Search 4,000 EV News articles

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jay Leno takes the Aptera 2e out onto the highway (w/Video)

With the first production models due off the line in just over 4 months time the Aptera PR machine may be stepping up a notch. We found a video from the Jay Leno website featuring a test drive of the Aptera 2e along a Californian freeway. Jay spends a sizable chunk of his personal fortune of his car collection and while he professes to be a fan of Hydrogen powered cars we won't hold that against him as he seems to really know his stuff judging by the intelligent questions he was asking the Aptera founder during the interview.

A quick re-cap on where the Aptera is at re: production. For the next several months a small number of vehicles will be built for internal testing. Volume production for retail deliveries is now scheduled for October 1, 2009. A number of vehicle enhancements such as, aerodynamic side-mounted mirrors and wider door openings that make getting in and out of the vehicle much easier than with previous designs have been added. Aptera say the 2e will go from zero to 60 in under 10 seconds, with a top speed of 90 mph.

Here's a refresher on what we know so far: the Aptera 2e is that it’s legally classified as a 3 wheeled motorcycle is front wheel drive and weighs somewhere between 1500 and 2000 lbs, (680 – 900 kg). The batteries are “lithium-based” with a driving range of around 100 miles-per-charge. The biggest feature of the Aptera is it’s amazing tear drop body which has a has a drag coefficient (Cd) of only 0.15 (a 3rd Generation Prius Cd is 0.26 while most family cars are around 0.30). The projected price is between $25,000 and $45,000.

The Aptera 2e will have a 60 ft/lb (81 Nm) electric motor driving the front wheels through a 10:1 single speed gearbox with power provided at 336 volts by a 10 – 13 kw/hr Lithium iron phosphate battery pack.

Having seen under the hood of the front wheel drive Aptera we suspect the 3 phase AC motor, inverter and gearbox are supplied by Azure dynamics. Judging by the torque figure quoted by Aptera we'd say the Azure AC24 is the motor being used in the 2e along with the DMOC445 Inverter. Ever though the AC24 revs to 12,000 rpm this motor has a peak power output of only 50 Kw (68 hp), but with such a lightweight chassis and super low 0.15 Cd drag coefficient much less power is required to equal the performance of a heavy conventional steel vehicle.

Full released specs:

* Dimensions: 53" high x 91.0" wide x 173" long
* 111" wheelbase
* 80.5" front track

* Other specs: 0.15 Coefficient of drag
* 5" ground clearance
* 1500 lbs curb weight

* Electric motor torque: 60FtLb torque 110v 15A charge time: 8 hrs
* Battery output: 10-13 Kw/hr battery pack
* Battery voltage: 336V DC Nominal Traction Voltage
* Transmission: Gearbox 10:1 ratio
* Battery Type: Lithium Ion Phosphate

* Chassis: Front Suspension: Independent unequal length A-arm
* Rear Suspension: Swing Arm
* Steering: Manual Steering, tilt steering column
* Brakes: Manual Brakes, dual circuit brake hydraulics, mechanical brake proportioning, 3-wheel disc
* Wheels: 14-inch High Strength Stamped Steel wheels
* Size: P165/65R14

* Performance: Range: Up to 100 miles per charge
* Warranty: Basic: 4/50,000
* Powertrain: 4/50,000
* Corrosion: 12/unlimited
* Roadside: 4/50,000

Features: (S=standard, O=optional)

* Interior: Push Button Start: S
* Electronic shift PRNDL (shift controller): S
* AM/FM/MP3/WMA with 5 speakers and MP3/Smart Phone Connectivity: S
* DVD Navigation System: O
* Power up/down windows with Driver side one-touch and anti-pinch: S
* Power automatic door locks with anti-lockout feature: S
* Center console armrest with two cup holders: S
* Overhead mounted LED Dome Lights: S
* Recycled Fabric-trimmed seats and door panels: S
* Leatherette (recycled materials) trimmed steering wheel: S
* Defroster-linked CFC-free automatic climate control with electric inverter compressor air conditioning: S
* One 12V auxilliary power outlets and One 12V USB Outlet: S
* Retractable passenger-assist grips at all doors: S

* Exterior: Dual color-keyed power outside mirros: S
* Aerodynamic multi-reflector halogen headlamps: S
* Washer-linked variable intermittent windshield wipers: S
* Rear window defogger with timer: S
* Rear Electronic rear hatch locking system (sic): S
* Solar Energy-Reflecting glass: S
* Smart Key System (Proximity locking/starting) Maintenance key & cylinder to prevent accidental lock out: S

* Safety: Remote keyless entry system with 2-stage unlocking, panic function and remote illuminated entry: S
* Backup camera: O
* Driver and front passenger Airbag System: S
* Front and rear crumple zones and side-impact door beams: S
* Engine immobilizer: S
* Center high-mount stop lamp: S
* Emergency Tire inflation system: S
* 3-point front outboard seatbelts with adjustable shoulder anchors and driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR), front passenger Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR): S
* Driver and front passenger seatbelt with seat belt starter interlock: S
* Direct Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS): S
* Anti-theft system: O

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Anonymous said...

the drive wheel should be the rear one. The front wheels are steering

Chuck Kottke said...

Sweet car! Now if they could just send on to Wisconsin for under 25 grand, I might find enough hidden in the milk can to pick one up!
Looks like a cessna - sans the wings, and drives like a dream.
Q: Could fold-out solar panels be added to give it a good recharge in the parking lot??
Q2: How about the brakes and traction on slippery surfaces - California might get rain or mudslides, but we've got snow and ice half the year - what's the traction like?
Q3: Could the designers use bio-composites for the body? Silica - referring to the glass fibers in what type of resin?
Q4: I recall some mention of an auxiliary motor model (for a generator or direct drive?). Are there any plans for a bio-diesel engine as an option for long-distance traveling?
Lots of questions, but I'd buy one in a heartbeat, if I had the cash (and they would let one out of the great state of California.. ;-).
-Chuck K.,
Crivitz, WI.

Post a Comment