Aptera Electric Car Available in “Volume” by October 2009

 

Aptera 2e profileFor those who haven’t heard of it, the Aptera 2e is the first vehicle from Aptera Motors, a Carlsbad startup with funding from Idealab, Google, and other sources. (Also for those who hadn’t heard of it: it’ll look great in your cave.)

The all-electric, three-wheeled 2e weighs in at around 1,500 pounds due to high-strength composite construction, has a small fraction as much aerodynamic drag as a Prius, goes 100-120 miles with a top speed of 85-90mph, and boasts normal car safety features, impressive crush test results, and crash testing (TBA).

With a price ranging from the mid $20s to the mid $40s (depending on options), Aptera is aiming to produce 10,000 a year in 2010 and 100,000 by 2015, including a subsequent four-wheel, four-seater code-named Palomar.

Now, they’ve announced what many have been long awaiting: a basic production schedule.





[social_buttons]

As Aptera has neared production, the details have been coming in fast and furious. Aptera officially announced what many had been suspecting for a long period of time — the production version is front-wheel drive. Founder Steve Fambro also stated in an interview that there will be an optional fast charger to charge it in 2-3 hours.

On Tuesday, those on the Aptera waiting list received a letter including some news:

“Our most recent corporate commitment was that we would deliver the first production Typ-1, now known as the 2e, by the close of 2008. Despite our well-intentioned efforts, we were unable to complete that vehicle before the close of the year, so it’s now slated for January 16. However, unlike prior plans, this vehicle will not be delivered to a retail customer. We will continue our builds but at a much slower rate starting with a small test fleet of the enhanced vehicles, then moving to our volume production launch on October 1, 2009.”

To put the delay into perspective, Aptera’s original production goal to deliver in late 2008 was set over a year ago, so a shortfall of a couple weeks isn’t bad. The wording is unclear as to whether all unit production will go toward the test fleet or whether unit production will commence for customers before mass production commences, but it is clear that the launch date for mass production will be this fall. Aptera goes on to explain that the delay and the use of a test fleet before full production was due to changes brought about due to customer expectations of ease of use and the advice of automotive professionals in Aptera’s ever-growing staff.

The other main piece of news is a “lock-in” proposal. As they near production Aptera says, “it has become equally important for Aptera to properly model our operations to meet demand.” As a consequence, they’re giving depositors an option: keep your $500 reservation refundable, as it always was, or change it to be non-refundable (but still escrowed) and get a $250 discount when you make your purchase. They note that they’re moving toward production “in the face of this challenged economy,” and having more firm commitments will help them with forecasting demand — a model that, they hope, “maybe Wall Street will see … as a role model for offering these types of returns on investments.”

Aptera concludes with their pledge:

“We will manufacture the most efficient vehicle on the road and continue to apply the input we receive from our consumer.” As we fly in the face of this challenged economy and write a new page in transportation history, we simply can’t afford to cut corners. We are going to do what it takes to get it right, and we cannot get there without your help and continued support. You have stood with us faithfully and we promise that our vehicles will be worth the wait.”

“We look forward to sharing our dream with you as Aptera introduces the world to the most energy efficient solution for personal mobility.”

Image credit: Aptera Motors





About the Author

Karen is a software developer who spends her spare time developing tools to advance green technologies — EV charger databases, solar power economics calculators, EV/PHEV simulators, etc.

She can be reached by email or by phone:
karen@rechargeamerica.net
319-337-8815

  • 상율 한

    I agree with the Nissan company that the EV will be a mainstream ultimately as electricity is the most common, available resource. All the media have reported ‘pain at the pump’ almost every day over the past years and ask “how did we get here ?” Given the overpopulation which is still growing globally, the centry-old fossil-fueled vehicles can not stand the pressure of fuel price any longer, even the hybrid failed to solve the problem. This CENTURY 21 calls for a new energy system, comprehensive investments, delayed for the 8 yrs.

    THANK YOU !

  • 상율 한

    I agree with the Nissan company that the EV will be a mainstream ultimately as electricity is the most common, available resource. All the media have reported ‘pain at the pump’ almost every day over the past years and ask “how did we get here ?” Given the overpopulation which is still growing globally, the centry-old fossil-fueled vehicles can not stand the pressure of fuel price any longer, even the hybrid failed to solve the problem. This CENTURY 21 calls for a new energy system, comprehensive investments, delayed for the 8 yrs.

    THANK YOU !

  • 상율 한

    I agree with the Nissan company that the EV will be a mainstream ultimately as electricity is the most common, available resource. All the media have reported ‘pain at the pump’ almost every day over the past years and ask “how did we get here ?” Given the overpopulation which is still growing globally, the centry-old fossil-fueled vehicles can not stand the pressure of fuel price any longer, even the hybrid failed to solve the problem. This CENTURY 21 calls for a new energy system, comprehensive investments, delayed for the 8 yrs.

    THANK YOU !

  • 상율 한

    I agree with the Nissan company that the EV will be a mainstream ultimately as electricity is the most common, available resource. All the media have reported ‘pain at the pump’ almost every day over the past years and ask “how did we get here ?” Given the overpopulation which is still growing globally, the centry-old fossil-fueled vehicles can not stand the pressure of fuel price any longer, even the hybrid failed to solve the problem. This CENTURY 21 calls for a new energy system, comprehensive investments, delayed for the 8 yrs.

    THANK YOU !

  • 상율 한

    I agree with the Nissan company that the EV will be a mainstream ultimately as electricity is the most common, available resource. All the media have reported ‘pain at the pump’ almost every day over the past years and ask “how did we get here ?” Given the overpopulation which is still growing globally, the centry-old fossil-fueled vehicles can not stand the pressure of fuel price any longer, even the hybrid failed to solve the problem. This CENTURY 21 calls for a new energy system, comprehensive investments, delayed for the 8 yrs.

    THANK YOU !

  • Karen…

    “moving to our volume production launch on October 1, 2009.” is a far cry from the headline of this article “Aptera Electric Car Available In Volume By October, 2009”

    MY guess is that Aptera will START production in October, 2009 (targeted start, anyway), but initially will produce only 1 or 2 vehicles a week. I don’t see them being ‘available in volume’ in October, unless by ‘volume’ you mean more than one.

    But I stay on the reservation list just the same.

    🙂

    Jimmyd

  • Karen…

    “moving to our volume production launch on October 1, 2009.” is a far cry from the headline of this article “Aptera Electric Car Available In Volume By October, 2009”

    MY guess is that Aptera will START production in October, 2009 (targeted start, anyway), but initially will produce only 1 or 2 vehicles a week. I don’t see them being ‘available in volume’ in October, unless by ‘volume’ you mean more than one.

    But I stay on the reservation list just the same.

    🙂

    Jimmyd

  • Karen…

    “moving to our volume production launch on October 1, 2009.” is a far cry from the headline of this article “Aptera Electric Car Available In Volume By October, 2009”

    MY guess is that Aptera will START production in October, 2009 (targeted start, anyway), but initially will produce only 1 or 2 vehicles a week. I don’t see them being ‘available in volume’ in October, unless by ‘volume’ you mean more than one.

    But I stay on the reservation list just the same.

    🙂

    Jimmyd

  • Karen…

    “moving to our volume production launch on October 1, 2009.” is a far cry from the headline of this article “Aptera Electric Car Available In Volume By October, 2009”

    MY guess is that Aptera will START production in October, 2009 (targeted start, anyway), but initially will produce only 1 or 2 vehicles a week. I don’t see them being ‘available in volume’ in October, unless by ‘volume’ you mean more than one.

    But I stay on the reservation list just the same.

    🙂

    Jimmyd

  • Nick Chambers

    JimmyD

    That’s why the word volume is in quotes 😉 — as in “not really in volume, but the company says it will be producing it in volume.” In fact, Aptera will commence “production” of the car this month. It is unclear how many cars they will produce between now and when “volume” production begins later this year.

  • I have been in love with “aptera” at first sight…if I had the $$$ I would buy one…I am an automobile mechanic on wheels, my VW ’73 Combi is my MobileShop.

    I really like the rear traction idea, but then, designers know better…front wheel drive requires less training for the pilot, so I understand. Ideally, you would produce both versions and let the buyer decide…

    I have driven rear drive, rear engined vehicles, most of them with swing axles (I love them!!!) most of my life. All Dr Porsche designs, where very manouverable IF you knew how to take advantage of the design…otherwise, DON’t EVEN DRIVE THEM!

    I am 66, started driving Renault Dauphine’s 46 years ago. The only exception to the rule: LandRovers 88 & 109…love them too.

    May you acomplish your dreams. As an aircraft ocasional pilot, I apreciate the aerodinamics: as a painter (acrilics & pastels) I apreciate the aesthetics, balance & harmony of this design. As a hacker & carker, I apreciate your permision to add an important adition to my blog…

  • I have been in love with “aptera” at first sight…if I had the $$$ I would buy one…I am an automobile mechanic on wheels, my VW ’73 Combi is my MobileShop.

    I really like the rear traction idea, but then, designers know better…front wheel drive requires less training for the pilot, so I understand. Ideally, you would produce both versions and let the buyer decide…

    I have driven rear drive, rear engined vehicles, most of them with swing axles (I love them!!!) most of my life. All Dr Porsche designs, where very manouverable IF you knew how to take advantage of the design…otherwise, DON’t EVEN DRIVE THEM!

    I am 66, started driving Renault Dauphine’s 46 years ago. The only exception to the rule: LandRovers 88 & 109…love them too.

    May you acomplish your dreams. As an aircraft ocasional pilot, I apreciate the aerodinamics: as a painter (acrilics & pastels) I apreciate the aesthetics, balance & harmony of this design. As a hacker & carker, I apreciate your permision to add an important adition to my blog…

  • scottsim

    Good job, cheerleader!!!!

    More people need to realize the emphasis with this vehicle design, less is more…ie, decreased resistance makes for either increased range or decreased power demands in a EV…

  • scottsim

    Good job, cheerleader!!!!

    More people need to realize the emphasis with this vehicle design, less is more…ie, decreased resistance makes for either increased range or decreased power demands in a EV…

  • scottsim

    Good job, cheerleader!!!!

    More people need to realize the emphasis with this vehicle design, less is more…ie, decreased resistance makes for either increased range or decreased power demands in a EV…

  • scottsim

    Good job, cheerleader!!!!

    More people need to realize the emphasis with this vehicle design, less is more…ie, decreased resistance makes for either increased range or decreased power demands in a EV…

  • scottsim

    Good job, cheerleader!!!!

    More people need to realize the emphasis with this vehicle design, less is more…ie, decreased resistance makes for either increased range or decreased power demands in a EV…

  • scottsim

    Good job, cheerleader!!!!

    More people need to realize the emphasis with this vehicle design, less is more…ie, decreased resistance makes for either increased range or decreased power demands in a EV…

  • Doug

    It looks pretty cool, but I am still not sold on the three wheel design. It just seems to lack stability in turns. I mean what happens if the driver loses control and goes into a spin? My guess is it would flip over very easily.

  • Doug

    It looks pretty cool, but I am still not sold on the three wheel design. It just seems to lack stability in turns. I mean what happens if the driver loses control and goes into a spin? My guess is it would flip over very easily.

  • Doug

    It looks pretty cool, but I am still not sold on the three wheel design. It just seems to lack stability in turns. I mean what happens if the driver loses control and goes into a spin? My guess is it would flip over very easily.

  • This car is going to be awesome. I have been following it for a year and a half now. If anyone is interested in a little Aptera fan club you can join us at ApteraForum.com

    Save Gas, Save Money, Save the earth. Buy an Aptera

  • This car is going to be awesome. I have been following it for a year and a half now. If anyone is interested in a little Aptera fan club you can join us at ApteraForum.com

    Save Gas, Save Money, Save the earth. Buy an Aptera

  • This car is going to be awesome. I have been following it for a year and a half now. If anyone is interested in a little Aptera fan club you can join us at ApteraForum.com

    Save Gas, Save Money, Save the earth. Buy an Aptera

  • Bill

    I am constantly astounded at the chorus of nay-sayers out there that start their negative “It Won’t Work” litany the instant new thinking comes along. This car is needed NOW and in great numbers….ditto for a better Prius, the Volt and everyting else on the way that uses our most abundant renewable energy source: Electicity. As for panning the three wheels, no one is raising all this heck about the tens of thousands of motorcycle and scooters on the road….I have ridden them for almost 60 years and have never been hurt….The Aptura is 10 times safer, perhaps even more, than any motorcycle. You could put a box of bandages in the glove box, drive this car for 20 years and likely never use a single bandaid. Must so many of you be so blind to a new idea, a new way of doing the same old thing….getting from here to there and not wrecking the planet. Give it a chance.

  • Bill

    I am constantly astounded at the chorus of nay-sayers out there that start their negative “It Won’t Work” litany the instant new thinking comes along. This car is needed NOW and in great numbers….ditto for a better Prius, the Volt and everyting else on the way that uses our most abundant renewable energy source: Electicity. As for panning the three wheels, no one is raising all this heck about the tens of thousands of motorcycle and scooters on the road….I have ridden them for almost 60 years and have never been hurt….The Aptura is 10 times safer, perhaps even more, than any motorcycle. You could put a box of bandages in the glove box, drive this car for 20 years and likely never use a single bandaid. Must so many of you be so blind to a new idea, a new way of doing the same old thing….getting from here to there and not wrecking the planet. Give it a chance.

  • Bill

    I am constantly astounded at the chorus of nay-sayers out there that start their negative “It Won’t Work” litany the instant new thinking comes along. This car is needed NOW and in great numbers….ditto for a better Prius, the Volt and everyting else on the way that uses our most abundant renewable energy source: Electicity. As for panning the three wheels, no one is raising all this heck about the tens of thousands of motorcycle and scooters on the road….I have ridden them for almost 60 years and have never been hurt….The Aptura is 10 times safer, perhaps even more, than any motorcycle. You could put a box of bandages in the glove box, drive this car for 20 years and likely never use a single bandaid. Must so many of you be so blind to a new idea, a new way of doing the same old thing….getting from here to there and not wrecking the planet. Give it a chance.

  • Bill

    I am constantly astounded at the chorus of nay-sayers out there that start their negative “It Won’t Work” litany the instant new thinking comes along. This car is needed NOW and in great numbers….ditto for a better Prius, the Volt and everyting else on the way that uses our most abundant renewable energy source: Electicity. As for panning the three wheels, no one is raising all this heck about the tens of thousands of motorcycle and scooters on the road….I have ridden them for almost 60 years and have never been hurt….The Aptura is 10 times safer, perhaps even more, than any motorcycle. You could put a box of bandages in the glove box, drive this car for 20 years and likely never use a single bandaid. Must so many of you be so blind to a new idea, a new way of doing the same old thing….getting from here to there and not wrecking the planet. Give it a chance.

  • Bill

    I am constantly astounded at the chorus of nay-sayers out there that start their negative “It Won’t Work” litany the instant new thinking comes along. This car is needed NOW and in great numbers….ditto for a better Prius, the Volt and everyting else on the way that uses our most abundant renewable energy source: Electicity. As for panning the three wheels, no one is raising all this heck about the tens of thousands of motorcycle and scooters on the road….I have ridden them for almost 60 years and have never been hurt….The Aptura is 10 times safer, perhaps even more, than any motorcycle. You could put a box of bandages in the glove box, drive this car for 20 years and likely never use a single bandaid. Must so many of you be so blind to a new idea, a new way of doing the same old thing….getting from here to there and not wrecking the planet. Give it a chance.

  • Pingback: Holy Honda Mod, Batman! Hawk 3-Wheeler looks like Batmobile Meets Rocket : Gas 2.0()

  • Actually trike setups with dual front wheels, called “reverse trikes”, are inherently and proven much more stable than trikes with a single front wheel.

    The single front wheel trike setup is proven on maneuver tests to be more sensitive to tipping at the same G-cornering forces.

    With reverse trike setups (like the Aptera), I would expect grip and tipping to be on par with most four-wheel cars. Research the “T-Rex” or the V13R trike, and they are sports vehicles with incredible handling.

    Haven’t you ever seen a GTI up on three wheels in a tight corner while road racing, with the inside trailing tire about 2 inches off the track? It’s the norm, with two front wheels firmly planted on the track. The trikes can still corner quite well!

    Doc

  • Actually trike setups with dual front wheels, called “reverse trikes”, are inherently and proven much more stable than trikes with a single front wheel.

    The single front wheel trike setup is proven on maneuver tests to be more sensitive to tipping at the same G-cornering forces.

    With reverse trike setups (like the Aptera), I would expect grip and tipping to be on par with most four-wheel cars. Research the “T-Rex” or the V13R trike, and they are sports vehicles with incredible handling.

    Haven’t you ever seen a GTI up on three wheels in a tight corner while road racing, with the inside trailing tire about 2 inches off the track? It’s the norm, with two front wheels firmly planted on the track. The trikes can still corner quite well!

    Doc

  • Tim

    I agree with Doc that a reverse trike is safer. If you think about it, when you enter a turn, say a left turn, most of the weight is shifted to the right front tire. The easiest way to tip an Aptera is to have it rear-wheel drive (production units are now front wheel), and accelerate as quick as it can while turning sharply. That is hard to do moving forward with front-wheel drive. A standard trike has no right front wheel for stability in the turn, therefore making it easy for the car to tip in that direction, ultimately ending up in a roll.

  • Tim

    I agree with Doc that a reverse trike is safer. If you think about it, when you enter a turn, say a left turn, most of the weight is shifted to the right front tire. The easiest way to tip an Aptera is to have it rear-wheel drive (production units are now front wheel), and accelerate as quick as it can while turning sharply. That is hard to do moving forward with front-wheel drive. A standard trike has no right front wheel for stability in the turn, therefore making it easy for the car to tip in that direction, ultimately ending up in a roll.

  • Tim

    I agree with Doc that a reverse trike is safer. If you think about it, when you enter a turn, say a left turn, most of the weight is shifted to the right front tire. The easiest way to tip an Aptera is to have it rear-wheel drive (production units are now front wheel), and accelerate as quick as it can while turning sharply. That is hard to do moving forward with front-wheel drive. A standard trike has no right front wheel for stability in the turn, therefore making it easy for the car to tip in that direction, ultimately ending up in a roll.

  • Tim

    I agree with Doc that a reverse trike is safer. If you think about it, when you enter a turn, say a left turn, most of the weight is shifted to the right front tire. The easiest way to tip an Aptera is to have it rear-wheel drive (production units are now front wheel), and accelerate as quick as it can while turning sharply. That is hard to do moving forward with front-wheel drive. A standard trike has no right front wheel for stability in the turn, therefore making it easy for the car to tip in that direction, ultimately ending up in a roll.

  • Tim

    I agree with Doc that a reverse trike is safer. If you think about it, when you enter a turn, say a left turn, most of the weight is shifted to the right front tire. The easiest way to tip an Aptera is to have it rear-wheel drive (production units are now front wheel), and accelerate as quick as it can while turning sharply. That is hard to do moving forward with front-wheel drive. A standard trike has no right front wheel for stability in the turn, therefore making it easy for the car to tip in that direction, ultimately ending up in a roll.

  • Tim

    I agree with Doc that a reverse trike is safer. If you think about it, when you enter a turn, say a left turn, most of the weight is shifted to the right front tire. The easiest way to tip an Aptera is to have it rear-wheel drive (production units are now front wheel), and accelerate as quick as it can while turning sharply. That is hard to do moving forward with front-wheel drive. A standard trike has no right front wheel for stability in the turn, therefore making it easy for the car to tip in that direction, ultimately ending up in a roll.

  • Tim

    I agree with Doc that a reverse trike is safer. If you think about it, when you enter a turn, say a left turn, most of the weight is shifted to the right front tire. The easiest way to tip an Aptera is to have it rear-wheel drive (production units are now front wheel), and accelerate as quick as it can while turning sharply. That is hard to do moving forward with front-wheel drive. A standard trike has no right front wheel for stability in the turn, therefore making it easy for the car to tip in that direction, ultimately ending up in a roll.

  • danwat1234

    I highly doubt that they’ll be producing by October 2009. They waited too long to perfect the car and it was never produced. Zaptera USA, which supposedly bought Aptera, no news for the past 3 years.