Aptera Motors Inc. is looking for some respect. And maybe a little bit of cash, too.
A story in today’s Wall Street Journal says the manufacturer of a three-wheeled electric vehicle wants to borrow $75 million from a U.S. Department of Energy program designed to speed development of fuel-efficient vehicles. Problem is, three-wheeled cars don’t meet the definition of an automobile under federal law, which calls for an eligible vehicle to have four wheels.
Congress is working on it, though. The newspaper says a new provision passed by the U.S. Congress in August would expand loan eligibility to include “any full-enclosed vehicle designed to carry two adults and that averages 75 miles a gallon.”
The three-wheeled car, known as the 2e, does not burn gasoline but does go 100 miles on a charge.
The Wall Street Journal adds that the new broader definition of an automobile was championed by a California Congressman whose district includes a major Aptera investor. The Congressman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), said that “Obsolete bureaucratic definitions should not create roadblocks and stifle innovation.”