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Aptera (Classified As A Motorcycle - 230 Miles Per Gallon)

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Posted by rpautrey2 on October 22, 2008, 7:40 am

The first Operating Prototype achieved over 230 Miles per gallon!

Five years ago, Aptera's founder Steve Fambro endeavored to design and
build a passenger vehicle that was safe, comfortable, and more fuel-
efficient than anything ever produced. This aspiration, combined with
his background in engineering, led him to an intensive study of
aerodynamics, and composite aircraft construction. He hypothesized
that a low-drag, aerodynamic body shape could be achieved without
sacrificing comfort, drivability or safety.

What emerged, after much designing, conceptualizing, and constructing,
was a prototype two-seat, three-wheeled vehicle. This first operating
prototype achieved a stunning 230 miles per gallon, Building on this
success, Steve expanded his Aptera team and created the Aptera Typ-1,
which has been re-designed, re-engineered, and refined into a
production ready vehicle. We are excited to announce that the Aptera
Typ-1 is now available for reservations.

The Aptera was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle, and
later as an extended range electric vehicle. After building the proof-
of-concept Mk-0, we hired the automotive design firm, 'eleven', to
help us further develop the concept vehicle. The 'eleven' team, led by
Jason Hill and Nathan Armstrong, made great strides in the development
of the Aptera's body styling, interior design, and structural

Meanwhile, we refined the Aptera's shape to maximize efficiency using
CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), developed and built advanced
suspension and drivetrain components, and integrated a strong yet
lightweight composite shell. Our entire process has been developed in-
house exclusively by Aptera for the Aptera Typ-1. Our structural
elements have undergone countless revisions of FEA (Finite Element
Analysis) to be lightweight, robust, and manufacturable.

Electric & Gasoline Hybrid

The Typ-1 uses a commoditized, 'ruggedized' 3-phase motor controller
designed for vehicular applications, and a 3-phase motor made for us
by a company here in Southern California. The rear drive suspension,
and the drive reduction, are all designed and made by Aptera. Since
the Typ-1e (electric) and the Typ-1h (series plug in 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 are
different for both applications. We will announce further information
regarding the battery lifespan and warranty policy well before we
begin manufacturing the Typ-1 next October.

Diesel or Gasoline? Our first prototype, the Mk-0, was a parallel
hybrid Diesel and achieved an average of 230 MPG at a steady state of
55 MPH. This was pure Diesel/mechanical drive with no electric assist.
Diesel is attractive for its Carnot efficiency and the increased
enthalpy of Diesel fuel vs gasoline. However, diesel contains lots of
unburned hydrocarbons and NOX compounds, and it's impossible to get a
small Diesel engine certified for emissions in California. Therefore,
the typ-h uses a small, water-cooled EFI Gasoline engine with closed
loop oxygen feedback and catalytic converter. This engine is coupled
to a lightweight 12KW starter/generator. It's very clean and quiet.

Posted by drydem on October 22, 2008, 8:38 am
Aptera is in this month's Popular Mechanics
there's a online streaming video showcasing this vehicle at...


Posted by Jim Wilkins on October 22, 2008, 5:26 pm
Interesting. My sister used to have a Messerschmitt like this;
which was classed as a motorcycle in Maine. It was fun but not really
practical, considering their winters.

Aptera is Greek for wingless. I suppose the name has more appeal than

Posted by rpautrey2 on October 22, 2008, 6:47 pm
 I read the Mini Cooper is going
to have an electric version. The
Messerschmitt looks similar to
a Cooper.

Posted by rpautrey2 on October 22, 2008, 6:44 pm
 Thanks for the link.
After seeing the video I'm
even more impressed with
the Aptera.

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