Friday, September 28, 2007

Aptera Electric/Hybrid Car On Pre-Order for $500


By Evan Ackerman

If you’re in the market for an environmentally friendly car that looks like an anemic space fighter, the Aptera may be for you. Unlike most electric/hybrid cars with this sort of look, the Aptera is actually going to be produced, and if you reserve yours now for a fully refundable $500, you can expect to receive it in (only) about a year. It seats 2.5 with plenty of room for luggage, and can supposedly hit 60 mph in about 10 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 95 mph. More pics, and specs on the superefficienttotallybadass engine options, after the jump.


The design of the Aptera includes everything you might expect to find in a “normal” car, including airbags, a rear view camera, GPS navigation, and CD/MP3/DVD player with XM. It also includes a RFID key fob to start the car, and a solar assisted climate control system that keeps the car comfortable using energy from solar panels in the roof while you’re out doing whatever it is people who drive cars like this do. When it comes to the engine (the important part), you’ve got two options:

◊ All Electric – This Aptera is powered exclusively with batteries and will get you around town to the tune of approximately 120 miles depending on your driving conditions. At night you simply plug the Aptera into any standard 110 volt outlet and in just a few hours you will have a fully charged vehicle that will take you another 120 miles. The approximate cost of this option with all the features listed above will be $26,900.

◊ Plug-in Series Hybrid – This Aptera is also powered by an electric drive train but it is assisted by a fuel efficient gasoline powered generator which stretches your range significantly. In typical driving you may achieve over 300 miles per gallon and you will have range far beyond any passenger vehicle available today. The approximate cost of this option with all the features listed above will be $29,900.


Be sure to click through to check out Aptera’s eye-gougingly slick website, featuring old people in bathing suits and not much in the way of relevant information.

[ Aptera ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

  • UncleB
    This is the newer better concept in transportation that will facilitate getting form the train to home and our and about for shopping.! In the new America the shortage of Light sweet crude oil, lifeblood of the current Status Quo, will force the development of the Electric bullet train intercity network, which will operate with a 400% higher efficiency. Tickets will be cheap, transport will be fast, as in the current Chinese and European bullet trains, and the jet air plane will fade into obscurity, unable to compete as oil prices throughout the world rise. Short hop, electric cars will eventually reign supreme as they can be plugged into the new Solar, Wind, Wave, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal and Nuclear electric power projects. America imports her liquid fuels now, and as the Asians demand a larger share of the finite world resources with a much stronger currency than the U.S.Dollar, the balance goes in their favor! America has almost no liquid fuel potential, and an enormous Electric power potential and the adaptation will be rapid and conclusive. The price of oil in America today is on the rise and will continue to do so as shortages in the next decades show up! Already the Saudis pump sea-water into reserves to siphon oil floating on the top, for the boatloads to America, and Yemen is as tapped out as Texas. First a plug-in hybrid then a totally battery Aptera as battery technologies improve, and the patents on the EV-1 batteries run out, then massive Solar/Thermal to Electric Power developments underway as we speak in South Western U.S.A. followed by renewed interest in Geothermal, Wind, Tidal, Wave, to electric will happen! The new batteries will pave the way as ballast for the intermittent but powerful new systems including the Prairie Wind Corridor, a huge natural power resource and perpetual, no refueling needed forever, and as long as the wind blows, putting the oil barons out of work, and hopefully government monopolized, nationalized, to prevent the rip off corporatists form ever gaining a strangle hold on the nation again. To understand the larger picture, Google, torrent, the movie, "Who Stole The Electric Car" and study what happened to the EV-1's battery patents - these petrol boys were running scared! So were the gasoline engine builders the transmission folks and related industries. They cannot run forever, the Aptera is here up and running. The Tesla a close contender. Electric bikes are everywhere, and they work well. Three moving piece electric motor/transmissions and all. Cheap fast transport for everybody! Modifiable for snowy terrain, and possibly hybridable and plug-in for even rougher use. This is the first "American Ingenuity" answer to the dilemma and certainly not the last. The change-over from liquid fuels to Electric is at hand, and the sooner it is resolved the sooner American can go on to prosper.
  • taramarin
    When is it coming out!!!!!!
    i want it.
  • paulw232
    The car design is functional but aesthetics wise it leaves much to be desired. This would never be a mainstream seller with a design like this, but I'm not sure they want to be mainstream at this point.

    Audi A3 Car Parts
  • looks great! from the car design to its features, im sure everyone would love to have one! :D
  • Hmm.. If you think about it, 120 miles for single electric car is not that bad. Though it really looks weird riding on a sci-fi car like this. I am just wondering if they would release other colors for this.
  • This is so hot. I want it!
  • This is hot. I want it and will pay for it.
    It's beautiful & environmentally great.
  • Peggy
    I tried to pre order the OhGizmo but it just brought me back to the same page,How do I pre order one,It will take a full year to get one ?? What would be a payment plan ?? pLEASE LET ME KNOW
  • prs in oregon
    most if not all questions posed here are answered at the aptera website, just take the time to read thru - ... as noted in their reservations page, they are only accepting deposits from california residents until they have established a dealer & service network beyond calif. ... if you are not a cal. resident they state that they will promptly return your deposit ... it could possibly be 2-3 years before they begin actively selling outside of the state of california
    ( and that's if big oil doesn't shut them down like it did the GM EV-1 ) ... that's a real downer when you want and or need this vehicle now ... they truly want to do this car right but as in all great ideas, reality bites ... it can't and won't happen as fast as we'd like ... this car is a no-brainer for those who want a great personal transportation vehicle that gets unheard of mileage even at 1/2 of the 330 mpg they claim of the PEHV ... and it's the exterior styling that makes it possible ... this re-think of how we transport ourselves around our highways and byways is way-over-do, we're only thirty + years late as we ( the U.S. ) should have begun moving economically in this direction following the oil embargo of the mid 70's ... I'd go to so. cal. and purchase one today for $30k if they would sell it to me ... but it appears that that won't be a possibility for me til 2010 or beyond ... I hate reality ... thanks for reading and for being open-minded enough to consider vehicles like this ... the future is coming, be ready to when it arrives no matter what shape it may take ...
  • as long as it's electric, love it
  • looks good, too bad not enough image of the interior
  • I like the look but I think it would be scary getting this thing on I-95
    But maybe if they start making trucks this small I will consider it.
  • Thcinhead
    How long do the batteries last and when they do lose there ability to hold charge how much to replace them. I've been told on the Hybrids that it is quite a chunk of change! The next thing is to take the governor off and boost up the 0-60 speed defiantly would not like to be run over in that thing by an SUV. But after they are around for a few years and work out all the quirks I see myself owning one. One more question,where is there room for luggage?It say that it will fit 2.5 passengers and luggage.It would be nice if I could stop pick up a few things at the store or fit a backpack in with out chucking the passenger out.
  • Jack
    Why must they make electric vehicles look so stupid?? Can't they design something a little more traditional with the same range?
  • lol
    Wow this car is funny and good for the environment. For one, it is AMAZING for the environment, but it also is less than the Toyota Camry Hybrid. AND I WAS GONNA GET THAT. Now though, I'll have to think of which one to choose. Although, it does
    look like you can easily get a ticket from the heat if you drive it on the street(it rhymes!). I have to say, this car is a looker!
  • Larry E. Daily
    $500 deposit, what a great thing to spend your new gov. rebate on.
  • Y
    And no paraffin, my bad :)
  • Y
    Mark: The Aptera comes in white, white, and white.

    Jerry: Three-wheeled vehicles in California are listed as motorcycles. Vehicles like the Aptera and VentureOne are enclosed motorcycles so you don't have to wear a helmet. You can also use your plain-old car driver's license as well.

    james: Yes, it's unfortunate what may be happening around the world, but it starts with you. Only you can prevent forest fires ;)

    Admiral: Compare to a Corolla priced at 18k, gets 35mpg. At 12,000mi/yr and $4.00/gal of gas over the next 5 years, plus $50/mo of maintenance (oil change, tire, etc), and it will cost you 28k. Take the same period of time and $0.02/mi for the Typ-1e sold at 27k, and I wildly estimate $10/mo of maintenance (wiper fluid, paraffin maybe, tires) and it comes out to 29k. And I hope your car lasts longer than 5 years.

    blackmilk: Aptera is selling in SoCal first, then NorCal, the rest of the US, and finally the rest of the world, in that order. They want to have the appropriate support infrastructure in place alongside the sales geography expansion.

    NYC: Can we just skip ebay and I'll sell you a Typ-1h at 2x the price? ;)

    Robert McC: You can always get your vehicle purchase financed. You might have to go through a bank, though. I talked with my credit union because the motorcycle loan is at a greater rate than a car loan, and they said to mention that it's enclosed and how it's structured, its safety characteristics, and your account manager can help make the call.

    Bill: You should be able to test drive one once your place in line is up.

    Wilson S Yerger III:

    okie918: Good point :)

    PS - I'm waiting on the Typ-1e, am number 1014 and live in Norcal :( dang that's a wait
  • okie918
    I give up......where is the spare tire.
  • Aptera Update!

    The folks over at Popular Mechanics were able to finagle an exclusive test drive and interview of the upcoming Aptera Typ-1. For those uninitiated, the Aptera Typ-1 is an all-electric plug in vehicle coming to market in 2009 for under $30,000. Sometime thereafter, Aptera plans to market the Typ-2, a 300 MPG gasoline hybrid which shares the Typ-1’s body and features. The more I keep up with this car, the more I believe this is the first real re-thinking of the automobile since its inception. I know this sounds a little over the top, but ...

  • Wilson S Yerger III
    How do I order the electric car?
  • Interestingly enough, Nissan are intending to make their whole product range (except 350Z) hybrid electric by 2010. That gives them just 2 years to get it done.

    However, the way things are going with the likes of London's congestion charge, it looks like hybrids ARE the future
  • This post is a bit off of my normal topics, but I think it’s something important that people should be discussing. I’ll really try not to get too political, so here goes. We’ve all seen gas prices climb up to (and in many areas above) $3 USD per gallon of gasoline. We’ve also seen war, chaos, pain and turmoil going on the Middle East and elsewhere..... (Pingback)
  • sean
    My Nissan Sentra, 40 (ugly) miles per gallon, does 0-60 in 10 seconds.
    i am production slot #441 (electric-only)
  • Bill Tappan
    I drive a 2001 honda insight. It has 300K on the odometer. Still gives me 70MPG.
    The Aptera is the car I will go back in debt for. Where can I SEE one?
  • plink
    Sure, what the heck, I'll plunk $500 down for this. The only thing that concerns me is the slow acceleration speed. 1-60 in ten seconds? I don't need to burn rubber at traffic stops, but if I see someone bearing down on me, you bet I want the quick acceleration to get somewhere else fast.
  • shakira
    I really like the idea but it still sounds & looks dodgy!!
  • Robert McC
    Howdy, Folks! This is a post I made to another online magazine that featured the Aptera

    I love this car...I fell in love with it almost at first sight.

    This car is the future transportation that most people 30-40 years ago thought everyone would be driving by now...sleek, hyper-efficient, and looking as if it rolled off a set from 2001:A Space Odyssey.

    I admit, I would be a bit concerned about a side impact at any speed...but other than that, I will seriously consider reserving an Aptera when I have the funds available.

    I am curious, tho...would this car fit well with my 6'4" frame? Also, what kind of transmission does it have? The photos presented don't appear to show a column shifter or push-button affair, and certainly not a stick shift.

    And how will I receive my Aptera once it's completed? Will it be shipped, or will I have to retrieve it by my own means? Will there be a local service depot if there's a mechanical problem? Will I be able to finance the vehicle? And is the electro-gas hybrid powered directly by the gas generator, or do I have to plug it in at night?

    I suppose I will have to wait for the Aptera site to update...

    I did say I almost fell in love with this car at first sight...If the Aptera company wanted me to fall for their product at very first sight, they'd have designed it with tailfins :)
  • Clearing things up....
    Just so everyone is clear the $500 is held in escrow, meaning the company can't touch it and are probably doing this to gauge interest and attract investors. There is literally nothing bad that you can say about this car (unless you need 5 seats and even that's something they're planning for); it is the car that shuts up any glib person who wants to criticize efficiency because they don't want to acknowledge that we live in an environment with finite resources. Efficiency translates to a value at a lesser cost in economics. Why would anyone want to nay say that? Because you hate Al Gore?
  • NYC
    I will hold out, and buy one at 3x the price on ebay once its released. like im giving 500 bucks to vaporware cars.
  • Tom Nguyen
    I used to drive over 65 miles to work each way, And gasoline just killing me each week with the price of gas going these day. 300 mile per gallon woohoo or so claimed, even it is 200 per gallon it is a no brainer, This will save some serious cash for those who doing a long commute. Plus it is one cool toy. I still have question about their maintenance program or place where you can go to get things fix.
  • A good start for us to try implementing hybrid card among the commercial users.
  • Now that's a spacious hybrid car! but for almost $30,000....I'll wait
    It's funny but this hybrid reminds me of the cartoon show "The Jetsons"
  • Anonymous
    IF this car survives the first two years without any complications,it WILL sweep the U.S. during the next 7 years
  • aptera_LUVR
    Alex Campbell from ZAP should know a little bit about promising big things.........

    ZAP did a lot of handwaving about selling the Smartcar. Where is the SMARTs now? It's not at ZAP.
    Then, ZAP started make a big to-do about the Obvio "oooh..look at us, we're ZAP and we're gonna' sell the Obvio"
    Where is it now? Ahhhhhh it's been moved to the back of the website.

    Oh yes, and the lovely renderings of the ZapX.

    He'res what I don't get, why would any executive from ZAP pushing third-world engineering clap-traps and cut-rate products dare go toe-to-toe with Aptera when he has no idea who they are or how well capitalized they may be! Maybe he doesn't even know that they are setting up a manufacturing facility in his backyard?...I'm just sayin...

    Here's a treat. Go sit in a ZAP Xebra. Now, close the door and try and roll the window up or down. YOU CAN'T!!!! The roll handle hits the dash! Shoddy third world engineering.
  • John
    I'm excited too! I think I'm # 100
  • blackmilk
    does anyone know if this will be for sale in the EU
    if the sell in in london they could not build them fast enough, it costs 10$ a day to drive a car in the centre of london but electric cars are free, and the cost of petrol is twice the price compared to the US
  • Larry
    Most of the questions above are answered on the Aptera web site. Just start at page one and click on all of the floating bubbles. To wit:
    Safety - The body is constructed similar to an Indy race car with survival capsule constructed of walls of composite exterior and foam core integrated with aluminum and steel reinforcements and intrusion guards, air bags and construction designed to distribute collision forces under the passenger survival shell.
    Colors - My reservation confirmation indicated that exterior and interior colors are selectable as well as other options yet to be mentioned.
    Reservation - The $500 reservation deposit is refundable at any time including the moment that the factory announces your car is up for production. Refunds are for the original amount, not including any interest. All of this is spelled out clearly if you click on the reservation button and read the contract.
    Roads - The car only weights 850 pounds. What it saves in gas tax it also saves in road wear and taxes. A VERY GOOD POINT! What would be more appropriate is to levy a tax on a car relative to the impact it has on the environment and resource consumption. Lightweight, efficient cars would have a very small registration tax. A Hummer would have a tax that could rent an apartment. Those that choose to use cars that cast an excessive CO2 trail, damage the infrastructure, and consume large quantities of resource should be required to pay for the resources just as we now pay for gas (a resource). We need to rethink exactly what is being consumed beyond the gas pump.
    Licencing - A controversy. Motorcycles cannot have seat belts in some states. This car has seatbelts. Is it a motorcycle because it has three wheels or a car because its interior resembles a car? I'm confident Aptera is pushing for recognition as a car as being a motorcycle would seriously damage their market (would require a motorcycle license....). I say it's a car. Buckminster Fuller made the Dymaxion Car in the shape of a tear drop over half a century ago. It definitely was not a motorcycle....
    Looks - I think it is one of the sexiest cars I have ever seen especially if you are scientifically oriented. Its shape is similar to the most aerodynamic private aircraft. It is designed to 'fly' downhill as the speed rises to increase traction without mass. It has a drag factor only slightly higher than an F16 fighter (0.1+). It's instruments are unparalleled in the automotive world (panoramic rear camera in 'eyes-forward' display, GPS, diagnostic display, zone airconditioning including forced air seat infiltration, high-tech materials construction with F1 technology safety capsule design, electric motor with optional charge-only fueled engine, super high gas mileage and, according to the answer to a question I posed to Aptera, excellent handling that pleased one of their investors who owns a McLaren supercar.
    CRIMSONMEL - ALRIGHT! We can form a reservation user group! Seriously! I'm number 31. What is your number?
  • Asa
    I hope we can get the safety standards factor ironed out, and we could be on the verge of a solution to the rising cost of fuel. Then a certain Gentleman will have to figure what do do with the oil he's collecting.
  • My husband and I put the $500 down to reserve the fully electric one. I am very excited!
  • doofus
    Igor and the rest of you are faggots!
  • Wow.. Tell me I am dreaming! Lets please get some of these on the road and make the world a better place.
  • now if only i could afford this, a great car for getting to school and back. Plus it would safe me gas money. Too bad it looks that way though, probably get beat-up at school for it.
  • james
    If everyone had one of these, it still wouldn't counter all the vehicles and industry in Asia and elsewhere pumping out poison unrestricted by anti-pollution laws. It would be nice to get 300mpg, but can you just imagine the lengths governments will go to collect enough to maintain the roads without fuel tax revenues? Think of tyres costing 5 times what they cost now, and more.
  • jim
    from what i understand the deposit is fully refundable.

    so what does it hurt if we all plop down 5 benjamins to make the world a better place for everyone?
  • Jerry
    Don't think it will pass the current safety or bumper requirements....
    You could probably get it licensed as a motorcycle, but I'd demand proof before putting down one penny....
  • paulbee
    Wish them well......BUT Why do I smell a scent of VaporWare?
  • Steve
    300 miles per gallon!!!!
    Most cars drive like what? 40 miles per gallon?
  • Looks great! But could it (or someone inside) survive a fender bender? I hope so, because I want one.
  • Mark
    I get one if I could get a bank to finance the payments. Looks cool, more than meets my commute needs and no emissions! Can I get it in blue instead of white though?
  • I have to admit this is pretty cool. At ZAP we are selling the three wheeled XEBRA for a little over $10,000. I've seen a lot of electric vehicle start-ups like this and I wish them luck, but look at vehicles like the Tango who have promised big things over the past few years but have only sold a couple of prototypes. Most companies working today are like that, but the more the merrier. It's going to take a big change in our society to address the environmental and economic problems of an oil based economy.
  • mcman
    Now this is something worth thinking about. I can't really see it handling a hard winter but in the warmer climate areas it looks like a great option.

    The price isn't ridiculously out of reach for the average person as well.
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