In March, Aptera announced it had done all the development necessary to head to production, and that all it needed was to move into acquiring the right equipment and workforce to do so. Now the company has revealed that a new infusion of $24 million in cash is moving the process along. If everything goes according to plan, Aptera will begin production of its airplane-like Typ-1 electric vehicle (EV) in December, 2008 with first deliveries to start in early 2009. A Typ-1 plug-in hybrid is expected to follow.

The car will only be available in California upon launch. Priced at a mere $27,000 the Typ-1 is rated at 120mi (192km) per charge, figures that no production EV has yet managed to combine. A full charge will cost about $3, according to the company, though that will depend on where the electricity is purchased. That equates to better than 160mpg (1.47L/100km) on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

About a year after the Typ-1 EV goes into production, meaning December 2009 - if all goes according to plan - the Typ-1 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will become the second Aptera model, reports the New York Times. It is designed with a 40mi (64km) electric-only range, beyond which it relies on a range-extending engine as a generator for the batteries. It therefore can provide identical fuel economy to the EV model for trips up to 40mi, but as trips go beyond that mark, fuel efficiency diminishes until at about 350-400mi (560-640km) it has fallen to the equivalent of about 130mpg (1.8L/100km).

All of this will depend on the production and development process going perfectly to plan, however - something nearly unheard of in the electric and hybrid automotive business. Nonetheless, the prospect of an attractive, futuristic and highly efficient electric or plug-in vehicle for a reasonable price is something to keep an eye on.