Wild View of Aptera From the Rear
This is good news for automakers such as Aptera and Myers Motors.
From Green Car Advisor:
Aptera Motors, Elio Motors and other companies developing fuel-efficient three-wheeled vehicles got a boost from Congress this week in their quest for federal funding.
Legislation to make three-wheeled vehicles eligible for Energy Department loans passed a conference committee of House and Senate leaders Wednesday and then got approval from the full House on Thursday.
It is part of an energy spending bill likely to go before the Senate by next week for final congressional passage, a Senate aide said.
“Obsolete bureaucratic definitions should not create roadblocks and stifle innovation,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who co-sponsored the legislation.
If the Senate passes the bill, it would have to be signed by President Barack Obama to become law.
General Motors Co. has been critical of the bill.
The Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program is intended for large automakers that make many cars and that have the potential for large gasoline savings, the company has said.
GM spokesman Greg Martin declined comment on the latest development.
GM has applied for three department loans totaling more than $10 billion.
The legislation would overturn department rules that limit funding to any four-wheeled vehicle that meets certain emissions and fuel economy requirements.
The measure would expand eligibility for the loan program to fully enclosed vehicles that are designed to carry at least two adults and that average at least 75 mpg.
The Energy Department also would have to reconsider applications filed last year that were rejected because the vehicles didn’t qualify.
Aptera plans to begin mass production of its 2e plug-in electric vehicle in the middle of next year. It wants to borrow $75 million from the Energy Department.
Elio plans to start marketing a narrow, gasoline-powered three-wheeler by the spring of 2011.
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