Over the last month, we’ve made some amazing progress with regards to Aptera’s three-wheeled solar electric vehicle development. Our Chief Executive Officer, Chris Anthony, offers a summary of the most important development points in a recent video update you can watch below.
As discussed in the video, we put a pin in our Alpha development and now have three beautiful solar electric vehicles as proof. Our Alpha development served to validate our design and engineering, as well as give our customers a better idea of what our final production vehicles will look like. Aptera offers three standard exterior options, Noir (black), Sol (white), and Luna (silver), as pictured above, as well as three standard interior options: Vida, Coast, and Codex.
With all of the findings learned through our Alpha testing, we’re now onto building our Beta vehicles, of which we will have between 6-12. Our Beta vehicles are crucial to accelerate our ramp to production and they serve to integrate production parts into our first production vehicles. While our Beta vehicles will look very similar to our Alphas, one of the biggest changes is the increased size. We’ve increased the frontal area of the vehicle by about one percent allowing for more headroom and side space near the hip for improvements in driving comfort. Although the Beta series vehicles are bigger, we’ve also found a way to lower the drag through aerodynamic optimization — increasing efficiency from the Alpha vehicles.
Through our Alpha testing at the track, we found opportunities to optimize our stability, turning radius, maneuverability, and much more. To help us get to production as quickly as possible, we turned to the Roush engineering team to help us develop automotive quality components for our suspension, door system, and window mechanisms.
Our suspension team has made some impressive advancements in our Beta vehicles. We have greatly improved our aerodynamics with slimmer upper and lower control arms in our front suspension. One of the main improvements is the cable routing of our in-wheel motors, as pictured below. We’ve identified a method to use smaller cables and packaged them under the aero covers in our Beta design. The wheel covers on our Betas will also have an inner liner that braces the whole assembly to the motor, which will minimize the shake while traveling. Furthermore, our rear suspension has changed over from a single-sided swing arm to a double link suspension, which gives us much improved performance.
We also completed our body in white tooling for the Betas and parts are being built right now. In the video below, you can see the 3D printing of a few of our molds.
Lastly, our team has made tremendous progress in our solar composite manufacturing. We’re working to design highly efficient solar panels that are robust to the environmental conditions they experience on a solar electric vehicle while maintaining minimal power losses in the conversion process. We’re designing our solar panels to be upgradeable and last at least ten years. Our solar panels have already undergone hail impact testing, durability testing, and electroluminescence testing, so that we can provide the best solar electric vehicle possible. As solar technology improves over the years, Aptera owners will have the option to upgrade their solar modules to get an increased solar range. In the image below, you can see one of our solar coupons used for testing.
And we can’t wait to take our Beta development efforts to our beautiful new building in Carlsbad, California. There will be a lot happening and we will share with you along the way. Keep in mind, our Beta development vehicles won’t be pretty like our Alphas. That’s because they’re for functional and safety testing. We’ll be doing all kinds of testing and certification with vendors all over the world over the next coming months, so stay tuned for more up ahead.
As we race to production, we are growing our team rapidly. If you’d like to join us in building a greener, more efficient future (and have fun while doing it!), check out our LinkedIn for our current openings.