Skip to comments.Electric car maker Aptera closes its doors
Posted on 12/05/2011 7:42:35 AM PST by Abathar
Electric car maker Aptera Motors is closing after failing to woo enough investors to bring a new sedan to market.
Aptera CEO Paul Wilbur said the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company closed its doors Friday and laid off all 30 of its employees.
The company was hoping to get a $150 million loan from the Department of Energy but needed to raise matching funds, Wilbur said. He said Aptera had trouble drumming up interest from investors, who have been spooked by the difficulties other small electric car makers have had. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla Motors Inc., for example, has racked up millions of dollars in losses as it prepares to bring its electric Model S sedan to market in mid-2012.
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Well, good luck with that...
This was their 3-wheeled prototype vehicle. They better put a red flag on the back of that thing, a biker could put his eye out.
Why didn’t they call it the “Sperm”?
The Tesla factory is right down I-880 from Solyndra.
Correction. It was scheming to pilfer 150 million dollars from the American taxpayers.
Designer-genius R. Buckminster Fuller was one of the century's great nutjobs, a walking unorthodoxy who originally conceived of the Dymaxion as a flying automobile, or drivable plane, with jet engines and inflatable wings.
It would be one link in his vaguely totalitarian plan for the people to live in mass-produced houses deposited on the landscape by dirigibles.
Okayyyy...Deprived of wings, the Dymaxion was a three-wheel, ground-bound zeppelin, with a huge levered A-arm carrying the rear wheel, which swiveled like the tail wheel of an airplane. The first prototype had a wicked death wobble in the rear wheel.
The next two Dymaxions were bigger, heavier, and only marginally more drivable. The third car had a stabilizer fin on top, which did nothing to cure the Dymaxion's acute instability in crosswinds.
A fatal accident involving the car cause unknown doomed its public acceptance.
Though unworkable, this three-wheeled suppository was the boldest of a series of futuristic, rear-engined cars of the 1930s, including the Tatra, the Highway Aircraft Corporation's "Fascination" car and, everybody's favorite, the Nazi's KdF-wagen.
Aptera few months,
Green always turns Brown.
Not just the looks.....the taxpayers were going to get screwed.
Yeah. and so will a lot of our "obamamoney".
But, but...........aren’t we supposed to be liberal? Aren’t we supposed to want clean green energy, and clean green cars? Isn’t Obama creating clean green jobs, by subsidizing clean green companies???????
Or look at another way, isn’t it evil capitalism which is causing this company to fail, and aren’t we supposed to hate evil capitalism? So aren’t we supposed to subsidize this company so they can give us what is good for us (tiny electric car) rather than a vehicle we really want???
Do they still have Trabants in the former East Germany? I wonder if those people loved that little proletarian car produced by their people’s republic??????????
The classic Morgan three-wheeler is a much more handsome car than that pile of rubbish.
The problem is not that they wanted to steal, the problem is that they didn’t want to steal.
Had they requested a billion and kicked half of it back there would be no problem.
They were non union to boot
Obama’s green jobs scam was just to get money in the pockets of his friends, remember all those green jobs speeches, scam , scam ,scam
Whew, the taxpayers squeaked past that one.
No one seems to discuss the litigation from personal injury and wrongful death these cars will generate. Put this thing against a non-ecofriendly MAC truck and you’ll have no survivors in these electric cars.
Yeah, it does look like a sperm cell with landing gear.
My second impression was "Who ya gonna call?..."
The founder simply didn’t grease enough Dem palms with campaign contributions. Otherwise he would have landed the $150M easy as pie.
It better come with a trailer hitch because it won’t hold Mom, Junior, Junior’s 6 baseball buddies, their baseball equipment, a cooler, a tray of homemade cookies, Lil Missy and her bff, and Rover inside that thing.
Electric cars are a tyrant’s dream....Limited range, and all he has to do is flip a switch to turn off the grid and any revolt is over because folks can’t move.
To bee or not to bee, that is the question...........................
Our family owns a Yukon 2 dr 4X4, a Yukon 4 dr 4x4 and my Suburban 4x4. We simply grab which vehicle that will suit our needs at the time and it works out great. Like my machine tools here at work, you can always do a small job on a big machine, but not vice-verse.
And yes, all of them have a Reese Hitch that gets well used also.
I guess it is only Government that invests in the PAST. Maybe the race to the 18th century is slowing down??
Aptera (genus), a genus of cockroaches..................
Even in the UK, a country that has drunk a lot more of the green kool aid than we have, the guys from Top Gear could not find any places to plug one in for a recharge.
I met Bucky and spoke with him a few times. I suppose DaVinci was thought of as a nutjob too, as I’ve always thought of Fuller as the unappreciated Leonardo of our age.
His low-cost, icosahedral designs - one frequency geodesics - could actually be ‘flown in’ to relieve suffering in disaster areas. They WERE flown to the arctic and formed the ‘DEW Line’.
I like your other description: “a walking unorthodoxy”, very apt for him. He invested his own personal fortune in the Dymaxion car...this was in 1933!
I admired him greatly.
I love that show! Got hooked a couple of months ago and now try to catch it instead of watching Shepard Smith get his panties in a twist over something or other.
considering they don’t make any new ones, (not the lame wussified us version but the UK version with the three egomaniacs) [though i must confess their trips to the usa and insults do not sit well for the ongoing ugly european stereotype] I is a decent car show. particularly when they rip a car to reveiwer shreads.
I about fell over when I saw that he was doing a Honda add some time ago. No way would I want him endorsing any product.
I've read about him, his life and ideas and to me he is one of those inventors that embodied inventing. Everyone dreams, only a rare few risk it all to take the next steps.
I guess it'll live on in 2009's "Star Trek" film where it made an appearance at Star Fleet Academy.
That's the best part of the show, ripping a $300k car to bits and then telling the audience they would rather drive a $30k car than that one.
I bet the BBC got a lot of very angry calls after some of their shows.
The Formula Sun Grand Prix
(click image for larger version)
... Don't burn any gallons!
Sort of like the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, but weirder. The Weinermobile just looks like a big fiberglass weiner on top of a 1970 Chevy Caprice, pretty much. The Dymaxion intended to be the weinerVery holistic, lol.
I've long admired Buckminster Fuller, but anyone who is that outside the box is going to have a few questionable moments. This is one of them.
The UK “Top Gear” episode with Clarkson doing the Reliant Robin tribute show was hilarious.
The UK Top Gear episode with Clarkson doing the Reliant Robin tribute show was hilarious.
It seems the one in front, two in back tilt problem has been solved, as Jeremy demonstrates:
Top Gear rarely gets accused of being subtle, but I loved the bit where Jeremy declared he was going to drive a Reliant Robin from Sheffield to Rotheram ... a distance of 15 miles; and the camera pulls back and you see he's been illustrating this on a map of the major roads of Europe, approx 30' long and 10' high.
On American TG that annoying voice over guy would be explaining, in detail, why that was funny.
I first met him in 1973, at USC, after I hitched with a buddy across the country to see him. He took the time to speak kindly with me. I still remember his big blue eyes magnified through his thick glasses, and his warm, strong, sailors hand handshake.
1974, again, in Philadelphia, same greeting. A gracious and humble man. Later, the last time I saw him, in San Marcos, Texas.
In every encounter, it was after he had been speaking for several HOURS extemporaneously, without notes, to exhaustion! He was in his late 70s by then, in fact, that last time, his handlers gently had to stop him, and help him off the dais.
I often say I stand on the shoulders of GIANTS, who, in turn, sit like little children on the shoulders of the giant-MAKER. I like to think he would have appreciated it said that way. (He was a poet, too.)
One of my most treasured possessions is a book signed by him to (my name) in friendship its falling apart. I took it everywhere with me! Going to have to get it re-bound one of these days ;)
You might like this site:
Somewhere in there is an old video of the SoCal speech I couldnt find it, but saw it a few years ago. (I was on the floor, in front, near stage left you better believe I was looking for 19-year-old me! Maybe its a good thing it was taken from the other side of the auditorium, haha!)
I picked out a few highlights from that site, notice especially the one from 1982:
1915 Bucky is expelled from Harvard for the second and final time. Administration cites lack of ambition. (given his subsequent achievements, seems that Harvards snooty condescension is not such a recent phenomenon)
1917 Bucky enlists in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He volunteers his familys cabin cruiser, with a crew of six including his brother Wolly and best friend Lincoln Pierce, to patrol the Maine shoreline.
1918 Fuller attends the U.S. Naval Academy for a 3-month short training course and is promoted to Lieutenant J.G.
1922 Alexandra (his firstborn) dies, leaving Bucky with an extreme sense of tragedy that he wasn’t able to provide her with a better shelter. (few understand the strength of character - brings tears to my eyes to think about - to harness such sorrow, yet it explains a lot about the man)
1927 (after the failure of a company he founded) Considering himself a complete failure, Fuller seriously contemplates taking his life. Instead, he vows to use his life an experiment aimed at discovering what an average, healthy individual (albeit penniless and with a family to support) can do in service of all humanity. He enters a period of deep introspection, absorbed in study and meditation, speaking to almost nobody for two years. His second daughter, Allegra, is born
1940 Fuller works with the Butler Manufacturing Company of Kansas City to develop Dymaxion Deployment Units, low-cost shelters built from Butlers metal grain bins. The units are used by the military during WWII to house equipment and troops in rural, isolated locations.
1946 Bucky is awarded a patent for his Dymaxion Air-Ocean Map, which is considerably less distorted than traditional map projections. (a cut-up icosahedron, showing the true over-the-north-pole proximity between the major world populations)
1954 Fuller receives patent for geodesic domes. The Marine Corps experiments successfully with airlifting and delivery of small geodesic shelter domes by helicopter.
1975 Synergetics, the result of decades of exploration into an alternate mathematical coordinate system, is published (related to nano-tech, superconductivity, and in chemistry, 60-carbon atoms: buckyballs)
1982 Fuller receives the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from President Ronald Reagan.
1983 Fuller dies on July 1, 1983 in Los Angeles, while visiting his comatose wife, Anne, in the hospital. Anne never wakes from the coma and dies 36 hours later. (in a few more days, they would have celebrated their 66th anniversary!)
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