Just get it out there in the showrooms - then see if it, or the Chinese cheaper version, actually sell. But please make it a hybrid - that would be a selling point - there are too many small-engine only-IC cars around. The way Obama and the regulators are going in the US, hybrids might end up mandatory by 2014 anyway.
10th June, 2013 @ 7:45 p.m. (California Time)
I liked it in 2007, and I like it now :)
Though I wish they would put two tires at the back. Some configuration otherwise.
A nice futuristic dash that wraps around the driver and capacitive soft touch controls with "Corning world of glass" style interface woul dnot go astray.
10th June, 2013 @ 10:10 p.m. (California Time)
Both price options seem quite excessive, though I would definitely like to see them on the road. I would go with a gas engine and hydraulic regenerative braking and acceleration assist...or flywheel regeneration. Both are fairly simple and avoid the high priced batteries of hybrids/electrics/plug-ins and the added weight. They don't have to be perfect. If it just saves 0-30 mph energy that would still help quite a bit. It also should have no trouble reaching 100mpg perhaps 150mpg and still have reasonable acceleration. This engine would be a nice match: http://www.gizmag.com/wave-disc-generator-combustion-engine/19394/ It is small and efficient and with hydraulic regenerative braking and acceleration assist 200mpg may even be realistic. Maybe that is too many nascent technologies but it would be something special.
11th June, 2013 @ 3:15 a.m. (California Time)
I would go for the made in China model since it is way less expensive than the hand-made in America model. I think the gas engine one would make more sense than the pure-electric one (and the hybrid [like that found in diesel electric trains] makes even more sense).
I think it would be neat if some one brought back the Corbin Merlin roadster (or at least something very similar to it).
11th June, 2013 @ 6:17 a.m. (California Time)
$50 GRAND?! HA ha hahahahhaha........no. They take a company that had a decent idea, then roll it up in a premium package to line the company;s pockets with gold.
For that kind of money, I want free roadside assistance FOR LIFE, and a 10 year no questions asked unlimited mileage warranty.
It'd be cheaper to buy a Prius and have a battery and solar package done to get the mileage very close to what the Aptera gets.
11th June, 2013 @ 6:28 a.m. (California Time)
The price for the Aptera has to be driven much further downward. Already it has competition from Elio Motors that will be building an 85 mpg three-wheeled vehicle that will cost less than $7000 and be built in an old GM plant in Shreveport, LA. Sure the Elio's passengers don't sit side by side, but usually for commuting, you only have the driver in the vehicle anyway.
11th June, 2013 @ 9:20 a.m. (California Time)
I had a position for one but bailed when they hired the auto engineers and went overpriced bigger engine ect.
11th June, 2013 @ 9:23 a.m. (California Time)
Happy to see! There is a market for the Aptera. There always has been a market for expensive, somewhat exotic vehicles and as long as a company can survive catering to that, it's all good. Think "Morgan Plus-Eight".
But they do have to work on their sales pitch. It is incompetent management when somebody within the company labels some part of their product line "a better product" over some other.
Not gonna work that way. Must find different ways of distinguishing the U.S. made ones. Tesla is showing how you can have the same thing at half price, and not repel people from wanting to shell out way more to buy the "full package". They won't tell you the 50k version of the "S" is not as good a car as the 100k one.
Seriously Aptera, stop doing such a dumb thing.
11th June, 2013 @ 9:29 a.m. (California Time)
"You can fool some of the people all of the time." seems appropriate here.
Bill Allison, the renowned, suspension engineer who designed the Packard torsion ride and who's work inspired Sir Alec Moulton as a young boy almost slapped me when I told him that I loved the Mog.
He pointed out that three wheeled vehicles are essentially motorcycles and from a suspension perspective was inherently dangerous.
While I do love seeing that motorcycle engine in front of the radiator again but I do also believe that certain things need to be taken very seriously. Particularly when human lives are at stake.
Bill knew suspensions backwards and forwards and had developed suspensions cross linking them in virtually every possible combination.
He held more patents on suspensions than any other engineer.
So when I covered the Progressive Automotive Insurance Automotive X Prize for AltEnergy.mag I got to watch the Aptera spin out a number of times
I mentioned bills knowledge to the Reporter of Consumers Reports and she cracked up.
The problem behind this is that there is an absurd notion that less wheels mean less rolling resistance. If that were absolutely true, all the rail cars would have 3 wheels, but they don't. They have bogied paris of 8 wheels and that provides the lowest rolling resistance.
If you don't believe this then build 3 models with 4, 6 and 8 wheels.
Put them on an inclined plane and let them roll.
Use a piece of chalk to mark where they roll to a stop and you will see the truth to the physical phenomenon.
Otherwise talk with the Japanese Professor who designed the Elica.
That the Chinese bought into this fits perfectly with their buying into the MooCow Computers of our Brilliant Governor.
BTW Bill is the only person to have hit the Betz limit with his wind engine designs.
11th June, 2013 @ 9:49 a.m. (California Time)
Elio at 80mpg and $6800 works much better for me.
11th June, 2013 @ 10:34 a.m. (California Time)
I doubt that the price quoted is correct as that would put the Aptera in the same range as the Tesla and the Aptera is designed from the ground up to be a much less expensive car. Plus the Aptera is not designed to be a gas only car. This was a possible configuration down the line, the original is designed to be Electric followed be a Hybrid.
11th June, 2013 @ 10:41 a.m. (California Time)
They should've just given it a Gold Wing engine right from the start.
11th June, 2013 @ 11:53 a.m. (California Time)
Like most, I would love to drive an EV. I want to be able to fuel up from the sun with a PV panel or plug in to reduce fuel costs by 80%. Too bad it's not practical yet. I believe it will be within a decade.
Meanwhile, the Aptera platform is a long overdue innovation in efficiency. It can be used with any power train. And when the battery technology allows, Aptera can be converted to an EV. That is my reason to own one.
That said, I am not ready to plunk down $50K+. I don't know how much I would pay until I know all the details and test drive, but NOT that much. This is where management comes in. It is their job to get the price down. First, why build in CA? The business climate there is terrible.
11th June, 2013 @ 12:08 p.m. (California Time)
I don't think they get it,I would be surprised if they sell any at 50,000 dollars.A aerodynamic motorcycle,enclosed 2 seater,one door,4 wheel tilting 100 -200 mpg USA-1-2 liter per 100Km,Coefficient of drag around .0.16 as comfortable as a sedan,safe,fun.thats what commuters need.We must stop this huge oil consumption,traffic grind locks,LA traffic moving at 20 mph,one person in a 4000 pound car,10 -20 mpg USA maybe ?We are headed for big trouble,We need some smart thinker's to change things around,lets not wait and allow the manufactures force us to screw up the environment,while we go broke.their all ready complaining about CAFE 54 mpg requirement,what a joke.More rounded corner boxes with 4 wheels,Boring !!!!
11th June, 2013 @ 1:07 p.m. (California Time)
Ugly car. Trunk looks like it's impossible to use. Front wheels sticking out so far are going to be sliced off or bent by a bus or truck.
No wonder the first company went under.
11th June, 2013 @ 2:25 p.m. (California Time)
Aptera went out of business because they were undercapitalized for the size of the project they were undertaking. The shape of the car is cool, that's the innovation they brought. But the powerplant is probably under-powered and raspy, the steering/suspension/handling is probably unsophisticated, the cabin is probably poorly executed - I suspect they were just too small and inexperienced to properly execute a modern car.
The car itself looks too long and unwieldy for a city commuter, how can it compete with a stubby little Smart car? It would be an awesome highway tourer though. If it were properly designed! That's the big "if".
11th June, 2013 @ 4:07 p.m. (California Time)
Buckminster Fuller came up with this car in 1933, and addressed a couple of the concerns in his design. There was an accident with another car that had nothing to do with the design but it wrecked the car. Chrysler was supposed to start producing it, but they felt it would unfairly compete with all of their other cars, so they backed out. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_car
(and here: http://www.gizmag.com/dymaxion-car-makes-a-rare-public-outing-at-salon-prive/19013/ Ed.)
11th June, 2013 @ 4:19 p.m. (California Time)
Wake me when you can buy one. This sounds like the same ancient song and dance by little boutique EV startups going out of business and morphing into some other company which also struggles. It's even worse than most in having all the confusion of 2 companies in different countries trying to do the same thing. Are they competing with each other? Partners? Don't get it. The Aptera was truly one of the more advanced concepts, but despite the phenomenal and well-deserved and really kind of miraculous success of Tesla, I still expect this to go nowhere like virtually every other cool EV venture ever made. Tango. Coda. GEM. Sparrow/Myers. Nevco. Think. Reva. Better Place. Fisker. Zap. Zenn. Stop me when you get tired. Who knows, maybe they will succeed in making a few before they collapse.
It's too bad, sorry for being so cynical, and the Aptera is truly innovative. But come on.
11th June, 2013 @ 4:39 p.m. (California Time)
A multinational that sets up a US operation based in California is run by fools.
12th June, 2013 @ 7:05 a.m. (California Time)
Zaptera not the most reliable distributer. but at $50large they don't need to worry, they won't sell. Cross the body with an approved 250 cc scooter motor and sell at $12,000 and sell thousands.
12th June, 2013 @ 9:34 a.m. (California Time)
1)This Aptera vehicle is over priced at $50k.
2) It looks like a plane without wings, if the company is going to sell for $50k, make it fly.
3) For $50k it better be a top of the line Hybrid with every amenity standard.
4) For $7,000 you can buy an Elio. ( I have no affiliation with the company,) but if you're going to buy a three wheeled vehicle,save $43k
12th June, 2013 @ 9:40 a.m. (California Time)
Gargamoth - It looks like a plane without wings
In fact, that's really what it is. The designer wanted to make an airplane, but his wife said no, so he made this instead.
12th June, 2013 @ 10:23 a.m. (California Time)
no, fuller came up with something called the dymaxion...and it was nothing like this "car".
in fact, it is not a airplane without wings. you know not.
undercapitalized? hardly. but yes, if you they wanted to make 10k/year cars then they had no where near the money. they had money to go small, they went big with nothing to show for it but a trail of excuses.
12th June, 2013 @ 10:05 p.m. (California Time)
I really like the look of the Aptera and would never buy the straight gas version, only the plug-in hybrid or all electric version. It could yield 180MPGe or more easily.
But it is doomed. Way too expensive, a startup company that doesn't have the reliability of Toyota's Prius, Chevy's Volt, Tesla's Model S, etc.
Sad but true. RIP
22nd September, 2013 @ 3:03 p.m. (California Time)
There is no reason for the car to be priced at any more than the original Aptera, which was less than $30,000. They have all the designs, molds etc. so nothing further needs to be done. What they do need is sufficient funds to begin producing the car! As far as reliability is concerned, the Aptera is much less complicated than the Prius, Volt or Tesla and being hand made it should not be any less reliable. For those who do not like the design my advice would be, don't buy one and quit complaining! For those who come up with imagined handling or other problems, please do some research before you comment further.
10th November, 2013 @ 7:37 p.m. (California Time)
Wasn't the core idea for the Aptera for an efficient hybrid car under $30k? At $50-55k, this is going nowhere.
25th December, 2013 @ 6:15 p.m. (California Time)
Well, I've been watching and reading about this little car for a very long time and felt that the original people on the project had the right idea, Produce a very high mileage car with the price in the great range that the common working stiff could afford!.... Not the 50K mentioned here. Sad, but someone got ahold of them or maybe building the bodies in Detroit has them at union rates. That old mentality has to stop... times are different now. Keeping the price in the fair range would sell many cars and lock them in. But maybe the Government wanted them to fail to begin with by not granting them the money years ago which was the death blow back then. The Gov surely doesn't want any one little company to threaten their big 3 back in Detroit! Good old boys club. Guess it'll be the Elio for me. So sad that Aptera has to go the way of the Volt and others in price....
29th January, 2014 @ 5:22 p.m. (California Time)
Hi there, does anybody have a contact of the company building the Aptera in US? I can't find a homepage of Aptera USA, Inc. which is always mentioned in the blog entries.
10th February, 2014 @ 6:22 a.m. (California Time)
The ELIO would be a Good Compromise even with an IC Engine, at $6800
Low Cost, 84MPG, easy to maintain. Many people can Afford One, which is not the case with a Tesla, Apterra, Zapterra or whatever you call it!
9th October, 2014 @ 9:50 a.m. (California Time)
Were still waiting for the Aptera 100% electric. 9/11/2015
11th September, 2015 @ 3:30 p.m. (California Time)