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Aptera Unveils Pre-Production 2e, Suppliers

In a press conference in Carlsbad, California, Aptera Motors unveiled the pre-production version of the electric three-wheel, 200+ mpg Aptera 2e along with 23 strategic suppliers, including GE; A123Systems for the Li-ion battery pack; Remy International for the drive motor (earlier post); and BorgWarner for the single ratio transaxle.

2e
The Aptera 2e. Click to enlarge.

Aptera’s newest 2e model, which was shown to the public for the first time, is, according the Aptera Chief Engineer Tom Reichenbach, “what consumers can expect as the design-intent vehicle.”

The 2e features a 20 kWh battery pack that powers an 82 kW, 314 N·m electric motor. Top speed is 90 mph (145 km/h), and range is projected to be 100 miles (161 km). Level 1 charge time is 11 hours; Level 2 charging takes 6 hours.

Acknowledging the financial challenges the company is facing, President and CEO Paul Wilbur said that “we’ve recently turned a very important corner and we’re on the road to financial stability.

We are behind our projected launch timing for the 2e—our two-seat, three-wheel vehicle—and the ultimate responsibility is mine. But our team is deeply committed to putting the world’s most efficient vehicle on the road, and despite the tough economy, we’ve recently secured private funding from New Jersey-based NRG Energy. We’re also waiting for news related to our Department of Energy application for a five-year, $184 million loan through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

We completed the first close of our recent round of funding last month, and one more financing hurdle remains. When it’s complete, it will take about 11 months to start our full-volume launch next year.

When the press conference concluded, the 2e was rolled onto a transport vehicle and shipped to Michigan where it will compete in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.

Comments

ToppaTom

What's the price ?

Light weight is not worth that much for a BEV if it costs much more than some other two seat (or even 4 seat) BEV.

clett

So it gets 5 miles per kWh? (100 miles / 20 kWh)

That's the same as GM's Volt, and the Tesla roadster, and less than a Mitsubishi MiEV etc. I would have thought that shape and low weight could have produced something capable of at least 10 miles per kWh.

danm

I agree, Clett. Would have expected more. Although it probably has a lot more zip than the Volt.
The Aptera is what the Volt was trying NOT to be...something the wife would never consider buying. Too eccentric for most.

Simodul

Clett,

GM's Volt has a 16kWh battery pack that is only cycled 50%, not a 8kWh battery pack.
We have no idea how the Aptera's battery pack is cycled.
Since you pay what you have on board, not what you cycle, that's 40miles/16kWh = 2.5 miles, twice as less for the GM Volt compared to the Aptera.

That said, if the Aptera cycles nearly 100% of it's battery, then I share your amazement at the inefficiency of the car. And it will cost more in the end, because if you cycle the battery completely, you will have to replace it sooner.

creativforce

The 100 mile range is weak compared to their original projections. They certainly failed at one important business strategy: under promise and over deliver.

clett

@Simodul,

EVs typically use all of their available SOC, while hybrids and PHEVs cycle between fixed limits, hence my assumption that the Aptera probably uses all it's SOC. A123 cells are good at cycling however, so maybe they could last 2,000 deep cycles or so.

HarveyD

If 100% deep cycles are used (it may not be the case) this vehicle seems to do about 8 Km per KWh and that is very good. If 80% cycles are used it would do about 10 Km per Kwh which is much better (2.5 times better) than the 4 Km per Kwh from the Volt.

The shape will not appeal to ALL any more than did the Hummer and other 3 to 4 tonne bricks we see around.

Look at the shape of the multi billion dollars Space Station. It could use better designers too.

clett

It's 8 km per kWh for the Volt as it only uses 50% SOC (8 kWh).

Henry Gibson

All electric cars must be required to have at least a tiny fuel powered range extender engine generator, and various sizes of the original OPOC engine were about the perfect range extender. The range extender is not available mostly for extending the range but for eliminating range anxiety and the resulting comments that can be seen for this article.

Use ZEBRA bateries and you can get the full charge. Cars with ZEBRA batteries were demonstrated with at least a sixty mile range over fifteen years ago. Few if any commercial lithium batteries have higher energy density than ZEBRA batteries. NGK should sell a small stationary sodium battery pack so that it can charge all day or just at night, but charge a car battery in a few minutes any time of day. VRB and its vanadium batteries were sold to the Chinese, and it could have done the same thing.

..HG..

sheckyvegas

From what I understand, 5 miles per kWh is pretty standard for Li-on batteries, regardless of cycling patterns. Am I right here, or am I missing something?

HarveyD

5 miles (8 Km) per Kwh may be a good early days average for a 3300 lbs (1500 Kg) vehicle but much lighter vehicles with lower rolling resistance, more efficient ancillary equipment, HVAC and accessories will do much better by 2020.

Engineer-Poet

The Aptera battery pack may be rated at 20 kWh, but the charge time of 11 hours with a Level 1 system (120 V 15 A max) suggests that the actual energy used is considerably less than 100% DoD. 140 Wh/mi at the wall seems likely, which would be closer to 100 Wh/mi at the wheels.

ToppaTom

Too few will want to drive around in an Aptera or a Space Station or a redesigned space station.

Hummer looked fine to many buyers, and so there were too many buyers, at least for today's energy shortage.

clett

11 hours charge at 120 V and 15 A (1.8 kW) = 19.8 kWh. Pretty close to 100% cycling, no? The A123 batteries are very efficient so I doubt much would be lost between socket and SOC unless their charger is very inefficient.

Engineer-Poet

Level 1 is limited to 12 A continuous.

HealthyBreeze

@ Clett & EP,

So, 12 A continous at 120 V = 15.84 kWh, or about 79% depth of charge...right?

That sounds hard on a battery, but most trips won't be to the max range limit.

I think the more interesting recharge number will be how long it takes to recharge to 50% of usable capacity. If that is much quicker, and still gives 50 miles range for the drive home from work, or the evening out on the town, that probably works most of the time.

sulleny

I hope Aptera finds the money it needs and gets this on the road. One more eclectic EV vehicle can only help the electrification message - unless it's crapped out of charge by the side of the road. And there may still be safety issues in adverse weather for trikes.

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