-- Aptera Motors: The San Diego venture to build the three-wheeled electric Aptera 2e had hoped to launch sales in 2010. But as of last month, the company was awaiting a decision on its request for a $180 million Department of Energy loan to move forward. Marques McCammon, the chief marketing officer, says the company has moved into a new corporate office in Carlsbad, Calif., and dropped its plan to manufacture in California for cost reasons. If the Department of Energy loan comes through, Aptera will produce its electric and plug-in hybrid cars at a site in the Midwest that the company hopes to identify by year end.
-- BYD: Chinese-owned BYD America, with investor Warren Buffet as a major shareholder, had targeted 2010 for a U.S. market entry for its electric vehicles. In January, the company displayed cars at the Detroit auto show and said it would start U.S. sales in the spring of 2012. According to BYD sales associate Lara Zhang, a group of BYD employees is preparing a dealership in Glendale, Calif., for opening. Local press reports in Los Angeles indicate that BYD is building a U.S. sales headquarters there.
-- Coda Automotive: Coda, originally expected to launch U.S. sales in 2010, is now targeting the fourth quarter of this year to begin selling its China-built Coda Sedan. Its first factory-owned showroom will open in August at a shopping center in Los Angeles' Century City neighborhood, a Coda spokeswoman says. A second store is planned for next year in San Francisco, with others planned for large cities in the East. The company anticipates selling 100 of the $44,900 sedans by year end.
After delaying the project last year as it raised funds, Coda opted for a larger battery that the company claims can power the vehicle 150 miles per full charge.
-- Rivian Automotive: Avera Motors Inc., a small automaker startup in Rockledge, Fla., changed its name in March to Rivian to avoid a dispute over the Avera name. With only about 30 employees, Rivian is proposing a number of "fuel-efficient" models without specifying what powertrains it intends to use. But the larger plan behind the company is to build a lightweight vehicle platform using electric, plug-in hybrid and internal combustion engine powerplants from outside suppliers. The company has not said how it plans to retail the vehicle, but a company spokeswoman said sales will begin in mid- to late 2013.
-- Think: After Think Global AS ran out of cash and entered bankruptcy in Norway, ownership of the electric car maker and its U.S. and British sales subsidiaries was awarded to Russian investor Boris Zingarevich on July 25. Zingarevich has signed an agreement with Think's major creditors, U.S. lithium ion battery maker Ener1 Inc. and independent coachbuilder Valmet Automotive Inc. of Finland, to relaunch Think under the name Electric Mobility Solutions AS. Zingarevich believes he can restart production of the electric Think City two-seater with a new sales and service strategy in the first quarter of next year.
-- Wheego: Wheego Electric Cars Inc. of Atlanta sold its first car, the two-passenger electric LiFe model, through an Atlanta dealership in April. At that time, Wheego CEO Mike McQuary said the company was seeking capital to pay parts suppliers. McQuary now modifies that statement, saying Wheego continues to turn out vehicles slowly and will need more capital only when it moves into full-scale production. He declines to say how many vehicles Wheego expects to sell this year.
"We are just knocking them out one at a time," McQuary says. "I have a lot of dealers who haven't gotten the car yet."
-- ZAP: ZAP Jonway is the new name for ZAP, the California company that proposed in 2008 building electric cars in Kentucky for the U.S. market. ZAP Jonway was formed by ZAP's $36 million acquisition of Chinese vehicle maker Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. in order to secure a vehicle production source. The company is focused on selling China-built EVs in China. But the company continues to wait for a Department of Energy decision on its request for a $200 million loan to open an assembly plant in southern Kentucky.