- aptera motors has revealed its plan to create an electric car with 1000 miles of range. it previously made a prototype called the 2e and went bankrupt, but the three founders have reunited and are fundraising.
- aptera ceo chris anthony told car and driver exclusively that aptera vehicles will achieve zero-to-60-mph times ranging from 4.5 down to 3.0 seconds.
- the company plans to produce 10,000 units per year starting in 2022, with an initial target price between $34,000 and $59,000.
the recently rebooted aptera motors has no less a goal than creating the world's most efficient electric car.
nearly 10 years ago, the california-based company fell into bankruptcy after building a prototype for a hyperefficient three-wheeled ev. now, the company announced in an interview with the technology publication ieee spectrum, its founders have reunited to relaunch the company on the strength of building the world's first electric car with 1000 miles of range. (for context, the tesla model s tops out at 370 miles.)
this upcoming aptera, the company claims, will be extremely quick as well. ceo chris anthony exclusively revealed to car and driver the claim that a standard aptera will be able to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and that a performance version will come in at three seconds flat. he tells us, "we are deceptively quick with no wind and little rolling resistance. and we are deceptively big at about as long as a prius (175 inches) and wider than a model s by two inches (88 inches)."
the startup has yet to build a prototype of the new model, and its website is still under construction, but the founders are going public with their plans so they can raise funds. so far, the aptera wefunder campaign has hit almost $30,000 out of a stated $1,070,000 goal to design, engineer, and tool-test vehicles. forbes—which rightly asks why anyone would give money to a decade-old idea that has already failed once—points out that the technological improvements that evs have seen in that time have been vast. and, may we add, perhaps the team has learned from its missteps.
aptera's timeline, as laid out on the wefunder page, is—to be polite—ambitious: the first prototypes by mid-2020, then testing and validation, and production of 10,000 units per year in several variants, by 2022. by 2024, the company optimistically states, there will be 40,000 aptera units being produced each year, including additional models.
aptera names tesla, nissan, and bmw as its competitors and boldly claims that these companies "struggle to focus on efficiency as they are all built from a legacy of automotive design dating back several decades." bmw, for example, would likely not be interested in building an i3 made of plastic, but that's just what aptera is planning. ieee spectrum reports that apteras will have a resin-infused sandwich-core plastic composite structure to "avoid both the weight of steel or aluminum, and the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars required to stamp out those parts in volume."
what will these efficient speed demons set you back? aptera says their "initial target price" will be between $34,000 and $59,000, but notes the numbers may change once they start production.
it'll be interesting to see what happens next.