12/5/2011

Aptera Calls It Quits

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Aptera Motors Inc., the California-based hybrid and electric car developer, says it has shut down for lack of funding.

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Aptera Motors Inc., the California-based hybrid and electric car developer, says it has shut down for lack of funding.

The company had hoped to build a hybrid five-passenger midsize sedan that would sell for less than $30,000 and deliver more than 190 mpg-equivalent fuel economy. Aptera said it intended to produce the car at a shuttered factory in Moraine, Ohio, with the help of a $150 million loan from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. But the company couldn't round up the necessary matching funds.

Aptera is best known for the super aerodynamic three-wheeled car it revealed in 2006. The plastic-bodied two-seater was supposed to go on sale this year in hybrid and all-electric versions. But the company says it shifted its focus a year to to developing a sedan because investors were not interested in funding the original Aptera.