- Jan 29, 2014
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An electric car with 1,000 miles of range per cycle and that you never need to plug in to recharge. How does that sound?
Impossible? Yeah that was our first thought too, but Californian startup Aptera Motors is adamant that its solar-powered and handily-named Aptera can manage that. You can see renders of the aerodynamic, three-wheeled EV above.
Getting a strong sense of déjà vu? If you are then we’re impressed with both your memory and your obscure car knowledge. That’s because Aptera was actually founded in 2005 and initially took deposits from customers for a 300mpg hybrid that looked curiously like the new EV. The company was liquidated in 2011, though.
Now it’s back, not with a bang, but rather the almost-silent whisper of electric power. Thanks to that teardrop shape, some lightweight composite body-panels and an efficient regenerative braking system, Aptera claims that its new EV will manage the aforementioned 1,000 miles on a single charge. It also states that the solar panels on the roof will provide 11,000 miles of range per year – meaning you really wouldn’t ever need to plug it in.
True, but if it really can get around by solar power alone, it could be a start towards carbon-free (apart from the manufacturing and disposal costs) urban commuting.^^^ Calling that thing a "car" is a bit of a stretch. There's a reason it only has three wheels. In the US, if a vehicle has fewer than four wheels, it's legally not a car, and doesn't have to meet many of the usual requirements for a car.
Dyson has scrapped its plans to build an electric vehicle which was due to be launched in 2021.
The British firm had established a new Dyson Automotive division that was developing a large crossover-style premium EV saloon.
The design and development of the machine was being undertaken by a staff of just over 500 workers at a facility in Wiltshire and it’s been reported that the firm already had a working version of the car.
In an email to staff, James Dyson confirmed that the project was being closed.
He said: “Though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable.”
It is understood that Dyson’s board considered the troubles of EV start-ups such as Tesla to make money from selling cars, and the speed with which mainstream car firms are now moving into the electric car market, as reasons for the decision.
Dyson added that the firm did go through “a serious process to find a buyer for the project which has, unfortunately, been unsuccessful so far.”
“This is not a product failure”
Dyson said: “This is not a product failure, or a failure of the team, for whom this news will be hard to hear and digest.
“Their achievements have been immense – given the enormity and complexity of the project.”
“Since day one, we have taken risks and dared to challenge the status quo with new products and technologies.
“Such an approach drives progress, but has never been an easy journey.
“The route to success is never linear.
“This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last.
“I remain as excited about the future of Dyson as I have always been.
“Our ambitions have never been higher, our ability to invest has never been greater, and the team has never been stronger.”