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If the unique style of the Apter Type 1 (above) isn't your thing, there still might be a high-mpg Apters for you. Aptera CEO Steve Fambro told Alternative Energy dot com that his company has other projects in the works (see three minutes into the video below the fold). Fambro said, "we have other designs on the drawing board. Other projects that are certainly more mainstream. We aren't really talking about those yet" (um, you just did). Fambro also said the company is finishing the last bit of engineering, putting their manufacturing in place in the next few weeks, and will launch by the end of the year. He said the company has plenty of business in California to keep them busy.

Fambro talked about the two types of cars they plan on making, the fully electric "Aptera Local" (120 mile range) and the series hybrid "Aptera Everywhere" (600-800 mile range) which will be available late next year. Fambro says even though the car has three wheels and is not required to comply with safety standards, lots of things on the Aptera are one and half or two times stronger than the FMVSS standard and the Type 1 has seat belts and air bags like you'd find in small aircraft.

Alternative Energy dot com also talked with the designer of the Type 1, Jason Hill, (see second video below the fold) of Eleven, LLC. He said the car was designed in a virtual wind tunnel and is the "best shape physics will allow." Very soon, owners of the Aptera Type 1 will enjoy things like $3 instead of $30 weekly costs for fuel, lower insurance and driving in the car pool lane when only one person is in the car (thanks, motorbike classification!).

[Source: AlternativeEnergy.com]


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  • 11 Comments
      • 2 Months Ago
      Does anyone know the physical dimensions of the Type 1? One significant practical problem could be fitting it into a garage. We have the "normal" California 3-car garage configuration with only about 90 inches of horizontal clearance in the single bay ... plenty for my beloved Porsche 914 but probably not nearly wide enough for the outriggers on the Aptera. Kicking my daughter's Z3 out of the double-wide bay to fit in Dad's new toy could cause some domestic grief. Saving the planet should be easier! I've heard the SmartCar EV's are being delivered to the UK for testing. :-)
      • 2 Months Ago
      The picture at the top is so funny it actually made me laugh out loud. Guy and a grocery bag next to an Aptera? Maybe they trying a little too hard to convince us this car is for normal people.

      Jokes aside, I'd love to see more mainstream car designs harness aerodynamics to enhance fuel efficiency.
      • 2 Months Ago
      while i think the type 1 is cool to look at. the fact that there is no roll down side window makes it totally useless to me. Toll booths, parking garages all come into play daily for me. Hopefully the more main stream design will include roll down windows
      Chuck
      • 2 Months Ago
      Aptera states in their FAQ section that they will have roll down windows. I presently own a ZAP Xebra (three wheels) and live in California. California does not require a motorcycle endorsement nor a helmet. I have logged almost 8,000 oil free miles in my tiny Xebra with a range less than 30 miles and have no complaints.
      • 2 Months Ago
      Does anybody know yet what the type, lifetime and cost to replace the batteries in the Aptera?
      • 2 Months Ago
      Mainstream design? Like a 4 door version, or a hatch? Or something else?

      I like the Aptera. It has a weird name, looks cool, and I could drive a vehicle two weeks instead of one on a tank of fuel (assuming the Hybrid). Even the electric one would fit my needs well, if it reaches the 120mi range. I just wonder if I need a motorcycle license to drive it?
      • 2 Months Ago
      Bill Morgan: If my memory serves correctly, they will be using LiIon batteries from A123, those cells have a very high cycle count lifespan and resist thermal runaway problems. Thanks to the highly streamlined lightweight design, a relatively small battery pack gives the desired range.
      • 2 Months Ago
      In the SF Bay Area you don't need to stop at toll booths - we have this new fangled thing called Fastrak, oh...yeah...its been around for almost a decade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FasTrak. And yes, I'll be carrying groceries and my surfboard.
      • 2 Months Ago
      The aforementioned airbags are particularly nifty -- they're in the seatbelts and expand upwards, between the passenger and the dash, instead of being in the dash and expanding toward the passenger's head. Seems a lot safer, and it lets them make better use of the dash.
      • 2 Months Ago
      I have seen several statements that the Aptera will have roll down windows. You may find it hard to pull close to a toll booth with the outrigger front wheels in any case.
      • 2 Months Ago
      Hey, I'll be picking up my groceries in my Aptera. What's so funny about the concept? Just because it looks different?