Ever since it was first unveiled
in 2007, many people were captivated with the sleek, futuristic looks of the Aptera. When Aptera Motors went out of business
in 2011, not having commercially produced a single vehicle, those same people were understandably disappointed. Now, word comes that a new company may be manufacturing and selling Apteras as soon as next year.
With its stunningly-exotic “car of the future” looks, extremely high claimed fuel efficiency, and a projected price of under US$30,000, the Aptera was a car that captured many peoples’ imaginations. Perhaps best of all, when the vehicle was initially launched, the first consumer models were slated for delivery by the next year – this appeared to be no pie-in-the-sky concept. After several years of pushing that delivery date forward, however, Aptera Motors announced last Friday that it was ceasing operations.
The pick of the world's most fuel efficient vehicles are lining-up at the Michigan International Speedway this week for stage one of the $10 million Automotive X PRIZE
. Thirty-six entrants are are taking part in the initial "Shakedown Stage" (April 26-May 7), where they will undergo official safety checks before hitting the track for final testing and an opportunity to iron-out any last minute bugs.
Aptera have displayed two prototypes at the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED
) conference held annually at Long Beach California and have revealed more specifications for the 2009 production 2e
. The big news is that we finally have some specs for the powertrain. The 1500lb (680kg) curb weight Aptera 2e will have a 60 ft/lb (81 Nm) electric motor driving the front wheels through a 10:1 single speed gearbox with power provided at 336 volts by a 10 – 13 kw/hr Lithium iron phosphate battery pack.
Aptera has released news that the initial pre-production front wheel drive version of the all-electric model known as the series 2e
has rolled out the door of its Californian production facility. For the next several months a small number of vehicles will be built for internal testing. Volume production for retail deliveries is now scheduled for October 1, 2009.
The already unmistakable Aptera 2e three-wheeler
is continuing to evolve as it approaches its promised 2009 release with the latest development being the introduction of front-wheel drive to replace the original belt-driven rear wheel set-up. Front-wheel drive will now be used in all production vehicles with the company citing improved traction, stability and greater efficiency at high-speed as the key reasons for making the switch.
The pressing need for a shift to efficient, low-emission vehicles has seen an array of eco-friendly models showcased by major auto manufacturers in recent times, but this new era of personal transportation also provides a starting point for smaller players with fresh ideas to enter the marketplace. Fitting squarely into this category is Aptera Motors, a Californian based company that has just announced the official launch of the Typ-1 - a radical new three-wheel, two-seat design available in all-electric or plug-in-hybrid versions that bundles bleeding-edge aerodynamics, incredible fuel efficiency and a strong focus on safety in a package that will cost less than USD$30,000. Gizmag spoke to Aptera Co-Founder & CEO Steve Fambro on the technology behind these eye-catching vehicles and the future plans for the company as it moves rapidly into the commercialization phase.