California’s Aptera Motors today confirmed its battery supplier for its upcoming solar-supplemented, hyper-efficient three-wheeled cars: China’s EVE Energy.
It plans to use cylindrical cells, in the same 2170 format that’s been used in the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, as well as the Rivian R1T and others. The cells from EVE use NMC 811—meaning that their cathode composition follows a ratio of 80% nickel, 10% manganese, and 10% cobalt.
As Aptera pushes toward production, it’s made a series of supplier announcements recently, including some technology that strays from the EV norm. It recently confirmed that it will source its in-wheel motors from industry leader Elaphe, with initial production from Slovenia potentially extending to the U.S. later. The Lordstown Endurance electric pickup, due to be made in Ohio later this year by Taiwan’s Foxconn, will also be an in-house motor trendsetter—with those motors made at a local facility.
Although EVE Energy doesn’t yet power any high-profile EVs in the U.S., it maintains a strong reputation with Western automakers and makes a range of lithium-ion chemistries in pouch, prismatic, and cylindrical formats. It’s one of the four core battery suppliers for current BMW EVs—as BMW potentially makes a shift to cylindrical cells—and it’s made sample cells for StoreDot’s buzzworthy “100in5” cells that claim to be part of a strategy for adding 100 miles of range in five minutes of charging.
Aptera testing alpha prototype
The two-seat Aptera claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds, with its range of up to 1,000 miles permitted with the help of a very lightweight construction, a 0.13 coefficient of drag, and solar cells that can restore up to 4.4 kwh, or 40 miles, of energy per day on a sunny day in California.
That’s led to the claim that in normal commutes, users may “never charge” for weeks or months. They also won't need to rely so heavily on fast-charging, and might be just fine with a spare 120V AC socket.
Across versions offering a driving range from 250 miles up to 1,000 miles, the model starts at $25,900 and rises to $51,700. The company recently reported that it has more than 22,000 reservations and plans to build thousands of its vehicles starting later this year.