US-based Aptera Motors announced a deal worth several hundred million euros to source in-wheel electric motors from Elaphe. The arrangement includes a detailed plan to scale production in Slovenia, and then extend production to the US.
A major part of the plan is the establishment of a new 160,000 square foot R&D and production centre where Elaphe will begin to ramp up motor production for Aptera, leading to a 100,000 unit annual capacity. Aptera also hopes that this will enable them to make the final push toward the final vehicle stage.
“We’re very proud to work with the experts at Elaphe, and this agreement means that we can proceed rapidly,” said Chris Anthony, Co-CEO of Aptera, noting that the partnership marks strategic progress for Aptera’s production timeline, adding: “Not only will Elaphe’s in-wheel motors make Aptera faster and more efficient, we are pleased to work with an industry leader redefining what is possible.”
“Our mission has always been the enablement of vehicle-level innovation. Aptera is pushing to extremes and radically changing the premise of achievable aerodynamic design and manufacturing concepts for electric vehicles,” noted Gorazd Lampic, Elaphe’s CEO, adding: “The vehicle is a really good match with Elaphe in-wheel powertrain technology, because it both requires and benefits from motor packaging, low energy losses, and vehicle dynamics.”
Aptera is in the late stage of ramping up production, and already started accepting reservations for their three-wheeled solar car in 2020. With ambitious promises, such as being able to charge up to 40 miles worth of power via the photovoltaic roof and a battery charge lasting up to 1,000 miles, Aptera certainly managed to raise a lot of interest.
Elaphe was founded in 2006, “with a mission to enable the creation of better vehicles by bringing its in-wheel powertrain solutions to the automotive mass market”. In 2020, the company was selected to provide their in-wheel drives to Lordstown Motors for use in their Endurance pickup. However, Lordstown is plagued by an uncertain future, which saw the company replace it’s CEO in 2021, and, most recently, General Motors drop their investment in the company.
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