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Aptera and Fisker Taking Reservations: PHEVs From 2 Small Companies
Nov 21, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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Two of the small entrants in the PHEV race are making progress: Aptera and Fisker both plan PHEV production in 2009.

APTERA: Here's the press release; you can also read about it and view/post comments at Green Car Congress­2007/­11/­aptera-motors-u.html

300 Miles Per Gallon! Aptera Motors Unveils Ultra Efficient All-Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles for Under $30K Electric Model Slated for Delivery in Q4, 2008, 400+ Deposits Have Already Been Received Aptera Now Accepting Reservations in California With Other Regions Planned­portal/­site/­home/­index.jsp?

CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Aptera officially unveiled two vehicles that could change the future of automotive design. Aptera's Typ-1 is a radically different vehicle designed to marry advanced aerodynamics with light-weight composite technology creating an incredibly powerful, yet extremely safe vehicle that is a joy to drive -- even for the most performance-minded individuals. The Aptera Typ-1 will be available in all-electric and hybrid models for less than $30,000, the electric version slated for delivery in 2008 with the hybrid model to follow. The all-electric model has a range of 120 miles. The plug-in series hybrid has achieved more than 300 miles per gallon with a range of more than 600 miles. Both versions are loaded with safety features.

"Unveiling the Aptera Typ-1 represents a pivotal point in automotive history as we mark the transition from research and development to manufacturing the most energy efficient vehicle with a price tag to fit almost any budget," said Co-Founder & CEO, Steve Fambro.

Through extensive fluid dynamics modeling and materials engineering, the Aptera team has created the most efficient, lowest-drag shape that can surround two occupants side-by-side, and has made safety a priority in the design. Additionally, the car features three wheels, making it eligible for most carpool lanes, even with only one person in the vehicle.

The car has "two plus one" seating offering ample room for driver and passenger while an infant seat (for newborns to age three) can be located in the middle behind them. Storage room is also generous with enough space to fit 15 bags of groceries, two full-size golf club bags or even a couple of seven foot surf boards with the infant seat removed.

The Aptera Typ-1 is loaded with safety features. They include a front crumple zone, a front end that re-directs crash energy in a frontal impact, steel and composite side and rollover protection as well as driver and passenger side airbags.

The Aptera Typ-1 is available in two models:

All Electric - This model is powered exclusively with batteries and will get someone around town for approximately 120 miles depending on driving conditions. At night, simply plug the Aptera into any standard 110-volt outlet, and in just a few hours, the vehicle will be fully charged and ready for another 120 miles.

Plug-In Hybrid - The Aptera hybrid is powered by an electric drive train but is also assisted by a fuel-efficient gasoline-powered generator, which stretches the range considerably. In typical driving, the hybrid Aptera may achieve over 300 miles per gallon, a range far beyond any other passenger vehicle available today.

The Aptera Typ-1 also offers features that typically are not found on any vehicle, much less a hybrid or all-electric model. Solar cells embedded under the roof operate an always-on climate control system, ensuring the interior never gets too hot or too cold. The dashboard display and infotainment system is controlled by an in-vehicle computer, which also controls the "Eyes Forward" vision system. By replacing the side mirrors with embedded cameras that display a 180-degree rear view in the front of the instrument panel, Eyes Forward gives the driver complete situational awareness without taking their eyes off of the road.

Other standard features include:

  • Driver and passenger side airbags
  • Energy absorbing and impact deflecting passenger safety cell
  • Advanced drive computer with GPS navigation, CD/MP3/DVD player, XM satellite radio
  • Large rear view camera and complete vehicle diagnostic system
  • LED interior and exterior lighting for maximum energy efficiency
  • An RFID (Radio Frequency ID) - an automatic identification method so a driver never has to pull out their keys to enter or start their Aptera
  • USB port for powering a laptop or charging an MP3 player and other mobile devices

Fully refundable reservation deposits of $500 are now being accepted from California residents on the Aptera website ( The company will initially deliver vehicles in Southern California, then in northern California and to other regions nationwide.

"Initial response has been tremendous; validating our belief that future-minded consumers want a vehicle that is sleek, safe, eco-conscious and affordable. Through word-of-mouth alone, we've already received more than 400 pre-sale deposits," added Fambro.

Aptera is backed by Idealab and Esenjay Investments with initial financing allocated to building the Typ-1 all-electric and plug-in hybrid prototypes. Aptera is currently raising additional capital to begin manufacturing.

About Aptera

Aptera, Greek for "Wingless Flight," delivers on its name with a radically different vehicle designed to marry advanced aerodynamics with light-weight composite technology to create an incredibly powerful, yet extremely safe vehicle that is a joy to drive. The Aptera Typ-1 will be available in all-electric and hybrid models for less than $30,000. The all-electric model has a range of about 120 miles. The plug-in series hybrid has achieved more than 300 miles per gallon with a range of more than 600 miles. Both versions are loaded with safety features. Aptera is backed by Idealab and Esenjay Petroleum and is headquartered in Carlsbad, California.

FISKER, the high-end automotive aftermarket company­

  • released photos of its $80K PHEV to be built with Quantum­news.cfm?newsid=16505
  • said it was taking $1,000 deposits for the car for 2010 and $5,000 deposits for 2009­story/­2007/­11/­9/­145814/­981
  • said it would be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January and expected to ship 15,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009­news/­newsfeeds/­articles/­prnewswire/­LATU11413112007-1.htm,
  • You can also read about it and see/post comments at Green Car Congress:­2007/­10/­fisker-and-quan.html

    Here's Quantum's press release:

    Quantum's Fisker Automotive Joint Venture Releases First Images of Plug-In Hybrid Four-Door Premium Sports Sedan PR Newswire November 13, 2007: 06:00 AM EST

    IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. and Fisker Coachbuild, LLC have released a preview of the first production vehicle to be launched from Fisker Automotive, Inc. -- the green American premium car company. Fisker Automotive, Inc. is a joint venture between Quantum and Fisker, and will offer a range of environmentally friendly premium cars. The plug-in hybrid four-door premium sports sedan will make its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January 2008. Initial deliveries are anticipated to commence in the 4th quarter of 2009, with annual production projected to reach 15,000 units.

    Quantum will supply its proprietary high-performance plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle architecture, known as "Quantum Hybrid," integrated into a unique chassis developed by Quantum that will enable optimizing the performance and vehicle dynamics for all Fisker Automotive models. Benefits of the Quantum Hybrid drive system include optimized fuel efficiency and superior performance, unchanged gas station infrastructure, and home-based battery recharging with any 110-volt outlet.

    The Fisker Automotive vehicles will also offer recharging system options in addition to the standard 110/120 volt system. A fast-charging 220/240 system and a solar carport, equipped with solar modules supplied by Quantum and its German partner, asola Advanced and Automotive Solar Systems GmbH ("Asola"), will be offered as dealer options. A Quantum/Asola solar roof panel will be offered as a factory installed option to provide power for ventilation when parking, pre-air conditioning of the vehicle, supplemental cooling of the lithium-ion battery pack, and opportunity trickle charging of the vehicle batteries.

    "The new Fisker sports sedan, which incorporates Quantum's proprietary Quantum Hybrid system, will change the way we look at the automotive world," said Alan Niedzwiecki, the President and CEO of Quantum. "With oil prices approaching $100 a barrel and the mounting evidence of the impact of greenhouse gases on global climate change, there is growing demand worldwide for energy efficient transportation and renewable energy. Quantum's proprietary plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology, together with Quantum/Asola solar modules, provides an integrated solution in a premium sports sedan with no compromise of performance or luxury."

    Each Fisker Automotive vehicle will feature a revolutionary new platform that enables the designer and CEO of Fisker Automotive, Henrik Fisker, to create an amazingly well-proportioned four-door premium sports sedan. "The sleek design accentuating the long hood is a direct result of our breakthrough chassis which carries the battery pack at the center of the vehicle between the two axles," explains Henrik Fisker. "This positioning provides optimal vehicle driving dynamics, maximum safety, proportionate design as well as industry standard performance figures within this car class."

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