What’s Going On With Aptera & The Emirates?

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While many people on the political right think internal combustion is going to be the norm forever, it’s becoming harder and harder to maintain that position. The talking points have to change every year because they keep being disproven, so many anti-EV trolls have simply resorted to lying their butts off or sticking to outdated information.

But, if your whole economy hinges on oil, you can’t afford that level of lying and self-delusion. So, we’re seeing countries in southwest Asia rethink their position. Oil will obviously continue to be important for transportation globally for decades, and will continue to be important for non-transportation applications (such as plastics) for decades more. Despite that, a big drop in demand is coming as EV technology improves, and money in places like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has to be spent wisely to guarantee the future for those places.

That’s why we’re seeing more and more of that oil money getting invested in alternatives to oil. Probably the most well-known example in recent years is the ownership of Lucid Motors. Based in Arizona and run by American engineers and executives, the company is funded and owned by the Saudi government. But there are many, many other examples out there.

So, when Aptera suddenly announced that the company’s doing special versions of the car for investors in the UAE, that got my attention. However, instead of taking a side on whether this is going to save or hurt them, I want to explore different possible things that could be going on behind the scenes here.

The Optimistic Scenario (& Its Downside)

It’s no secret that Aptera has been seeking funding for production for years. Worse, the lack of transparency on what the company needs for production and the amount of money they’ve collected from people promised a car leads many people to assume that the company isn’t going to make it in the long run. However, gauging what’s really going on there is tough because the company won’t answer the question clearly, or at all, which doesn’t inspire confidence.

What we do know from statements since 202o is that Aptera’s been trying to find large institutional investors to fund production. That much has been said over and over.

So, the optimistic scenario is that the company finally found the investor or investors it was looking for. But, to get that investment and start production, the investors wanted their own version of the accelerator program to produce some special UAE cars.

Of course, the downside to this could be that the company gets controlled by a country that frequently ranks on the bottom of human rights indexes. This could bring some bad press, of course, but it could also affect the culture of the company and its treatment of people if not managed carefully.

The Middle Scenario

Another good scenario could be that the company has some serious investors that they’re trying impress with this move. This would be a lot less of a sure thing than a deal that’s complete, but if there are some serious people wanting to fund production and this is just the icing on the cake, this could be a good thing.

There is some risk to this, though. If the company commits to production in the UAE and then doesn’t get the money together, this could turn some people off permanently when production doesn’t happen.

The Bad Scenario

It’s also possible that Aptera doesn’t have super serious big investors who will fund production, and that this is a Hail Mary pass of some kind meant to pull in investors. The higher amount needed to secure a special UAE vehicle does make a difference, but at the same time, it’s not a lot when we used to see numbers like $50 million thrown around.

If the company runs yet another accelerator program and still tells people that Aptera is short on money needed for production, it would look bad. Really bad.

Aptera Could Solve This Issue Quickly

If this article seems like a bunch of wild speculation to you, then you’re right. We have so little to go on and have gone on so little for years that all we can do about things like this is speculate. This leaves room for some people to be highly optimistic, but it also leaves room for some people to be downright hateful of the company, and everything in between. When there’s a vacuum of information, people can put whatever they want into that void and make any argument they want.

Rather than be highly optimistic like I’ve been in the past or be highly pessimistic about the company like some of my fellow writers here, I’d rather just invite Aptera to be more transparent and let us know what the situation really is for production.

We’ve been hearing for years that the company just needs that special investor to come along and then production is going to happen. Since then, we’ve seen money come from the accelerator program, government grants, and other sources, but then got no updates on how that affects the production situation. Some transparency on this and other things would go a long way toward helping people feel better about Aptera.

I Hope We Get Answers Soon

My biggest fear for Aptera is that the company reaches the “shit or get off the pot” moment again and ends up having to get off the pot. I don’t pretend to know when that happens, because it will depend on the sentiments of a lot of people. People with pre-orders, small investors, big investors, and the EV community in general all need to be happy with the company if it’s going to work out.

While I’ve definitely seen people turn sour on the company who weren’t already sour on it, I don’t know how many people have done that or how many more would have to go negative for the tipping point to be reached.

I personally want to drive an Aptera, so I hope that the company gives either an announcement or more information about where it stands soon.

Featured image by Aptera.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1983 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba