Three-Wheelers Approved for DOE Funds

Aptera 2e


Many manufacturers of high-mpg and electric vehicles have adopted a 3-wheeled layout for cost and weight savings, and—in some cases—aerodynamic efficiency. In most states, however, these vehicles are classified as motorcycles. That motorcycle moniker has made them ineligible for DOE funds set aside to foster innovation among American automakers… until now!

More details, after the jump.

After months of debate, Congress has finally passed a bill that will pave the way for manufacturers of vehicles like the Aptera 2e (shown, above) to qualify for funding from the Department of Energy.

Of course, before the bill becomes law, President Obama needs to sign off on it—which he is reportedly excited to do. Assuming the President signs bill into law, any manufacturer of an enclosed, three-wheeled vehicle capable of carrying at least two adults at least 75 miles per gallon of gasoline can be eligible for funding.

Although the DOE will still review applications on a case-by-case basis, early “favorites” to receive funding include Aptera’s 2e, the Zap! Alias (shown, below), and Robert Riley’s diesel-electric XR3.

Zap! Alias

SourceAutomotive News (subs. req’d)

Image CreditsAptera, Zap! cars.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.