Aptera and Elio, two companies producing three wheel vehicles, can briefly rejoice as their bids for receiving federal government loans are now one step closer to completion.
Legislation has been drawn up that will make 3 wheel vehicles eligible to receive federal loan money from the Department of Energy. The legislation went before a conference committee consisting of both House and Senate members and passed with overall approval. The House of Representatives later voted and approved the legislation.
Now the legislation will go before the Senate later this week. If approved, the President will have to sign it into law and Aptera and Elio, amongst others, will become eligible for government loans.
Not everyone is supportive of the bill. GM has been critical of the proposed bill stating that, "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." GM is implying that the the program was not intended for small companies like Aptera who will likely have little impact on the overall gasoline consumption in this nation.
But as Democratic House member Adam Schiff said, "Obsolete bureaucratic definitions should not create roadblocks and stifle innovation."
If the legislation passes, it will overturn rules that currently restrict funding to include fully enclosed vehicles with four wheels. The new legislation would include fully enclosed vehicles designed to carry two or more adults and which average at least 75 mpg.
If the legislation passes, the federal government will have to go back and review loan applications that were filed recently but rejected because the vehicles in question did not qualify for funding.
Aptera is hoping to receive $75 million from the Department of Energy to launch their 3 wheel plug-in electric called the 2e.
We will update you after the Senate votes on this legislation. Stay with us for more on this developing story.