Aptera Motors Unveils All-Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles For Under $30K

November 25, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Aptera officially unveiled two vehicles that it claims could "change the future of automotive design." The Aptera Typ-1 will be available in all-electric and hybrid models for less than $30,000, with the electric version slated for delivery in 2008 with the hybrid model to follow. The all-electric model has a range of 120 miles. The plug-in series hybrid has achieved more than 300 miles per gallon with a range of more than 600 miles.

"Unveiling the Aptera Typ-1 represents a pivotal point in automotive history as we mark the transition from research and development to manufacturing the most energy efficient vehicle with a price tag to fit almost any budget," said Co-Founder & CEO, Steve Fambro.

Through extensive fluid dynamics modeling and materials engineering, Aptera claims that it has created the most efficient, lowest-drag shape that can surround two occupants side-by-side. Additionally, the car features three wheels, making it eligible for most carpool lanes, even with only one person in the vehicle. The car has "two plus one" seating offering ample room for driver and passenger while an infant seat (for newborns to age three) can be located in the middle behind them.

The Aptera Typ-1 is available in two models. The all electric model is powered exclusively with batteries and will get someone around town for approximately 120 miles depending on driving conditions. At night, the vehicle can be plugged into any standard 110V outlet, and in just a few hours, the vehicle will be fully charged and ready for another 120 miles. The plug-in hybrid is powered by an electric drive train but is also assisted by a gasoline-powered generator, which is said to stretch the range considerably. In typical driving, the hybrid Aptera may achieve over 300 miles per gallon, which the company claims is a range far beyond any other passenger vehicle available today.

The Aptera Typ-1 also offers features that the company claims are typically not found on any vehicle, much less a hybrid or all-electric model. Solar cells embedded under the roof operate an always-on climate control system. The dashboard display and infotainment system is controlled by an in-vehicle computer, which also controls the "Eyes Forward" vision system. By replacing the side mirrors with embedded cameras that display a 180-degree rear view in the front of the instrument panel, Eyes Forward is said to give the driver complete situational awareness without taking their eyes off of the road.

The company will initially deliver vehicles in Southern California, then in northern California and to other regions nationwide.