Automotive X-Prize Profile: Aptera
Over the next few months and at a casual, intermittent pace, I’m going to use this blog to profile official contenders in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize. I’ll provide links so interested readers can explore them further, and I encourage you to post your opinions of each contender, their technologies, and how you think they’ll do in this extraordinary competition.
This entry looks at the high-profile Aptera, based in California. Some time ago I featured the Aptera here on FutureCars.com.
Vehicle name: The Aptera
Fuel(s): Electric / Hybrid Electric
*The Alternative class is “An outlet for innovation, with fewer performance & design restrictions.”
The gloriously sci-fi shaped Aptera achieves a 300 MPGe and 100 miles on a single charge chiefly because of that sensationally daring design. The vehicle's composite body is extraordinarily sturdy yet produces "less drag than the sideview mirrors on a pickup truck".
"As time goes on and everyone accepts that we're in an energy-scarce world, cars will shift in styling. Twenty years from now we'll look at cars that waste energy the way we look at litter today. They will make us feel weird."
Goal: Since Aptera has plans to launch their all-electric Aptera 2e later this year, their goal is clear enough—to bring the Aptera directly to market.
Leader(s): Founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony. Fambro is a University of Utah graduate in Electromagnetics and Antenna design. Prior to founding Aptera, Fambro worked at Illumina as an electrical engineer. Anthony is a boat builder and an entrepreneur.
Recently, the Aptera was in Popular Mechanics, and Fambro had this to say, the last sentence of which is just dynamite: "As time goes on and everyone accepts that we're in an energy-scarce world, cars will shift in styling. Twenty years from now we'll look at cars that waste energy the way we look at litter today. They will make us feel weird."
Financial backing: Aptera enjoys a tremendous amount of funding. Investors include think-tank Idealab, Esenjay Petroleum, The Quercus Trust and Google.org, the Beall Family Trust.
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