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The Aptera 2E: A Space Age EV Ahead of its Time

The Aptera 2E: A Space Age EV Ahead of its Time

If you’re a Star Trek enthusiast, you may just have noticed a sleek, 3-wheeled, futuristic vehicle make a cameo appearance in the 2009 Star Trek reboot- the Aptera 2E can be seen fleetingly in some Starfleet Academy scenes.

The Aptera 2E was not merely a prop created for the movie. This visually- striking vehicle actually existed!

More than a decade later, this concept car remains a curious memory in electric vehicle enthusiasts’ list of “What ifs’?

When a Futuristic Concept Becomes a Thing of the Past

The Aptera 2 was a 1,500-pound aerodynamic vessel reminiscent of the space age, featuring a smart key, emergency tire inflation, and an optional rear camera.

It aimed for sustainability through its LED dome lights, interiors made with recycled materials, and energy-reflective solar glass.

The vehicle was designed with computational fluid dynamics to give that striking egg-like shape.

Its body, made of composite materials, was reportedly so strong that you could take a sledgehammer to it without causing any damage.

So, what happened?

Aptera Motors, a once-promising electric vehicle startup, closed down in late 2011 after failing to secure a $150 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The California startup delayed the launch of this high-efficiency, three-wheeled vehicle multiple times because it couldn’t attract enough interest from prospective investors.

The perceived low-volume return made them rethink launching the Aptera 2E model.

How This 3-wheeled EV Could Have Changed the Course of EVs.

The Aptera 2E was a battery-operated hybrid concept car with a 0-to-60 mph acceleration in 6 seconds with a top speed of 90 mph.

Designed to be low-energy vehicles, several early estimates of its energy consumption reflected figures as low as 80 watt-hours/mi at 55 mph.

Let's take a moment to imagine what this car could have done for the EV sector a decade ago if it had successfully launched.

It boggles the mind how it would have revolutionized the largest of factors- like car safety and fuel efficiency- to the smallest of things- such as car covers modified for 3-wheel vehicles.

That said, many American states classified the concept car as a motorcycle since it only had three wheels.

The upside of this was that safety and emissions tests were not mandatory.

A Decade Later: What the Aptera 2E Concept Car Has Led To

The Aptera 2E was an idea unlike any other.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of funding, the concept car remained a quiet dream for a long time.

It has always been remembered, though.

Funding for EV programs weren't as enthusiastic then as they are today.

However, Aptera's support from thousands of concept car enthusiasts fueled their determination to design a better way to travel and contribute to a better society.

Aptera founders Chris and Steve decided this was the perfect time to revive their dreams for the Aptera 2E.

They saw an opportunity to showcase efficiency in an industry saturated with heavy vehicles that require more materials and greater energy.

Thus, they relaunched the brand in 2019.

Today, Aptera is a solar electric vehicle brand that aims to build aerodynamic, lightweight, and sustainable cars.

It’s on a mission to make driving fun again with a concept car that can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds and has a 1,000-mile range.

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