Aptera has released the Launch Edition configuration of its electric 3-wheeler, which the company hopes to start producing by the end of 2023.
The company now claims to have more than 40,000 reservations for the vehicle, of which the first 5,000 will be Launch Edition models. Although Aptera has introduced several powertrain and range options, the Launch Edition models will be built in a unique configuration, a decision made on the advice of industry expert Sandy Munro to allow for faster ramp-up. of production, according to the company.
The Aptera EV uses Elaphe wheel motors, which offer the lowest power per mile. In a live broadcast, Aptera confirmed that the Launch Edition models will have a motor at each wheel for all-wheel drive and a total output of 128 kW (171 PS). According to Aptera, the 2-seater electric vehicle will go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 250 km/h.
The Launch Edition models, with their 42 kWh battery, will offer an estimated range of 650 km. Aptera still plans to build other configurations, including one with up to 1,000 miles of range, which will be the last to hit the market. Considering that a 40 kWh Nissan Leaf travels 240 km according to the EPA, these are impressive figures, achieved in part thanks to lightweight construction and an ultra-low drag coefficient of 0.13.
Regardless of the estimated battery life, Aptera doesn’t expect owners to spend a lot of time charging. According to Aptera, the solar cells integrated into the body can provide 700W of continuous power, which is equivalent to a range of up to 65 km per day. The company also claims that these cells are 50% lighter than other comparable solar cells.
Fast charging doesn’t appear to be part of the Launch Edition setup yet, although Aptera has said it’s on the way. For now, the company feels that integrating fast charging at launch would add too much complexity. He also thinks Tier 2 is adequate and solar power means owners might not have to charge at all for daily use.
Aptera confirmed late last year that it plans to use the Tesla connector, with corresponding charging equipment from Lectron, so future DC fast charging will use Tesla’s NACS (nee Supercharger) standard. , while with an adapter, Aptera owners could take advantage of Tesla’s network of chargers, in addition to networks that offer regular J1772 connectors. Aptera also uses battery cells from EVE Energy, in the same 2170 format as some Teslas.
Using the 6.6kW on-board charger, the Aptera EV can recover 57 miles per hour from a 240-volt Level 2 AC source, or 150 miles overnight from an AC charge Level 1 120 volts, equivalent to plugging into a household outlet. Calculating its Tier 2 potential, that means about six hours for a full charge on Tesla Destination chargers on road trips, which requires an overnight stay on road trips, yes, even if you think you can go over 400 miles in a single trip in the small cabin.
The Launch Edition’s current price is $33,200, but Aptera says that’s subject to change. Aptera is asking for a $100 deposit to reserve one, and says those who have already reserved other configurations can upgrade to the Launch Edition for faster delivery. Aptera has its own production plant in Carlsbad (California) and its goal is to manufacture 10,000 units per year in one shift, to reach 20,000 per year. Aptera suggests it could expand production to eight assembly plants worldwide by 2028 and, over time, could expand its lightweighting ideas to other larger vehicles.