## Aptera Motors Unveils Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Versions of Typ-1

##### 19 November 2007
 The Aptera Typ-1.

Aptera has officially introduced the all-electric and plug-in gasoline series hybrid (extended range electric vehicle, EREV) versions of its Typ-1 three-wheeled vehicle. (Earlier post). Both versions will be priced at less than $30,000. The all-electric model has a range of 120 miles. The plug-in series hybrid has achieved more than 300 miles per gallon with a total range of more than 600 miles. All-electric range is between 40 and 60 miles. The electric version is slated for delivery in 2008, with the EREV model to follow. Since the Typ-1e (electric) and the Typ-1h (plug-in series hybrid) have different battery needs, this may result in different battery manufacturers for the two models. The Typ-1e is designed to use a 10 KWh pack, while the Typ-1h uses a smaller pack. The cycles and DOD (depth of discharge) are different for both applications. Aptera will announce further information regarding the battery lifespan and warranty policy well before it begins manufacturing the Typ-1. Although the first Aptera prototype used a parallel diesel hybrid powertrain, the company found that “it’s impossible” to get a small diesel engine certified for emissions in California. Aptera switched to a small, water-cooled EFI gasoline engine with closed loop oxygen feedback and catalytic converter coupled to a 12 kW starter/generator for its Typ-1h. Solar cells embedded under the roof operate an always-on climate control system, ensuring the interior never gets too hot or too cold. The Aptera Typ-1 safety features include a front crumple zone, a front end that re-directs crash energy in a frontal impact, steel and composite side and rollover protection as well as driver and passenger side airbags. The car has “two plus one” seating offering room for driver and passenger while an infant seat (for newborns to age three) can be located in the middle behind them. Fully refundable reservation deposits of$500 are now being accepted from California residents on the Aptera website (http://www.aptera.com). The company will initially deliver vehicles in Southern California, then in northern California and to other regions nationwide. To date, the company has received more than 400 pre-sale deposits.

Aptera is backed by Idealab and Esenjay Investments with initial financing allocated to building the Typ-1 all-electric and plug-in hybrid prototypes. Aptera is currently raising additional capital to begin manufacturing.

Interesting, but it comes down to the question of crashworthiness, especially on highways. Moreover, while we are in the 21st century, the cars we drive are the 19th! Would be nice if the neighbor next door or the next was named George Jetson, but alas, no.

Looks neat. Their website states that the cost of the all electric will be $26,900 and$29,900 for the hybrid. I couldn't find anything on its cruising speed, but the original post from January 2006 indicated that its top speed was 95 mph. Of course, that post also states that the car would sell for less than $20,000. Maybe by the time I'm ready for new car in ten years or so, there will be something out there suited to my needs. Seems they can't be lithium batteries if the all-electric is cheaper than the hybrid. Unless they found a supplier who went under 50 cents per watt-hour, which is great news. As is the claimed 120 miles from only 10kwh. This is the performance breakthrough we've needed: less than 100 wh/mile average from a highway-capable vehicle. This is the sweet spot where electrics get a bigger and bigger advantage over gas engines. Now if we could only do it with 4 wheels and pass a crash test. I figure the aerodynamics are slightly compromised by having to provide intakes and exhaust for the hybrid version, so we can squeeze a little better cD, and cut the frontal area by moving the front wheels into the body. I've been thinking of a retractable front spoiler/barrier that extends further and further from the car the faster it goes, then locks in place during a panic stop, effectively adding several feet to the crush space. But based on the Fiat 500's impressive crash testing, it looks like multiple-airbags will be the fastest solution. Is this a series plugin hybrid, or a parallel plugin hybrid? Doh, got my answer by reading more closely. It's series. Which is why it costs more, since it's the exact same car PLUS a small generator. Their website is quite good. http://www.aptera.com/ It is certainly an innovative vehicle. Four flat panels’ replaces “panel and back mirrors”. Solar powered air-condition, the shape of the vehicle and much more. Normally a good rule of thumb is only to do one or a few new thing at a time in order to increase the likelihood of success. I hope they will make it anyway. It is a three wheeler so maybe it requires a motorcycle license? Production is announced to begin October 2008. Woody Allen called, he wants the prop cars from "Sleeper" back. Seriously, who's going to put their infant into this until it undergoes front and side impact crash tests? Seriously, who's going to put their infant into this until it undergoes front and side impact crash tests? This may come as a shock to you, Bill, but only a small minority of households have infants in them. But thanks for your baseless fear-mongering nonetheless. Hey, I want MY car back! :) Would be cooler if they went with the diesel like the first prototype. I guess the new emissions regs won't allow it. I would have put down$500, but only for CA residents?? What the hey, OR resident's money is no good? My house is less than 10 miles from the border.

too bad it's ugly as hell. i think they would find that people generally want a car that looks like everyone else's car. maybe slightly different, but a standard car body.

too bad it's ugly as hell. i think they would find that people generally want a car that looks like everyone else's car. maybe slightly different, but a standard car body.

There will always be a market for plebeian aesthetics, hence the Pontiac brand. What do you drive, sir?

Seriously, who's going to put their infant into this until it undergoes front and side impact crash tests?

Surely it'll undergo crash tests before it goes on sale?

I think it looks really nice. Crash testing is a big issue but they claim it will be robust because of its construction and shape. I think it would be wonderful if normal people had the option of choosing a 300mpg car, I really hope this project comes to fruition

I disagree that people generally want a car that looks like next doors car, some people might but most people want a car that practical, fuel efficient, lots of space which combined with safety regualtions tends to dictate a lot of the exterior appearance.

I think If people had the option of selecting a car on looks alone, they wouldn nearly always choose something beautiful like an aston martin over something boring looking like a golf/jetta. Sadly they don't have this option, cost and practicality dictate choice for the average working person. Hence the legions of slightly boring look cars we see everywhere.

The all-electric model has a range of 120 miles. … All-electric range is between 40 and 60 miles.

- - -

Which is it?

I'm kind of curious about the turning circle and how wide the car is with those two front wheels. You would probably have to re-train your intuitive feel for the physical dimensions of the car.

This is a "motorcycle" and not subject to crash testing. And there are 3.3 million infants born in the US each year. I wouldn't even consider putting anyone under 10 years old in one of those things. Cool, but not practical.

And there are 3.3 million infants born in the US each year.

A whopping 1% of the population.

I wouldn't even consider putting anyone under 10 years old in one of those things. Cool, but not practical.

I don't think safety is a problem just because it's class as a motorcycle. It's got a good size front crumple zone compared to a mini, its got a great rear crumple zone, and being composite it will actually be stronger then steel, so the sides should be able to take some major impacts. It does look prone to rolling over thought (with 3 wheels) but I would not be surprised if its more survivable then SUVs.

Sorry for not extrapolating; 3.3M births is equal to at minimum 3.3M households. Over ten years, thats 30M households. Minus mutiple birth households plus divorced or separated households. Shall we say a large portion of the suburban breeders. Exactly who we need to get out of thier SUV's. By the way, the wife said 16 years old and where does the booster seat go.

65% of US households have no one under the age of 18 in them. 84% have no one under the age of 6. "Infants" are defined as those under 1 year old, and 97% of US households have none of those.

If only the doors flapped and it could fly

What makes me laugh is when they refer to it on the website as a "small car".

Have you seen the size of it??? Its friggin huge. Look at the size of the drivers head for a comparison in the video on the website, the track width on that thing has got to be wider than a standard mid size sedan.

Andy

DOUBLE THE SIZE of this and you still end up with about 1/4 the MPG = 75 MPG and a familly size vehicle. This points to future design.

These "cars" are definitely not for those who wish to blend in. Compare todays cars with the styling of a model A. Too bad they're limited to CA.

thackney: The all electric version (big battery, no range extender) goes 120 miles on a charge. The plug-in series hybrid (smaller battery with gasoline range extender) goes 40 to 60 miles just on the battery before the range extender needs to kick in (for another 500+ miles).

Cheer up - this is a cool vehicle - calling it a car is perhaps pushing it, but it is good. Maybe a bit wide for city use, but certainly a great fun vehicle that is very very economical, and not too expensive.
It would be great if it started a new class of cars, which could come down in price as the volume ramped.
So lets get some on the road and get some user and journalist reviews.

The comments to this entry are closed.