Aptera to return with 1,000-mile EV?

In 2011, a company by the name of Aptera filed for bankruptcy after failing to attain a government loan to fund development of affordable, ultra-efficient cars. The most famous of these was a three-wheeler called the 2e which was to be offered in hybrid and electric guises. The hybrid version was promised to return 200 mpg.

Well, it appears Aptera is back—with even more radical specs. Aptera’s original founders Chris Anthony, Steve Fambro and Michael Johnson have teamed up again in order to revive the company, the trio revealed to IEEE Spectrum in an interview published Wednesday.

Aptera 2e development prototype at company offices in Vista, California

Aptera 2e development prototype at company offices in Vista, California

They’ve already secured Aptera’s original intellectual property and plan to develop a new electric car boasting 1,000 miles of range on a single charge, or close to four times as much as what current EVs average. The key is reducing mass while maximizing aerodynamic efficiency.

They are looking at a similar design to the 2e but with improvements made possible via advances in computational fluid dynamics, electric powertrains, and additive manufacturing made over the past decade. They will also use an in-wheel motor in each of the three wheels for a combined 201 horsepower and batteries ranging up to 100 kilowatt-hours in capacity.

Design for new Aptera electric car, Aug 2019

Design for new Aptera electric car, Aug 2019

Getting the new Aptera off the ground will require funding. They will show a final design for their car in 2020 and will need to raise about $2.5 million to develop three prototypes for testing. To raise funds, the team will use crowd-funding service Wefunder.

Of course, getting a new vehicle startup off the ground is tough, and even tougher when you’re trying to build all-electric, three-wheeled, futuristic bubble cars. Nevertheless, technology and the acceptance for EVs has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, for the better, which should help Aptera’s chances this time around.

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