Sunday, December 23, 2007

Aptera - Future Car you can order today

It looks like something you'd find at area 51, or one of those "concept cars" that you'd never actually see on the road, but this 300mpg vehicle is set to go commercial next fall. The company is already taking pre-orders.

From Aptera's website:

"Five years ago, Aptera's founder Steve Fambro endeavored to design and build a passenger vehicle that was safe, comfortable, and more fuel-efficient than anything ever produced. This aspiration, combined with his background in engineering, led him to an intensive study of aerodynamics, and composite aircraft construction. He hypothesized that a low-drag, aerodynamic body shape could be achieved without sacrificing comfort, drivability or safety.

What emerged, after much designing, conceptualizing, and constructing, was a prototype two-seat, three-wheeled vehicle. This first operating prototype achieved a stunning 230 miles per gallon, Building on this success, Steve expanded his Aptera team and created the Aptera Typ-1, which has been re-designed, re-engineered, and refined into a production ready vehicle. We are excited to announce that the Aptera Typ-1 is now available for reservations."

Five years from concept to 300mpg and ready to produce. That's impressive, and at $30,000, it's competitive. This one's a two seater, with a baby seat behind the two front seats and claims to have room for "15 bags of groceries" in the trunk. Mind you that's California groceries. How much space does 15 bags of bean sprouts and tofu take up? No matter, it's still astounding given that the major auto makers have been telling us 35mpg by 2012 was "iffy" and 50mpg (fleet average) was out of the question. Nice job Mr. Fambro.

Here's the promo vid:

2 comments: said...

This looks pretty exciting! In my business operations class, we also learned of a flying car as the next big thing for transportation.

Do you think they will make this thing in a convertible?

Captain Capitalist said...

If it sells, I'm sure they will. I've been waiting for my flying car for 30 years now. The snags aren't just technological. There's also the logisitical problem of keeping everybody in their lanes in the air.

I think step one would have to be to get rid of all the utility lines, either by burying them or developing wireless transmission (which can already be done on very small scales). I'd say it'll be another century, but I've been surprised at the rate of technological increase before. Often, the biggest obstacle to progress is intellectual property law. Everybody tries so hard to protect their ideas, most of them never see the light of day.