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Review: Aptera 2e

 

The Aptera 2e has received nearly 4,000 deposits in anticipation of an October 2009 launch date. The final price has not been set, but will be between $25,000 and $40,000. The initial release has been limited to California residents.

From a first glance the car doesn’t really look like a car, which is by design. “Open up any book on automotive design and styling. Look at how they begin drawing a new concept vehicle. They almost always start with a rectangle!!!!” says founder Steve Fambro. “65% of the gasoline we use as a country is used by our cars just to push the air out of the way.”

Increasing efficiency through aerodynamics became the driving design force behind the Aptera 2e. “Why wouldn't we design cars to push the least amount of air out of the way as possible?” Fambro says, and references streamlining design influences from birds and fish. “By radically lowering the drag of our vehicle, we more than triple the efficiency compared to any other vehicle on the road.”

They don’t stop with the shape of the vehicle. Calling steel “last century’s material,” the 2e embraces far lighter composites. The efficiency of the vehicle is enhanced further by the lower rolling resistance of the three wheel design.

The prototype has a curb weight of 1760 pounds, with the production model slated to weigh in at 1500 pounds. The battery range is projected at 100 miles with two 180 pound adults and 250 pounds of cargo.

In performance mode the vehicle is said to have a 0-60 time of less than ten seconds, and a top speed of 90 mph. Recharging overnight requires nothing more than a standard 110-volt plug.

The interior is well referred to as a cockpit, with the aerodynamic lines of an airplane interior blending with that of a wheeled vehicle. Gullwing doors sweep up and out, serving both the function of ease of entry, but adding to the aircraft inspired aesthetic.

A center console has a navigation screen with internet connectivity, and has capabilities beyond the normal point-to-point directions. It can locate the nearest charging station, and calculate the ‘greenest’ route to a destination by calculating the lowest battery load per route.

Overall, the Aptera 2e shapes up to be a real disruptor in the traditional EV market. The 2e addresses nearly every major hurdle or stumbling block of earlier EVs: 110-volt charging, 100 mile range, exotic looks, performance, technology and at a price point maximum of $40,000.

Aptera 2e

Aptera 2e

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Aptera 2e, revised

Aptera 2e, revised

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Comments (12)
  1. "Price Too Vague"

    I really like the looks of the Aptera, but asking someone to put down a deposit when the price is "between $25,000 and $40,000" is a non-starter for me. $29995, maybe. $40,000, sorry.
     
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  2. "taxpayer"

    We need to get this to Obama and His Congress! As a taxpaying American for all my life, I want my billions of tax dollars to go to a company like this rather tnan to the BIG 3 BAHEMOTHS of Detroit who will suck up the billions at the top, middle and bottom with NO benefit to the taxpayers or the environment! They are just another AIG partying on our money! Put our money on a company that is ready to go with an Electric that will end our slavery to the Arabs!
     
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  3. "collision testing"

    I really like it. But is it safe? I hope it will be tested as thoroughly as the best "traditional" cars.
     
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  4. "Price is Perfect"

    Clowns aside, if Aptera actually builds the 2e they'll have a hit on their hands.
    Forget Nobama, I don't want my tax dollars given away to incompetents or anyone else, we have a free market economy to reward and punish accordingly.
    I notice Mr. Watanabe of Toyota isn't asking his government for help. Nor is Mr. Tata nor Mr. Fukui.
    We need more Steve Fambro and less Rick Wagoner in our corporations.
    Rock on Aptera.
     
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  5. "Find Out More Yourselves"

    Read the Aptera website thoroughly, for answers to your questions. 500 chars is not enough to clarify the vague article.
     
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  6. "retired"

    Seen it before with Gasohol to mini cars.
    Americans always start out with the greatest intentions.
    But they will always want to keep up with the "Jones" and buy that bigger faster, newer car.
     
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  7. "yeah, sure.."

    Looks like fun! Of course this vehicle looks like it would lose in a head on collision with a dog let alone some granola eating celebutard coming back from yoga class, yakking on her cell phone and turns your Aptera into a hood ornament on her Hummer 2.
    When Al Gore, Laurie David and the other enviro-hypocrites at the NRDC or Shave the Nuclear Gay Whales throw down the capital investment and buy one of these death traps for their own personal use, I might stifle a yawn.
     
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  8. "yeah, sure.."

    Looks like fun! Of course this vehicle looks like it would lose in a head on collision with a dog let alone some granola eating celebutard coming back from yoga class, yakking on her cell phone and turns your Aptera into a hood ornament on her Hummer 2.
    When Al Gore, Laurie David and the other enviro-hypocrites at the NRDC or Shave the Nuclear Gay Whales throw down the capital investment and buy one of these death traps for their own personal use, I might stifle a yawn.
     
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  9. "Safer than a motorcycle"

    The Aptera is great, I wish I could buy one.
    Regarding safety concerns, this vehicle is much safer than any motorcycle, and due to it's 3-wheel design it is classified as a motorcycle.
     
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  10. "Safer than a motorcycle"

    The Aptera is great, I wish I could buy one.
    Regarding safety concerns, this vehicle is much safer than any motorcycle, and due to it's 3-wheel design it is classified as a motorcycle.
     
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  11. As far as the safety concerns expressed about the Aptera I can say that I've seen first-hand how strong this vehicle's composite shell is. I'd much rather be in this vehicle than pretty much any other steel-bodied car on the road in a head-on with a Hummer! The closer you get to a sphere the more structural strength you have. This thing is STRONG!
     
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  12. The Feb. 2011 issue of Technology Review, page 61 (table) indicates the 2e has a 20 mile range. Is this correct?
     
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