Aptera Relaunches, Targets 1,000-Mile EV

The co-founders of California electric vehicle startup Aptera Motors, which went bankrupt in 2011, have reformed the company and aim to launch a lightweight, three-wheeler that can travel 1,000 miles per charge.

Chris Anthony and Steve Fambro, who co-founded Aptera with Michael Johnson in 2006, have reacquired the company’s intellectual property that was purchased by China’s Zap Jonway. Anthony and Fambro are co-CEOs of the new venture, with Johnson serving as a consultant.    

The partners hope to raise $2.5 million from a mix of traditional investors and crowdsourcing. Money collected will go toward building three prototypes of the new design, which Aptera claims will be the world’s most efficient EV.

Based on the original 2e prototype, the new two-seater will feature three in-wheel 50-kW electric motors. A range of battery options are planned, topping out with a 100-kWh unit tied to the 1,000-mile bogey.

 

Aptera says the updated model’s design benefits from improvements in computational fluid dynamics, computer modeling, advanced materials, more efficient batteries and next-generation manufacturing.

The lightweight composite structure holds the car’s weight to about 1,800 lbs. Additive manufacturing processes will be used to build some of the components.

Aptera also touts a new patent-pending battery cooling system. Anthony and Johnson previously founded Flux Power Holdings Inc., which supplies lithium-ion batteries for industrial applications.  

Aptera ambitious plans call for producing 10,000 vehicles a year by 2022. Pricing is targeted to start at $34,000.