Aptera Motors, a start-up building an ultra-efficient EV, has teamed up with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies, a manufacturer of in-wheel motors.
Aptera says in-wheel motors offer it advantages that would be impossible to achieve with other propulsion systems, including enhanced aerodynamics, lighter overall vehicle weight and improved handling, all of which result in better mileage and safety.
In combination with Aptera’s low-drag aerodynamics and lightweight construction, the company says Elaphe’s compact, high-torque in-wheel motors drop energy usage to less than 100 watt-hours per mile, four times lower than the average EV. Precise torque vectoring maximizes aerodynamics by allowing the vehicle to make small steering changes at speed without physically turning the wheels, leaving airflow around the vehicle’s front suspension undisturbed. Vector steering control likewise eases slow-speed turning without the need for bulky power steering. The system also helps driving and parking performance in snow and ice.
Elaphe says its in-wheel motors have been used in the smart fortwo, BMW X6 SUV, Audi R8, and 40 other vehicle platforms, including public transportation.
Aptera CEO Chris Anthony said, “Based on Elaphe’s work with leading suspension providers, properly tuned suspension will lend Aptera exceptional ride comfort and sport performance for exciting cornering. Elaphe was an early supporter of Aptera and we’re thrilled that they’re now capable of delivering Tier 1 OEM-level quality and certification to our mass-production efforts.”