GM set to make changes to the Volt in response to fires, Nissan moves ahead on wireless charging for EVs, so long Aptera, many young Americans prefer the Internet to a car, and we drive the new Camry with Entune.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 244 SHOW NOTES
A few months ago the electric car startup stopped taking orders and returned customer deposits for its three-wheeled vehicle, and today Aptera closed its business for good.
Aptera CEO Paul Wilbur sent a mass e-mail explaining the company's decision to shutter its doors. The e-mail explained that the company was tantalizingly close to obtaining a $150 million Department of Energy (DOE) Advance Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan that would enable them to open a manufacturing facility in Moraine, Ohio, creating 1,400 jobs. However, Aptera couldn't find matching funds from the private market to execute on those plans.
With … Read more
Cadillac gets a Volt, HP wants WebOS somewhere--how about cars? AAA takes on OnStar. Can you sell your parking spot? And we drive the Mercedes CLS550Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 229 SHOW NOTES
The Aptera 2e is one of the more visually striking electric vehicles on the horizon. Designed using computational fluid dynamics to achieve its egglike shape, its composite material body was reportedly so strong you couldn't dent it with a sledge hammer. However, Aptera has been waiting for approval of its Department of Energy loan to move forward with production.
DETROIT--As smartphones, tablets, and other sophisticated electronic devices become ubiquitous, automakers worry that young people may be more interested in the newest gadget than in owning a new car.
In a panel discussion last week at the Automotive News Green Car Conference, several players on the front lines of developing new cars and light trucks said vehicle connectivity is important in making vehicles more attractive to young drivers.
Bill Reinert, national alternative fuel vehicle manager at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said the number of people aged 16 to 21 who are eligible for a driver's license, but … Read more
It's not just the weather that attracts start-up manufacturers of alternative-fuel vehicles to California.
The state's Zero Emission Vehicle program has created a marketplace for credits earned by selling electric and other low-emission vehicles. That means a potential source of income for small electric-vehicle makers that earn the credits but don't need them.
Indeed, part of the business plan of some small companies trying to break into the electric-car business involves selling credits to larger manufacturers. So far the only known transaction has been American Honda Motor Co.'s acquisition of credits from electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors.
Tesla reported recently that it earned $12.2 million through March from the sale of credits earned through the sale of its $109,000 electric two-seat Roadster. The figure was included in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing for the company's planned initial public offering. The first Roadster was delivered in 2008, and Tesla has sold more than 1,000 units worldwide.
The California Air Resources Board requires manufacturers that sell more than 10,000 units in the state to accumulate ZEV credits. Individual targets are based on each carmaker's volume and market share in the state. Companies that don't comply face fines and potential restrictions on sales in California.
Credits earned through each sale are based on how far the vehicle can travel on a zero-emission fuel source. A vehicle with a range of more than 300 miles earns seven credits. One that travels more than 200 miles on a charge gets five. The Tesla Roadster brings four credits per sale … Read more
For many years, starting up an entirely new car company was prohibitively expensive, with little chance of competing with the established brands. Although it remains an expensive endeavor, interest in electric cars has reached such a peak that new car companies are cropping up. As the established companies scramble to develop electric vehicles, smaller and faster companies are putting product on the market.
We looked at these new companies and found five with competitive electric cars. For our criteria, the electric car had to be capable of freeway speeds, making them useful on all U.S. roads. Of these five, … Read more
The U.S. bears down on a Lexus SUV while Toyota mulls over a sort of "guilty" plea...The end of Hummer finally has come, Aptera says it Jetson-like car is going to be real, and we set out in the almost unbelievable 2010 GT-R.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 164 SHOW NOTES
The space-age Aptera might look like something straight out of a futuristic cartoon, but executives at the California start-up behind the electric vehicle say its time is now.
Delivering on that promise might be tough.
The company, which delayed production plans because it could not find financing during the 2009 credit crisis, now says it will start production of thenext year.
The Aptera, which has a 100-mile range per charge and gets some 200 miles per gallon equivalent, has three wheels and looks like a sleek, aerodynamic egg. It's often compared to a vehicle from the futuristic … Read more
Congress has approved a measure that will allow makers of three-wheel cars to receive funding for fuel-efficient auto technologies, according to published reports.
The bill, which still needs to be signed into law, could be a boost to companies developing alternative car designs, notably Aptera Motors and Elio Motors. Both companies have argued that their three-wheel cars deserve federal funding meant to promote more efficient vehicles.
The legislation, passed late last week, would overturn an Energy Department rule that limited funding to four-wheel vehicles meeting emissions and fuel-economy benchmarks, Automotive News reported on Friday. The new guidelines will now allow … Read more