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New Company Set To Resurrect the Aptera

timothy posted about a year ago | from the hope-this-happens dept.

Transportation 98

Zothecula writes "Ever since it was first unveiled in 2007, many people were captivated with the sleek, futuristic looks of the Aptera. When Aptera Motors went out of business in 2011, not having commercially produced a single vehicle, those same people were understandably disappointed. Now, word comes that a new company may be manufacturing and selling Apteras as soon as next year." Says the article: "Aptera USA has most of the original company’s prototypes, equipment, patents and designs, so it wouldn’t be starting from scratch. Given that fact, Deringer hopes that Aptera USA could be making cars as early as the first quarter of 2014. He’s currently in the process of hiring engineers, and the company has already put in an order for 1,000 bodies from its Detroit-based supplier." Until there really is a super-charger network from central Texas to California, I wish I could get one of the gas-powered (or gas-electric hybrid) Apteras. Why should Tesla have all the fun?

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Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43972909)

How is this not tax-payer funded yet?

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973065)

They tried, but the gov denied the loan due to only having three wheels.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43973081)

So you have to be rich to buy a $30,000 car?

Since when?

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973331)

"The 2g could end up in the US$50,000 to $55,000 price range"

If you are paying 55,000 for a 3 wheeled Honda Fit, you are a rich asshole.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973465)

So you have to be rich to buy a $30,000 car?

Since when?

No, why would you say that? A Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt is well within the means of most upper-middle-class people.

But we're not talking about a $30,000 car. We're talking about a $55,000 impractical toy for people who have more money than sense.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#43973929)

Exactly! How are you supposed to tie a canoe to the roof of that thing, for example?

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#43973981)

So you have to be rich to buy a $30,000 car?

Since when?

Well, I am technically upper middle class, and there is no way I could afford a $30,000 car, so I would assume I would have to be rich to afford one. However, a lot of the entry level people in my company who make 1/4 of what I make have $30,000 cars, so maybe you have to be rich or below poverty level to have a $30,000 car.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43974427)

That 30,000 car costs half what I paid for my last house! I have a $30,000 car, but I bought it used and only paid $10k. Buying any new car is foolish unless you're rich. Cars today last a long time, and as soon as you drive it off the lot it's lost 1/3 of its value. New cars break down too, the last new car I foolishly bought (I was married, she insisted that we buy a new one for dependability) was a 1984 VW Rabbit, which stranded us eighty miles from home a month after we bought it; the alternator went out. New cars are only status symbols, which to me are symbols of foolish waste. Only the rich and/or foolish buy new cars.

When my ten year old car costs more to repair than replace, I'll buy another used car.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43977823)

Pretty much the same as me. $70,000 house paid off in 11 years, and drive a 12 year old Cadillac that cost $55,000 new, but I paid $5900 for 2 years ago. $30,000 for a car is too much. I guess it depends on if you want to live in debt or not. I choose not to.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978411)

Buying any new car is foolish unless you're rich. Cars today last a long time, and as soon as you drive it off the lot it's lost 1/3 of its value. New cars break down too, the last new car I foolishly bought (I was married, she insisted that we buy a new one for dependability) was a 1984 VW Rabbit, which stranded us eighty miles from home a month after we bought it; the alternator went out. New cars are only status symbols, which to me are symbols of foolish waste. Only the rich and/or foolish buy new cars.

I think I have to disagree a bit here. Buying a new car is not foolish unless you are only worried about resell value. It is a shame you had one new car that was dud but that shouldn't be an indictment of all new cars. I've bought new cars for a variety of reason, none of which I think is particularly foolish.

1) I know the complete history of the vehicle. I can make sure all preventative maintenance is completed and I can be sure not to slam on the brakes or jack rabbit start all the time. If you buy a used car, do you know it wasn't a rental beat to death, always had oil changes and basic PM, wasn't in an accident at some point, wasn't repaired with substandard after market parts, was a smoker's car, or any other variety of problems

2) I get what I want in it. I don't have to take what is on the used market. I love convertibles but I find people cheap out on accessories to afford them (the convertible version of a car is often several grand more than the normal model). I personally care that I have the features I want in a vehicle I'll drive for 6 or more years.

3) Often you can get good interest rates (like zero) on new cars which depending on how late the model of used car you buy might actually be a better deal

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

beltsbear (2489652) | about a year ago | (#43974533)

While I agree it is financially prudent not to spend more then $25,000 on a car if you are upper middle class many people can and do without serious financial harm. I am also upper middle class and felt that i could get everything I wanted for $23,000 on the road. $30,000 is not too bad especially of the cost of ownership is lower due to lower fuel and maintenance costs. You do not need to be rich to spend $30,000 or even $50,000 on a car, it is just a matter of priorities.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about a year ago | (#43980791)

I don't consider myself wealthy by any means, but I buy new. As long as you intend to own it for a while, it is a good thing. My truck comes with a pretty long warranty, though I have not had anything break on a car in like 10 years. The worst repair is the tires, and those just wear out over time. The battery also tends to go in about 3 years. Maybe I am wasteful, but I bought the truck for Boy Scouts, and it has been invaluable for storage space and for towing the troop trailer, a used truck just wouldn't tow as well as the longer it is driven, the less towing capacity as the cylinders wear in.

I have tried towing with a 10 year old truck, and it wasn't anywhere near the same, backing the trailer in, the truck had to actually work to move everything. My truck towing the same trailer can practically idle pushing the trailer. I also tend to only lose 2 mpg to towing, where an older truck would lose much more just in age. I can deal with my 15.4 mpg normal and 14 mpg towing.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43974775)

Well, I am technically upper middle class, and there is no way I could afford a $30,000 car

fyi, upper-middle class in the US is more in the range of $200,000 - $400,000 per year...

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about a year ago | (#43980803)

It depends where you live. Upper middle class in Maryland is around $90k

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#43981267)

fyi, upper-middle class in the US is more in the range of $200,000 - $400,000 per year...

Oh, well then I am not upper middle class at all, then. Since I make less than half of that I guess I am lower middle class. No wonder I can't afford a $30,000 car.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43975425)

So you have to be rich to buy a $30,000 car?

Since when?

Well, I am technically upper middle class, and there is no way I could afford a $30,000 car, so I would assume I would have to be rich to afford one.

The 67th percentile for income in the USA is $70,000/yr.
The 80th percentile for income is about $100,000/yr

Not sure what you consider to be "upper-middle class," but if you're in the top third of incomes, a $30,000 car really ought to be within your means, unless you live in New York City or have half a dozen kids. It may not be the best use of your money, but it should be easily doable if it were important to you.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43975981)

Or be willing to take debt to buy a car.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43977407)

Its called credit.

Re:Dangerous impractical toys for rich assholes... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#43981283)

Its called credit.

Oh, sure I could buy one on credit. No doubt that even though I have essentially zero disposable income, they would still be more than happy to finance a $30,000 car for me. But that would be just plain foolish of me to do.
If you can't afford to buy the car outright, then you should not buy it. If you can afford to buy it outright, then by all means buy it, on credit, and put the cash you would have spent into a mutual fund or something.

What a lame ass piece of junk! (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43972927)

Just wait until you hit a pothole with the dame thing.. Sheesh! Picasso, Calder, or Dali could have made a better design.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43973033)

Why would that be a problem?
I see trikes ridden all the time and they seem to do fine. I bet the aptera engineers know a little more than you.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43973275)

Yeah, well, some cars you don't see on the road for a reason. And the trikes you see run in the other direction. They're just trying to be artsy with this thing.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43973371)

What do you mean run the other direction?
A tadpole trike is a pretty common layout. The most common one I see is on the following website http://www.spyder.brp.com./ [spyder.brp.com]

The tadpole layout is way more stable than the other direction. This is an engineering decision, not one done for appearance.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43974229)

These [shiawasseehistory.com] are the ones I remember.

If you're gonna go with a trike, at least keep it classy [motorcyclecruiser.com]

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43975075)

By classy you mean oil leaking POS. If you want a bike that starts with an H, you want a honda.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43979295)

Blasphemy! Jane Fonda is more patriotic than you are.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43984979)

You mean nationalism, not patriotism.

I love my country and know we can do better than a leaky POS. If I continue to act this way it is my hope they will reform their ways.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (2)

Amouth (879122) | about a year ago | (#43975543)

You do realize the traditional trike design is an extremely unstable platform?

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43973377)

The Aptera runs in the same direction as the Spyder.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43973397)

Yeah, the Canam spyder is about the only new trike I ever see.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about a year ago | (#43976811)

Campana T-Rex is another, and a powerful vehicle too. Last I looked, it sports a 1200cc engine.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (3, Informative)

Cosgrach (1737088) | about a year ago | (#43973675)

Dude, I've driven the 'tad-pole' design for a while. It is WAY more stable than the single wheel forward three wheelers. Stop being a dick.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

Zencyde (850968) | about a year ago | (#43977309)

You're daft. That design is very stable. Regular trike styling has a habit of flipping over while turning. Just go look up the Reliant Robin. If anything, this design is far more intelligent than your usual trike. The drive train means that only rear force is going to be applied, and not from an angle. The back will slide out before it flips over. You want to see an inverted (someone else said "tadpole") trike at speed? Look up the T-Rex Motorcycle. It's a drift machine and looks like crazy fun. So please take your "trying to be artsy" presumption and stick it. You'd make a terrible engineer.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973097)

Vaporware glides over potholes.

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973209)

Just wait until you hit a pothole with the dame thing.. Sheesh! Picasso, Calder, or Dali could have made a better design.

Just wait till you hit a pothole with a motorcycle. Even in a normal car it freaking sucks. So what is your point? Ah.. It is ugly. Then don't buy it if design is important for you. Oh. I gotcha. You must be a Southern Redneck with a raised up truck on large wheels and suspensions, so you can mud race on your freedom days since that is what makes you a "real man!" Because that is what is important on commuting!

Sorry for flaming. But the sense of thinking on some people just drives me nuts :(

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973297)

other people having opinions... the madness!!

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43973461)

Just wait until you hit a pothole with the dame thing.. Sheesh! Picasso, Calder, or Dali could have made a better design.

That won't be nearly the issues as, say, having a blowout on a control wheel and running off into the steeply graded ditch...

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (0)

Spudley (171066) | about a year ago | (#43973501)

Just wait until you hit a pothole with the dame thing.. Sheesh! Picasso, Calder, or Dali could have made a better design.

Meh, Picasso already got his name on a rubbish car -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_Picasso [wikipedia.org]

Re:What a lame ass piece of junk! (2)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#43974723)

What a lame ass piece of junk

She'll make point five beyond the speed of light. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've added some special modifications myself.

Is this like the companies building... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973023)

Studebakers, DeLoreans and Austins?

Delightful! (2)

ninjagin (631183) | about a year ago | (#43973049)

Oh my. I'm very enthused by this news. I really hope that it rolls. I think they need to stay away from the all-electric pitch and go for the hybrid angle first. I hope also that they are permitted to borrow, perhaps with some government assistance, to get the product launch going.

Re:Delightful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973773)

If it needs gov assistance is it really a business or just corporate welfare?

Re:Delightful! (3, Interesting)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year ago | (#43974171)

If it needs gov assistance is it really a business or just corporate welfare?

The latter. Government shouldn't try to pick winners - could political hacks and their appointees be any less qualified for any such endeavor? - they should pick losers, and tax the living shit out of them, instead of trying to outguess the market. Pollution taxes, sin taxes, whatever you want to call them, but use taxation to redress corporate cost externalizations and pay for government at the same time, everybody wins but the total sociopaths.

Want to start a renaissance in power generation? Tax carbon releases, just like George Bush Sr. wanted. Then, suddenly wind and tidal and geothermal and biofuel processes become more profitable, so market pressures will cause them to become more efficient and accessible.... without any tax breaks or corporate welfare at all. Pick losers not winners.

Re:Delightful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43974773)

...Government shouldn't try to pick winners - could political hacks and their appointees be any less qualified for any such endeavor? - they should pick losers, and tax the living shit out of them,

Mod this up please, no points this week (so far).

Re:Delightful! (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43975193)

Taxing Losers is still Picking Winners.

Now, carbon taxation I would argue isn't about picking winners or losers. It's taxing a pollution source for the damage it causes.

That is false. (3, Informative)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year ago | (#43976337)

Taxing Losers is still Picking Winners.

You can claim these are the same things, and Libertarian and Republican fat cats will totally agree with you, but they simply aren't. Let me explain.

A government can use empirical data of existing damage and cost externalization to guide taxation - thus picking losers or it can make uninformed decisions based on hypothetical projections - thus attempting to pick winners.

Notice that one of these two processes is easily manipulable by nearly anyone - when you aren't using empirical data, it's all just handwaving and shouting and the loudest sociopath wins. Tax breaks for Solyndra and Fiskar? Please. Those companies never had a chance in the market regardless of taxation because they had no customers or business plan. Giving them money was a political handout even though the clueless, technically ignorant politicians doing it had no way to know that.

But when Congressman Whitenose can look up and actually see smokestacks belching filth into the sky, and his staffers can analyze real data showing who is driving up healthcare costs in the Congressman's district, he doesn't have to guess at a mythical future, he can examine the past and present and know the truth.

So picking losers is not the same as picking winners. It's the difference between creating harmful market distortions and creating a fair market - not a totally free laissez faire market (where Murder Incorporated always wins) but a FAIR market, where cost displacement onto taxpayers by favored entities is not permitted.

Semantic quibblers and corporatist meme-shoppers will always claim that taxing known bad actors is the same as funding hypothetically good actors. Don't fall for it. You could also claim that Achilles can never outrace the tortoise, because the Greek continually has to cover half the ground and then half of that et cetera ad infinitum. But Achilles kicks the tortoise's armor plated ass in the real world. Future prediction is fundamentally different from acting on empirical data, and government should always favor the latter.

Re:That is false. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43976693)

Taxing Losers is still Picking Winners.

You can claim these are the same things, and Libertarian and Republican fat cats will totally agree with you, but they simply aren't.

Mod up please, taxing losers sure looks like a good feedback mechanism to me.

Re:That is false. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43977575)

I could be wrong, but I don't think that lawmakers specifically gave anything to Solyndra, rather Solyndra applied for interest free loans they offered and won. That being said, sometimes the rules are written so that certain companies can win. But that has more to do with campaign finance and pork barrel spending (which stems from a geographically represented congress), than with lawmakers thinking they are good at picking.

Re:That is false. (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43978171)

I can see there is certainly a difference in the implementation, but the net result is the same. Gov't choosing one side of an equation to apply it's force.

I'm wildly in favor of taxing things we want to reduce or eliminate. I just don't think there's a significant difference between them.

Hell, taxing CO2 is more 'free market' than subsidizing chosen 'winners' :) Good luck getting the GOP and Libertarians to agree though! :)

Re:That is false. (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year ago | (#43979315)

Well, focusing on the sterile numbers of net value transfer rather than the method of implementation - when implementation is what actually impacts reality - is at least a little bit like a forest/trees thing. My spouse says "How you do it matters at least as much as what you actually do." You've also got an unexamined axiom that government economic interference is a zero-sum game, which I suspect is not really true.

But in any case I totally agree with you, in regards to your other statements! It amazes me that what were once solidly right-wing concepts - cap and trade, for example, or sin taxes - are now considered the purest left wing socialism by the GOP. They've totally lost their ideological moorings in pursuit of corporate cash.

Re:Delightful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43975651)

I know this is a nerd site, but come on, green energy just isn't there yet. You would tax known energy out of existence. Crazy!

Re:Delightful! (1)

ninjagin (631183) | about a year ago | (#43974273)

I'll violate my own personal rule of not replying to ACs just this once, as I can see that I'm raising some libertarian ire, here.

Assistance in the form of government-backed loans is a pretty even-handed way to help get funding going, but loans don't have to be the mechanism, nor do they have to be for everything Aptera might need to launch -- perhaps not even loans, per se -- how about 3-year municipal tax credits for building a production facility or opening a parts and distribution center, somewhere?

There are a lot of businesses that depend on some kind of government assistance to get going, so it's not unheard of. Corporate welfare is everywhere -- from farms and petroleum companies to contracting companies -- I think the scale, here, is small enough and the potential is interesting. Let's not make it a giveaway, but also be open to offering some support mechanisms, eh?

Dreams can be revisited (1)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | about a year ago | (#43973059)

I was so disheartened when they closed their doors in 2011. Jay Leno bought one of their prototypes it seems looking at his car collection.

What is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973109)

Is an Aptera a kind of butterfly?

Re:What is it? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43973243)

It's a car. It's buried in TFS somewhere.

Re:What is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973337)

I thought it was an IDE.

Re:What is it? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#43974339)

Aptera are insects that do not have wings. Butterflies are Lepidoptera

Why not import a Twike? (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43973187)

http://www.twike.com/ [twike.com]

Or buy one from Neiman Marcus?

http://green.autoblog.com/2006/10/06/neiman-marcus-tries-on-some-green-for-the-holidays-christmas-bo/ [autoblog.com]

It's at least better looking than the Aptera.

Re:Why not import a Twike? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43973253)

Because that thing will fall over the minute you turn a corner. See Reliant Robin for evidence.

Also it makes the aptera look like a work of art.

Re:Why not import a Twike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43974087)

I have been driving a Twike frequently, and it certainly will not fall over when you turn a corner. The center of gravity is low, with the batteries being located right above the rear axle.

The looks of it are debatable, but that isn't its main appeal. It's main appeal is a small electric car, that you can charge to full for about a dollar, which goes up to 80 km/h, has a range of up to 80km and which you can park on a motorcycle parking spot (very convenient in a city with few car parking spots).

In the end a car is supposed to be a tool bringing you from point A to B. Why carry 1.5 tons of steel and plastic with you, if all you really want to move is yourself?

Moving more than just myself in good weather (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#43974629)

Why carry 1.5 tons of steel and plastic with you, if all you really want to move is yourself?

Because much of the time I don't move just myself and spending an extra $30,000 for the occasions when I do is a rather poor economic choice. I could accomplish much of the same result just by buying a (much cheaper) motorcycle or scooter. Furthermore where I live this thing would be pretty much useless between the months of December and April due to the weather. My pickup truck however is useful year round for any reasonable use I have even if it isn't ideal from a fuel economy standpoint.

Re:Moving more than just myself in good weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43976699)

Did you notice how I did not say that everyone should be driving a Twike?

And, if you factor in the economic cost (especially future costs) of the happening climate change due to the current fossil fuel usage, it just might be a good economic choice. Go figure, eh?

Re:Why not import a Twike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973363)

Better looking? You gotta be kidding me. Also, the Aptera is "tadpole" and the Twike is a "trike". The tadpole is much more stable. Aptera was based on a thesis in aerodynamics and despite that still manages to look like something other than the usual dorkboxes that most fuel efficient cars are. It looks like an airplane to me, which is cool. The other cars all look like toasters or front halves of cars that got chopped off. Beauty is, of course, subjective... but reaally... better looking??? I just don't buy it.

Re:Why not import a Twike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973431)

I'm looking forward to seeing how ElioMotors fairs : http://www.eliomotors.com/
Although, the one I secretly want is this one : http://www.futurevehicletechnologies.com/the-evaro/the-car.html

Re:Why not import a Twike? (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43974391)

Interesting.

Nissan had a 1+1 commuter concept a long while ago --- glad to see people re-visiting this.

Because you sound like Elmer Fudd (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#43974887)

Why not import a Twike? Or buy one from Neiman Marcus?

Because it has the same failings - limited utility and poor performance in pursuit of fuel economy. And anything you buy from Needless Markup is going to be outrageously expensive. Plus saying the name "Twike" makes you sound like Elmer Fudd.

It's at least better looking than the Aptera.

Even if I agreed with you (and I don't - the Twike is hideous) that is like saying your boat leaks less than it used to. They're both really quite unattractive.

Not actually a car (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about a year ago | (#43973255)

In the US three wheeled vehicles are legally classified as motorcycles. Helmet laws by state [consumerreports.org] . There is another company that makes a motorized tricycle that is working on getting the helmet laws changed.

Re:Not actually a car (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43973311)

I have never understood this.

Helmet laws seem very inconsistant. Why are you not required to wear one in a convertible? To be consistant it should be based on what sort of protection the vehicle provides for your head.

Re:Not actually a car (2)

pipatron (966506) | about a year ago | (#43973361)

Or how easy it is to fall out of or off the vehicle in an accident.

Re:Not actually a car (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43973385)

I would imagine it is pretty easy to be tossed out of a convertible in an accident. Lots of people fail to wear seat belts, or to do so properly.

Re:Not actually a car (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43973453)

US standards say that a convertible has to have pylons, roll bars, or something so when the car flips it does not crush the people inside. In theory, if you have your seatbelts on, you should just hang there. Older cars are grandfathered in.

Re:Not actually a car (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43973487)

I have never understood this.

Helmet laws seem very inconsistant.

Because some state lawmakers aren't completely retarded.

Mostly, but not completely.

The convertible isn't going to dump you... (1)

sirwired (27582) | about a year ago | (#43973623)

Nearly any accident in a motorcycle involves you being thrown from it. A convertible is a car; the only accident where this would be an issue is a rollover, and due to their lower center of gravity, this is less likely than in a regular car. Convertibles also have roll bars and stiffer A-pillars to provide some protection.

Re:The convertible isn't going to dump you... (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about a year ago | (#43973911)

the only accident where this would be an issue is a rollover

Or possibly a humpback bridge, if someone isn't wearing their seatbelt.

Re:The convertible isn't going to dump you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43975017)

But some of the "trikes" offer the exact same features. (Rollbars or cage of some sort, seatbelts, airbags, etc.) I think that's where the argument lies.

Maybe the federal DOT should ask states to offer another type of classification for enclosed motorcycles designed with car-like features. Standards not as strict as for what's needed for cars (lighter less crashworthy vehicles insured same as bikes), but also exempting drivers from the usual motorcycle stuff if they drive like cars. (Pointless to learn everything needed for a two wheel bike if none of it applies to your particular vehicle. Can't dump it or lean it, only has one foot brake, automatic transmission, etc.) System should be allow such vehicles to be driven with a plain ol' Class-D license, and have the subcategory stuff details on the registration.

Re:Not actually a car (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#43974741)

I have never understood this.

Helmet laws seem very inconsistant. Why are you not required to wear one in a convertible? To be consistant it should be based on what sort of protection the vehicle provides for your head.

I'm probably missing a few counterexamples, but it seems to me that any vehicle where seatbelts are not required ought to have helmets required. Obviously this doesn't include back seats, older cars that had no seatbelts, etc. Basically if you are expected to be disconnected from the vehicle in an accident, then you need your own protection.

Re:Not actually a car (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43978327)

Why are you not required to wear one in a convertible?

Because if a 3000 lb car lands on you, you might as well be wearing goggles.

Re:Not actually a car (1)

budgenator (254554) | about a year ago | (#43979823)

You don't have to wear a helmet in an Aptera because it has an enclosed cabin.

NEWS FLASH: The Chinese have no hands! None! (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a year ago | (#43973347)

The Chinese-built mass-produced 2e should be less expensive than its American sibling, but Deringer believes that US buyers will want what his version has to offer. “From the initial research that I’ve done, I get a lot of people in Silicon Valley and California and Texas and other places who would like the car hand-made, not Chinese-made, and they want it to match to what their requirements are,” he tells us. “We can do that in the US, it can’t be done in China.”

.

Re:NEWS FLASH: The Chinese have no hands! None! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43974041)

Imagine how cheap they could work if they had hands! 8-(

BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL PROTOTYPE!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43973403)

I hope they reconsider and decide to pursue the early prototype using batteries with a ultra-high efficiency motor/generator configuration. Without a model such as that in their lineup Aptera will be relegated to urban-toy status and will NEVER be taken seriously as a viable commuter vehicle.

Meh (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#43973833)

Now, word comes that a new company may be manufacturing and selling Apteras as soon as next year."

And be out of business the following week. Seriously, I can't really see these things selling in any meaningful quantity. Certainly not enough to keep this company as a going concern. They're weird looking and impractical. Some might like the aesthetics but most won't. (Personally I think it's pretty ugly) Few people could use one as a primary vehicle which puts it into the expensive toy category. It apparently is fuel efficient which is great but it seems to have made a LOT of compromises in other areas to get there. Basically it seems to have sacrificed everything on the altar of fuel economy.

Leave a sleeping Aptera lie (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about a year ago | (#43973933)

Companies fail.
For reason.
Respect that...

Sorry for my skepticism, but I'll believe it when. (1)

kimgkimg (957949) | about a year ago | (#43973941)

.. I see them rolling off of the assembly line.

Where is Ralph Nader ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43974079)

... when we need him?

These things are going to be worse than Corvairs/Volkswagens when they hit the road. Three wheeled vehicles are very unstable, having the poorest handling characteristics of cars and motorcycles.

Re:Where is Ralph Nader ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43976949)

It needs 4 wheels. Take the hit to efficiency and it will become more like an F1 racecar...

Texas to California, seriously? (1)

loshwomp (468955) | about a year ago | (#43974377)

Until there really is a super-charger network from central Texas to California, I wish I could get one of the gas-powered (or gas-electric hybrid) Apteras.

If you're really making the Texas -> California road trip often enough that it's not an outlier, then an electric vehicle is not the right vehicle for you even if Tesla's Supercharger network (which is proprietary to Tesla, BTW) comes to fruition. The good news is that the (in)ability to make outlier trips like that doesn't have much bearing on the utility of EVs for the 3-4 standard deviations of driving that we do.

Elio is 1/3 the price, more useful, and greener. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43974753)

I looked at the Aptera when they were viable. Great style, but far too expensive.
Elio is 1/3 the price, more useful (600+ miles/tank) and greener. $6800

It's the first ultra-economical car that makes sense by being low-cost and leaving the hybrid and electric crap OUT.

http://www.eliomotors.com/

Re:Elio is 1/3 the price, more useful, and greener (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43980271)

The Honda 600n was sold in the USA starting in 1970.

Re:Elio is 1/3 the price, more useful, and greener (1)

quintus_horatius (1119995) | about a year ago | (#43983631)

One thing they both have in common: neither is actually available for sale

The big car companies figured this out (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43974819)

You have to gradually change styles. Coming out with a design that's aesthetically too radical will turn off a lot of consumers. "Radical" implies untested and unproven to some.

Why should Tesla have all the fun? (1)

Lorem_Ipsum (759018) | about a year ago | (#43975123)

Um, how about it's because Tesla makes real cars and not bad sci-fi movie props.

Aptera's Clueless Sales People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43976405)

While at RSA '09 they parked an Aptera in front of the hotel.

I looked at the car, small tires, low ground clearance, small fender clearance, and being from the Northern Climate I asked "How does it work in snow?"

Response "Why would you want to live anywhere like that?"

PROTIP: Don't build a car that only works in moderate climes.

Re:Aptera's Clueless Sales People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43977925)

They could have been a bit more tactful; but there are plenty of cars that don't do well in snow. When I bought chains for my Honda Civic, the guy behind the counter was like... "let me see if that's in stock, not too many people buy them". Fortunately, I've only used them once. Wow, what a PiTA; but it saved me from a huge hassle. I'd have been paying big bucks to get towed and/or spend the night in a motel without them. There I was in near whiteout at 10,000 feet and I distinctly heard somebody ask the tow operator if there were any motels around. There aren't--unless you get down. This was at the entrance to the Eisenhower tunnel. Conditions were so bad I didn't even realize I was in the little parking area right by the entrance. I almost made it to the tunnel without chaining up. Almost.

Sadly, no (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a year ago | (#43978641)

I think the Aptera is all kinds of cool, but I can't see enough people shelling out the bucks for it to make it viable. Teslas are luxury vehicles sold to people with money to burn. I don't see those folks getting excited about an ultra-light 3-wheeler.

I read the title only and thought - Aptera.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979919)

what era is that dinosaur from?

I really hope Aptera/Zaptera comes to be!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44044515)

I have always like this vehicle, very attractive, efficient and if it comes with an 80KW+ electric motor it'll have lots of acceleration too.
Looks a lot like my 1999 white Civic DX 2 door with black trim.
I hear that it is a part of ZAP motors? I hope the Zaptera doesn't have braking issues like on the Zap cars.

Make this happen!

Re:I really hope Aptera/Zaptera comes to be!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44044633)

I hope it at least comes with a 6.6KW level 2 charging station instead of the usual 3.3KW. Even better would be a Level 3 fast DC charging ability

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