The resurrected efficiency champion uses 2170 cells and targets 20,000 sales per year.
Resurrecting was just the first step in Aptera’s book to spread the gospel of efficiency. In industrial terms, spreading means producing enough cars for the demand. To get there, Chris Anthony and Steve Fambro announced they have the aid of Munro & Associates, the lean design specialist that tears cars down to suggest production improvements.
According to Aptera’s executives, Sandy Munro will help them avoid the manufacturing traps that may prevent a successful production of their efficiency champion: the goal is to reach 20,000 units per year. Curiously, this will be the third trike Munro is helping bring to life, apart from the Nobe GT100 and the Visionary 3EV. It could also be the fourth if we count the Arcimoto.
Like the engineer, Anthony and Fambro stressed that the best body shape for efficiency implies three wheels. Munro even said that two wheels are the best configuration if safety is not a concern and that trikes can be very safe, something Anthony and Fambro confirmed.
The Aptera executives said that the previous vehicle had the most resistant roof of any car tested in its time. Considering the new vehicle has been improved in that matter, it is reassuring to know it promises to protect its two passengers well.
That will be achieved with a composite body made of four main parts: the tub, where the battery pack is, the top spider, and the two sides. By the way, the battery pack will use 2170 cells, the same ones Tesla has created with Panasonic for its cars. Would that be a confirmation that the Aptera will be compatible with the Tesla Superchargers? The company executives did not confirm that.
When it comes to charging, both Anthony and Fambro said the Never Charge system would allow the car to run most of the time only on solar energy. Considering how light and efficient it is, plugging it in a 120V outlet for a few minutes will be enough for daily driving if the sun does not show up on any given day. The Aptera will be compatible with V2G, which means it may even help power stuff instead of requiring juice from the power grid.
As much as the car body, the Aptera will cool its batteries with a skin-cooling system that we would love to learn more about. Anthony and Fambro said they did not want the Aptera to have radiators. What it will have is a heat pump and other low-energy solutions for heating that the company is still studying.
As the main quality of any preacher is coherence, the first Aptera to be put for sale – from the Paradigm limited series – will be front-wheel-drive only, which is more efficient than the AWD version. Anthony also said they would be sold with the 40 kWh battery pack that delivers 400 miles of range. Anyone willing to be among the first ones to have the car should focus on that configuration.
The second battery pack option will be the 60 kWh, followed by the 25 kWh and the 100 kWh packs. This schedule shows the versions of the car in which Aptera is betting the most. Unlike most manufacturers, it is not going for the fully-loaded cars first, but rather for the most efficient and sensible ones. It makes perfect sense with what the company says that its mission is.
The Aptera’s final assembly will be in California. However, the company plans to have subassembly of crucial components in Nevada – Gigafactory, anyone? – Texas, and Detroit. As we mentioned before, the company is already taking deposits for its car and expects deliveries to start in six to nine months, depending on how things progress.