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Aptera Unveils 200-MPG Pre-Production 2e

 
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Aptera 2e

Getting a new vehicle startup off the ground is tough, and even tougher when you're trying to build all-electric, three-wheeled, futuristic bubble cars. Aptera knows this perhaps better than anyone, facing its share of difficulties over the past year. But today, the company unveiled its official pre-production prototype, with the full-production model to come in about 11 months--once the final financing hurdle is cleared.

"The Aptera was developed completely from a clean slate.  It's the ultimate start-up," said Aptera President and CEO Paul Wilbur.  "Lots of engineering and dedicated people have created this beautifully-designed vehicle.  The objective is to assure that the safety, quality and overall efficiency of our first production vehicle are correct.  No compromises.  We have to get this right the first time, and we've contracted with the best and brightest in the industry.”

The resurgence in viability at Aptera came largely through new investments providing a modicum of financial stability. The company is also awaiting word on its Department of Energy application for a $184-million five-year loan through the Advanced Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. "We completed the first close of our recent round of funding last month, and one more financing hurdle remains.  When it's complete, it will take about 11 months to start our full-volume launch next year," said Wilbur.

As for the pre-production 2e, it's about what you'd expect if you've been keeping up with development. It's being pitched as a "200-mpg-plus" car, using phosphate-based lithium-ion batteries from A123 Systems to deliver electricity to the car's electric motor.

The pre-production or "design intent" prototype is now on its way to Michigan to compete for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, where it will undergo several months of testing, judging and evaluation.

We'll keep you updated with the latest on the Aptera 2e as it rolls toward production, and you can check out the car's development path here.

[Aptera]



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Comments (13)
  1. This vehicle will be at least a year late--wasn't it supposed to launch last fall? Does it have to pass all of those NTHSA tests for front and rear bumper impact, etc.? Do these electric cars get to waive all those safety requirements, just because they're "greener"? I'm all for new technology, but that thing looks like it wouldn't survive a collision with a wayward grocery cart.
     
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  2. R2Dad: It is a three wheel vehicle so it adheres to rules and laws of motorcycles. For that reason the rules are relaxed. I also don't think it will have to do NTHSA tests although they probably will supply them with vehicles so that public fear doesn't start.
    I just hope they bring them up here to Canada. I've been waiting for this thing to be sold since they debuted it.
     
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  3. I can't wait, i really want one, I hate opec.
     
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  4. More like Chapter 11 than delivering one in 11 months...
     
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  5. The car looks the most futuristic of any of the cars I've seen lately. Let's see if it ever makes it big on the streets
     
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  6. Post #2 by Rob from Canada got me thinking. How well will this 3 wheel (and light weight) vehicle handle in the snow? IMHO, this vehicle can't be considered a full time / primary vehicle for people who live to the north. Perhaps there is some data / article out there that addresses this that I haven't read yet, but if there isn't, then I'd say they still have a hurdle to over come. May be their marketing strategy is for primary / full time usage in warmer climates and a secondary vehicle in the colder climates that get snow?
     
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  7. how much does it cost
     
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  8. Good point snow challenged. The 1-wheel drive isn't going to help int he snow. I bet though some wacky Canadian is going to get their hands on one and modify it to replace the wheel with a snowmobile track and the front wheel pods with skis.
     
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  9. Actually its very easy to have it made front wheel drive since its an electric hub that powers it in the first place. The reason it gets 200 miles to the gallon is because a small gas engine with a transmission connected to an altenator system keeps the batteries charged. I spent the last three years trying to find a sponsor to help me build an electric trike that would run on this same concept. Its actually very simple and anyone with the money can turn any motor trike into this same type of hybrid. Its the cost of the Electric hubs that makes it hard for just anyone to do this.
     
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  10. I guess they finally discovered the 200 mpg carburetor that the oil companies have been hiding for 40 years.
     
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  11. Peter- I believe the model they are trying to bring to market is all-electric (notice the -e suffix), though I read about their hybrid development on their website a couple years ago. As you noted, it will be a series hybrid, no direct mechanical connection to the wheel, unlike the Prius. As Bo Bo asked- How much does it cost? I believe the last figure I saw was about $35K for the -e, a little less for the -h. I do hope they can stay afloat. It's a neat concept and the big manufacturers need the competition in order to advance R&D and control retail prices.
     
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  12. These companies kill their chances for success because of the outrageous prices that they charge for their autos. Make a Tesla type EV auto that sells for 25k and you'll become the most successful auto maker in US history...
     
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  13. Wow...this white babe is so sexy. How much does it cost? And is it really worth it?
     
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