Updating a story we have been covering for awhile regarding three wheel vehicles and their classification as either cars or motorcycles, Congress has now voted and passed a bill that will classify 3 wheel vehicles such as the Aptera 2e as cars. You can read previous articles by clicking here.
Congressional approval of the bill is the second to last step from becoming law. The President must endorse the bill. If approved by the President, and it is highly likely he will approve the bill, the law will classify any enclosed, 3 wheel vehicle capable of carrying at least two people and returning 75 mpg as cars. This will also make qualifying vehicles eligible for DOE funding.
The DOE will have to review previous applications for funding as the loans to companies such as Aptera were denied due to the 2e's previous classification as a motorcycle. Now, with the 2e classified as a car, it becomes eligible for funding. For Aptera, this is the breakthrough they were desperately seeking, but for makers of other 3 wheel vehicles, the additional safety requirements of vehicles classified as cars could put a hitch into their efforts to produce low priced, three wheel alternatives to traditional 4 wheel cars.
As Rep. Brian Bilbray, a co-sponsor of the bill said, "This is a huge win for scientific innovation and the environment. We need more innovation and less regulation when it comes to promoting new ways to save energy while saving money at the pump."
Hopefully the bill's passage will benefit the numerous companies that make three wheel vehicles by providing them with access to much needed funding that was previously beyond their reach.