After writing yesterday’s post I happened across a news article about the Aptera moving closer to production. What’s the Aptera? It’s a car, but not just any car:
The Aptera Typ-1 will be the most efficient passenger vehicle in the world. The first production models are planned to be available in December 2008 with the production rate increasing throughout 2009. With a coefficient of drag literally one-third of a subcompact car and less than half the weight, the all-electric version will get up to 120 miles per charge, while the hybrid version, which will follow in about 12 months, will achieve close to 300 MPG.
So it’s a press release and thus you might wonder just how much of this is hot air. Not much, as far as I can tell. It has a large pool in investors including Google, and the company is taking pre-orders already.
This particular type of vehicle is a little wonky looking, but manages to retain a little sportiness nonetheless. More important than that is the engine. It’s an electric vehicle with a small gasoline engine to fill in when the batteries get low. This overcomes one of the biggest objections to electric cars, which is that they’re fine for driving around town but will leave you stranded if you ever have to drive across the state. The full hybrid Aptera is supposed to have a range of 600+ miles with an average efficiency of a staggering 130 MPG. For $20,000 it’s a pretty tempting deal.
With the Tesla Roadster already in production and the major manufacturers designing their own electric vehicles, the move to actual no-kidding energy independence might finally be taking its first steps.