It may officially be classified as a motorcyle, but some are already dubbing it “the car of the future.” That’s the exotic Aptera 2e (http://www.aptera.com), an all-electric vehicle now in pre-production in Southern California. It has three wheels, two seats, a lithium-ion battery, gull-wing doors and financial backing from Google and Idealab’s Bill Gross.
Aptera is planning to put the 2e on the road by October, which could make it a contender for the $10 million X prize offered by Progressive Insurance (http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org) for the world’s first mass-produced vehicle to exceed 100 mpg. Company officials say they have already taken 4,000 deposits from would-be owners. Some other key statistics:
- Acceleration: 0 to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds
- Top speed: 90 mph
- Weight: 1,700 pounds
- Coefficient drag: 0.15
- Cost: Between $25,000-$45,000
Aptera describes the 2e’s extraordinary three-wheel design as looking “like a linebackerpoised for the blitz.” The latest prototype includes front-wheel drive and solar-assisted climate control for the passengers.
Of course, the 2e will have to break away from a huge pack of nifty, intriguing new electric car contenders, including the eight-wheeled Japanese Eliica (http://www.eliica.com), the British four-seat G-Wiz (http://www.goingreen.co.uk), the Kurrent (http://getkurrent.com/home.html), the Milner Motors Electric Car (http://www.milnermotors.com) and the Zx40 from Miles Automotive (http://www.milesev.com/index.asp#) just to name only a few.