Remember when I posted the bit about Aptera getting approval to apply for a U.S. Department of Energy loan for advanced transportation technologies? Just today they mentioned it to their fans via a newsletter. (Either I was ahead of the game, they were behind, or both.)
Also in this newsletter was an exciting update on what the company could do with such a loan if it were granted to them. I’ll paste it below for your reading pleasure:
Aptera applied for a DOE loan in December, 2008 and was rejected in 3 days. The program was only open to 4 wheelers and we have 3 wheels.
Now, we have to re-file the application, this time, in full business plan detail. The loan program details are quite specific about what the loan money can be used for and when the loan will be paid back.
The process is a lot like a “government grant” program in its technical detail, but more like a commercial loan from the monetary side.
Okay Aptera…So now that you are eligible for the loan, what will you do if you get it?
1.) For starters, we are going to go faster. Let’s be honest, Aptera is a start-up and doesn’t have the resources most other automotive companies have. To date, we have had a strategy of slow, organic growth. It is not that we didn’t want to go faster; we just didn’t have the balance sheet to pull it off. With the support of a DOE loan, we could take a more broad view of the market and institute a strategy that allows us to scale much faster than our previous plans. We will still start in the California market, but the movement to subsequent markets could come more rapidly than our prior plans…with more volume, more technical support staff, more sales and service support. The result is touching more of America, faster.
2.) The other key acceleration would come in the form of the 2 series ‘big brother’. We have maintained from the beginning that the 2 series line of vehicles was only our entree into the market and a larger, more family-oriented sedan would soon follow. The potential of a DOE loan makes that vehicle become a reality much more quickly. That single action would take Aptera from a small iconic brand in the marketplace to a contender for as much as 1% of the overall market. In case you were wondering, that is the 100,000 units you have heard us speak of reaching in ~5 years.
3.) Lastly, we would do our part to put more of our American neighbors back to work. Our plan is that Aptera will occupy at least 2 production facilities. These facilities will provide gainful employment for as many as 3,000 American workers. That is to say nothing for all of the suppliers and service providers that will be positively impacted. Construction, logistics, parts suppliers, sales people, and service professionals would all rise in the marketplace in support of the distribution of the world’s most efficient vehicles.
The bottom line is that Aptera is out to change the world and the Advanced Technology Vehicle program could help us accomplish just that…only FASTER!!! We have to show our worth, but we have confidence in the vision that is Aptera
– Paul Wilbur, President and CEO, Aptera