Aptera unveils a design-intent version of its all-electric 2E and insists that it’s on the road to financial stability.
This post originally appeared on the Popular Mechanics website, where you can read it in its entirety. Written by Basem Wasef.
CARLSBAD, Calif.—On Wednesday, Aptera’s vice president and chief engineer Tom Reichenbach unveiled a design-intent prototype of the Aptera 2E. The all-electric vehicle—which was hours away from being shipped to Detroit to compete for the Automotive X Prize—wears a number of outwardly visible alterations from the earlier Typ-1 e prototype that will make it more suitable for daily use. Though the body is visibly paunchier than the predecessor we test drove two years ago, the 2E retains its striking, head-turning silhouette, not to mention a coefficient of drag that’s below 0.15.
Now boasting 22 cubic feet of cargo room (more than a Prius with its rear seats folded down), the 2E has larger doors that swing higher, a taller headliner, a lowered doorsill, and reworked ergonomics. To illustrate its functionality, Reichenbach unloaded four pieces of luggage and two competition-size golf bags from the trunk.
The 2E is the first vehicle Aptera has produced in which every major subsystem has been built using components sourced from suppliers that will be tapped for production. The 403-pound composite body, which is constructed of 30 individual parts, now uses a refined component process that’s easier to manufacture, and the suspension system has also undergone engineering refinements. Preliminary specs include a lithium-ion nano-phosphate battery that powers an internal permanent-magnet motor; the battery is made by A123Systems, and the motor is manufactured by Remy Electric Motor Technologies, a former division of Delphi. A full charge can be achieved in 11 hours, while a partial charge is available in 6 hours. Total motor output is 110 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque driven through a single-ratio transaxle, with an electronically limited top speed of 90 mph. Zero to 60 mph for the 1800 pound two-seater is estimated at 9 seconds, and the 2E’s mile per gallon equivalent is over 200 mpg, with a per-mile running cost estimated at around 2 cents.
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