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Feature image: Screenshot from Aptera's video showing the "energy tipster" feature.

Cars

Aptera Shows Off Its Second Dev Car & A New Website

Aptera recently posted a video giving us a better peek at the vehicle and its features. In the video, the company shows its second development vehicle, nicknamed Sol. We didn’t learn many new details, but it’s a good way for people new to the idea of the company to get familiar with it, while giving the rest of us a better look.

Apteraa also recently unveiled a new website, which makes it a lot easier…

Steve Fambro, one of the company’s CEOs, first showed YouTube viewers the super aerodynamic exterior. For the vehicle to get up to 1,000 miles of range (for the largest battery option), it needs the most slippery design on the market, even if that makes it look more like an airplane than a typical car. It also has three wheels, for less rolling resistance, and thus greater range.

Within the wheels are motors, and he explains more about why that’s a good thing. With in-wheel motors, the car can be more streamlined. It can also give more control, because the in-wheel motors can be controlled independently. Some vehicles will come with two motors (in the front wheels), while others will have a third motor in the rear wheel for more power. The top tri-motor option will go from zero to sixty in 3.5 seconds, while still being among the most efficient vehicles on the road.

He also explained that the motors have been tested thoroughly, so they won’t fail due to vibrations, dust, mud, or water. We’ve covered this in more detail in another article, but it was good for viewers to get that reassurance again here.

He then shows viewers the solar panels placed all over the car. From the hood to the roof, to the rear, and even on the dash, the vehicle manages to come up with 700 watts of peak power. That may not sound like much, but when you consider that the vehicle is several times more efficient than other EVs, it can do a lot more with less. In good sun, the vehicle can give more than 40 miles of range per day just from the solar cells.

He then explains that the car is kept light by using an innovative composite body structure. It’s not only lighter and stronger than steel, but very durable. Later in the video, he also explains that the body has integrated cooling instead of radiators, allowing for even greater efficiency.

The next thing he shows off is the development car’s interior. Like the last development car, it’s roomy, but Aptera noticed that tall people didn’t feel like they had enough head room. To fix that, future development cars are going to be about 2″ taller, while the seat will be lowered an inch, giving tall people more headroom. Also, as we already knew, the Aptera has a lot of storage space behind the seats.

We next found out that the development vehicle has functional software. He was able to show us the “energy tipster” feature that tells you what impact to range turning different things on and off has, and shows you that radius on a map. It appears that the map shows the test vehicle somewhere around Desert Center, California (Between Blythe and Indio along I-10), so it looks like the test vehicles are really getting around.

In a final shot, they show the Aptera with its doors opened upward, and it looks pretty darned cool. Well, it looks cool to an efficiency nerd like me. He closed by telling us that Aptera is soon going to unveil its third development vehicle, Luna.

This fall, we’re planning on visiting Aptera’s facility in San Diego, so look forward to a cool story and a video right after Thanksgiving.

New Website

I got an e-mail today inviting me to set up my account on Aptera’s new website. The old one was OK, but didn’t give a lot of information about my Aptera order, and didn’t give much information for the referral system (you can use my referral code here to get a $30 discount on your preorder). I followed the instructions, and (after some delay, likely due to extra traffic this evening) was able to log into my new account.

 

It doesn’t give a specific delivery date other than 2022 at this point, but it does have a cool set of screens showing my preorder.

It also made it a lot easier to see my referrals and Aptera points saved up. The old website had this hidden away in a menu that was very difficult to bring up, but on this website, it’s neatly all in one place. It was a lot easier to use and a lot neater looking compared to the old site.

If you haven’t ordered one, the configurator tool is also quite nice compared to the old site. For every option, it shows you what it will look like, and highlights things like the battery pack, solar panel/cell positions, and other things based on what choices you make. It makes it that much easier to understand what’s going on during the order, and looks a lot more professional.

Things Are Looking Up For Aptera

For those unfamiliar, Aptera once died as a company. It had prototypes of a very similar hybrid car (but with basically the same shape/layout as today’s vehicle) in 2009, and things looked good for it, but it didn’t end up working out for the company in those days. Fortunately, Aptera has come back from the dead with a new all-electric design that promises amazing range figures (and has a scientifically sound method of delivering on those numbers).

Seeing it do things like revamp its website for a better ordering experience, build more development cars to improve the design, and get investors on board, shows us that it is doing a lot better than it did in those days. While it’s hard to know who will ultimately succeed in the long run (even Tesla went through some seriously shaky times as recently as 2018’s Model 3 production ramp), it’s good to see things looking better and better for the company.

Feel like we helped you learn about Aptera and want to order one? Feel free to use our referral code here to get $30 off your preorder.

Feature image: Screenshot from Aptera’s video showing the “energy tipster” feature.

 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

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