Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Aptera 2e Flying Electric Car

Man, I have been writing a lot about electric and plug-in vehicles lately. Last one for a while. I promise. :)

If you're the kind of person who loves to be the center of attention, the Aptera 2e is the car for you. The three-wheel, two-seat electric car draws a crowd everywhere it goes. But as odd as the 2e looks it's a real car that rolls silently into driveways by the end of the year.

The 2e is about the size of a Honda Civic on the outside and a Honda CRX on the inside. It seats two people in relative comfort and has enough room to haul three sets of golf clubs or 22 bags of groceries.

A video camera with night vision provides a 180-degree view of what's behind you because the back window is really narrow.

The 2e doesn't have a transmission; power flows from the motor directly to the front wheels. A knob on the dash lets you select from three driving modes. D1 limits output to maximize range. D2 is for normal driving. D3 offers brisker acceleration. Wilbur says the 2e will do zero to 60 in "under 10 seconds," which is on par with the Civic and Toyota Yaris, and says it tops out at 90 mph.

Wilbur was coy about the 2e's specs because they're still working on the car, so all we can tell you is it has a 13-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery. Plug it in to a standard 110-volt, 10-ampere outlet and it'll recharge "overnight." Up that to a 220-volt, 30-ampere outlet and you're good to go in four hours. Wilbur says the battery is good for 100 miles with two people, 250 pounds of stuff and the AC going full blast. He figures the battery has a useful life of six years, at which point Aptera may offer them to solar and wind-power generators for energy storage.

Despite the tweaks, the car became more aerodynamic, and Wilbur says the production car will have a drag coefficient of 0.15. That will make the 2e the most aerodynamic production car in history, topping even the General Motors EV1.

Aptera plans to start production by the fourth quarter and says the car will have a list price between $25,000 and "the low 40s." Something more specific will be nailed down once the company gets closer to the launch date, Wilbur says. As for what it'll cost to drive, Wilbur says you're looking at about a 1.5 cents a mile.

The Aptera will be built in Southern California, and Wilbur says the factory will be able to turn out 20,000 cars a year.
100 mile range for $25-40,000. Not too bad. Looks crazy, which will be the primary reason it is either a big hit or a big failure.

via Wired

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