the electric car startup backed by Google and Idealab, is delaying delivery of the firm's vehicles to customers, according to a letter to customers. According to Aptera, it missed its goal to deliver its first production 2e vehicles by the end of 2008, and is moving its volume production launch to October 1 of 2009. The firm said that it plans to build a "much slower rate" starting with a small test fleet. Among issues causing the delay was feedback from customers who had put down a deposit on the vehicles: among the complaints was the inability to pull up to drive-thru fast food chains. In the letter, Aptera also said it would move to a non-refundable deposit on the firm's vehicle by offering additional credits to users to "lock-in" their commitments, although the firm promised to keep those deposits in escrow and had no intention of using the money to fund the company. Aptera raised $24M in a Series C investment from Google, Idealab, Esenjay Investments, The Simons Family, and The Beall Family Trust back in July.