Aptera anticipates lowest drag coefficient of any car ever in wind tunnel testing

Aptera is testing its “Gamma” prototype, an innovative solar-powered, three-wheeled electric car, in Pininfarina’s wind tunnel in Italy, aiming to achieve the lowest aerodynamic drag coefficient for any production passenger car. The company’s efforts are part of a broader industry trend to enhance vehicle efficiency through better aerodynamics, which is critical for both electric and gas-powered vehicles to meet consumer and regulatory demands for higher mileage.

The design of the Aptera car emphasizes a teardrop shape with a pointed rear end, minimizing turbulent eddies and drag. Additionally, the vehicle features almost entirely enclosed wheels within aerodynamic pods, contributing to its streamlined profile. Aptera’s small size also plays a role in reducing aerodynamic drag, as a smaller frontal cross-sectional area displaces less air. The combination of these design elements, along with the inclusion of large solar panels, leads Aptera to claim it will be the “most efficient vehicle on the planet,” potentially requiring “no charging for most daily use.”

While the company’s ambitious claims have yet to be proven in a production setting, the unique and radical design of the Aptera car makes its goals seem achievable. However, the company still faces the challenge of bringing the vehicle to market, a process known to be difficult for solar EV startups. Despite these challenges, Aptera has garnered significant public interest and enthusiasm, reflected in a successful crowdfunding campaign. The company is currently accepting reservations for the Aptera EV, offering a glimpse into a potential future where solar EV technology is a practical reality.

Key Takeaways:

  • Aptera is testing its solar-powered, three-wheeled electric car to potentially achieve the lowest aerodynamic drag coefficient for a production passenger car.
  • The vehicle’s design, including a teardrop shape and almost entirely enclosed wheels, aims to maximize aerodynamic efficiency and reduce drag.
  • Aptera’s small vehicle size, combined with its design features, could make it one of the most efficient vehicles on the planet, requiring minimal charging for daily use.

“Aptera claims that the combination of these factors will make it the ‘most efficient vehicle on the planet’ (well, maybe not more efficient than this one , but we’ll say they meant ‘car’).”

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