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Aptera Ousts Founders Steve Fambro And Chris Anthony

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Aptera 2e, revised

Aptera 2e, revised

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Just three months after the backstabbing and name-calling between Tesla co-founders ended, scandal has begun to rock another California-based EV  start-up: Aptera Motors has booted founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony from its rolls. This is the latest in a string of setbacks and delays for the company, which included working to get its 2e model classified as a car to make it eligible for DOE funding, and design problems with the vehicle, including windows that didn't roll down. Is it a new day for Aptera? Or the beginning of the end? [Wired]

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Comments (9)
  1. The founders were probably correct in assuming those first 3000 customers wouldn't care if the windows rolled down or not. Maybe the real issue is that the new conservative, ex-detroit CEO knows how messy, expensive and time consuming a major platform upgrade can be while also in production on the original. Guess the founders will just have to be satisfied being wealthy.

  2. Aptera, Zap, Eco Motors, Fischer, etc.. were killed of by the DOE. The DOE Loan and ATVM funding heads worked FOR Detroit. They with-held funding for the new competing companies that would threaten Detroit until it forced those companioes to do extreme things to try to survive, like have internal takeovers in order to survive. The DOE funding groups cut off their other means of support by telling ALL of the investor groups in the world that they would subordinate their terms with more attractive terms so they had to wait to fund After DOE's ATVM and loan gaurantee funds funded, which the heads of the loan gaurantee and ATVM groups never intended to do.

  3. @Steve: Not sure I agree with you about DOE funding. To the best of my knowledge, the only Detroit company to receive DOE dollars is Ford. The other three outfits funded by the low-interest program are Nissan, Tesla, and Fisker -- the latter being the company I think you meant when you typed "Fischer". (We're working on ways for y'all to edit your comments, I promise!). Anyway, for a full rundown, look here:
    Don't get me wrong: I love a good conspiracy theory, but I don't think there's one at play here. Or if there is, it doesn't work quite the way you've phrased it, since GM and Chrysler remain shut out of the funding.

  4. Judging on the design, it is the designer that should be ousted.

  5. I'd rather see a turbulent shakeup for the good of the company than a comfortable status quo for the good of the founders/executives. We all know how it goes when an established crew gets too comfy in the car biz.

  6. Talked to someone I know at Aptera today. Doesn't appear that any of the engineers involved in the 2e project have been let go. Maybe this is just the usual clash between founder/CEO types and the money mone?

  7. @Richard: Remember Nissan also got big bucks to build a lithium-ion cell plant in Tennessee:
    Not a Detroit Three company, granted, but definitely a "real" OEM rather than a startup like Tesla, Fisker, or Aptera.

  8. tell me -since when do founders ever add value after the first couple of years. good riddence

  9. @John: True -- and I pointed to Nissan above -- but Steve's allegation was that the U.S. government used DOE grants to prop up Detroit. The inference was that DOE funds were somehow tied to the whole bankruptcy/bailout event -- despite the fact that, if I'm not mistaken, the application process for the loans was begun under the previous administration, which wasn't nearly as Detroit-friendly as the current one.
    In other words, implying that the DOE loans have been used as political weapons to give Detroit an artificial edge doesn't make sense when two of the Big Three have been shut out of the loan process altogether and 75% of grantees aren't based in Detroit.

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