Published on January 19th, 2009 | by Karen Pease
The Skinny on Aptera: Top Aptera Execs Chat With EVCast
It seems there’s always a hunger among electric-vehicle enthusiasts for new information about the Aptera 2e, that composite-skinned energy sipper that looks like the future, where everyone’s wearing jumpsuits and has numbers as last names and crystals embedded in their palms that turn black on Lastday.
Unfortunately, the company tends not to be very talkative, so it’s those rare events where they go public that offer the most details. With their recent appearance on EVcast, they certainly didn’t disappoint. A transcript of the show follows.
Highlights and new information:
* The first production-intent vehicle was finished yesterday.
* The delay was mainly due to quality control issues. They decided a delay was better than earning a bad reputation, especially in this climate.
* Ten percent of customers have locked in their deposits, and the number is still growing.
* The front-wheel-drive switch was done in January (this was already confirmed by Steve on the forum)
* The doors open wider for simpler ingress/egress
* The exclusion of the Aptera from the PHEV tax credit “sucked a lot”, but the company is still working with lawmakers to change it.
* Battery pack will be lithium iron phosphate “and pixie dust”. The company is not willing to disclose the manufacturer yet. LiP cells are made by US companies like A123 and Valence, as well as Chinese companies like ThunderSky, and are generally considered to be among the safest, longest-life forms of lithium-ion batteries.
* The engineering team is working to incorporate the new standard SAE Yazaki charge connector, but initial vehicles will ship with a standard plug that can be adapted to fit existing outlets.
* Crash testing results are not out yet, and won’t be until the testing stage is done.
* Price still ranges from $25-$45k depending on options and powertrains; there will be “a number of powertrains” and a lot of interior options.
* First public test drives will be available to participants of the TED conference in early February
* Sales outside California will begin 9 to 12 months after sales in California commence.
* The company is having no funding problems and should not have any need for additional funding to get into prodiction. They are, however, preparing another fundraising round just in case.
* They think they’re a shoo-in to win the Progressive Automotive X-Prize
* There will be a new newsletter next week.
Bo: Friday, January 16th, 2009. Hello, everybody and welcome to another edition of the EVCast! I’m Bo Bennett
Ryan: I’m Ryan Levesque
Bo: And this is episode #156 of the EVCast. Friday edition of the EVCast, and the day before the weekend. Monday is going to be a holiday, just wanted to let everybody know right now, and I think we’ll do something Monday.
Ryan: Yeah, we could do something by Skype. Neither of us are going to be in the office, but we’ll figure something out.
Bo: It’s important to get that Monday news out.
Ryan: A special Martin Luther King edition.
Bo: Yeah. And, through the magic of editing, we are going to be inserting our interview that we did after this live broadcast with Aptera, the gentleman from Aptera. Who did we speak with?
Ryan: We had the chance to speak with Marques McCammon, who is the Chief Marketting Officer of Aptera, and as you’ll hear in just a few moments, partway through the interview, we were honored to be joined by Aptera co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Steve Fambro.
Bo: Yeah, that’s great, and thanks to all the listeners again, we got all your questions. We went through them, we picked out some good ones to ask, and we fired away. So here you go, enjoy the interview with Aptera.
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