Sunday, December 7, 2008

Introducing the Aptera

Today I would like to introduce the Aptera. The company's co-founder, Steve Fambro, dreamed of the concept while stuck in traffic. He wanted to design a better and more efficient method of getting from point A to point B and I do believe he has succeeded. Chris's solution is described below.

From the Aptera website:

"The idea was simple yet brilliant. Design a vehicle that follows nature and glides through the wind instead of pushing it. He was almost there, but there was something missing. The answer came when Steve met entrepreneur and boat builder Chris Anthony. Chris introduced Steve to a composite body system that enabled the vision to take shape.

Together, Steve and Chris carried their dreams to Pasadena, Calif. and the doorsteps of new business incubator Idealab and it's founder Bill Gross. Gross saw the vision and seeded the team with the investment needed to make a dream become a business."

What emerged from their collaboration is a wild looking three-wheeled vehicle that resembles an airplane more than a car. By deciding on three wheels, Aptera is able to avoid the more stringent new car requirements of four wheelers. The vehicle will be registered as a motorcycle and may even be cheaper to register, depending on your state.

The best feature of the Aptera is its use of alternative energy. The 2e model is pure electric with great performance and a range of about 120 miles. Obviously, with this range, the Aptera 2e meets the daily driving needs of the overwhelming majority of commuters. The only time this vehicle would be restrictive is in long hauls, such a vacations and visits to relatives. With careful planning, even these hurdles can be overcome with opportunity charging.

The other model in the works is a serial hybrid configuration that uses batteries in conjunction with an onboard gasoline generator. This internal combustion engine will drive the wheels and charge the batteries when they become depleted. This hybrid would probably be the killer app that will attract the masses. There is absolutely no range anxiety with ubiquitous gasoline stations on every corner. The expected all electric range of the hybrid Aptera is 60 miles, which once again meets the daily commuting needs of most drivers. I would love to have the hybrid version and cannot wait for it to hit production.

Oil Free, the way to be.

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