Aptera Begins Wind Tunnel Testing for Solar-Powered Vehicle

The company said its vehicle will have the ability to drive up to 40 miles per day directly from the sun’s rays.

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Solar electric vehicle manufacturer Aptera entered the validation phase for its aerodynamic shape at Pininfarina’s world-famous wind tunnel.

Aptera has designed an aerodynamic vehicle with three wheels, an efficient powertrain, and a teardrop shape. Now Pininfarina, with its heritage and aerodynamic prowess, will be working closely with Aptera to validate the unique shape of its cutting-edge solar electric vehicles. Pininfarina has a legacy of working with iconic vehicles and renowned brands, including Ferrari, Rolls Royce, and Maserati.  

Aptera’s aerodynamic shape is key to its energy efficiency, allowing its solar EVs to achieve a range of up to 1,000 miles per charge and the ability to drive up to 40 miles per day directly from the sun’s rays.

“Aptera’s exterior design draws inspiration from the research of Professor Morelli, the same engineer behind the Pininfarina Wind Tunnel. By building on Professor Morelli’s ideas, Aptera carries on this philosophy, continuing to push bounds of aerodynamic efficiency” says Alessandro Aquili, Head of Wind Tunnel at Pininfarina. “We are always excited to take part in the development of innovative vehicles, especially when they share such a strong link with our wind tunnel’s history.” 

Through the validation phase, Aptera will refine and validate the aerodynamic properties of its vehicle platform, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency. At the Pininfarina Wind Tunnel, Aptera completed correlation testing that corroborated its computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work and offered insights on the vehicle’s shape, which Aptera anticipates will have the lowest coefficient of drag of any production passenger vehicle. 

“By simply looking at Aptera, it is evident aerodynamic efficiency is at the core of our design philosophy. The wind tunnel results are a firm confirmation of our philosophy’s success,” says Steve Fambro, CEO and Co-founder of Aptera. 

This validation phase with Pininfarina exemplifies Aptera’s dedication to reaching new heights of what is possible in mobility. By integrating Pininfarina’s aerodynamic insights, Aptera is on the path to meet its ambitious targets, ultimately making history and providing consumers with the most efficient vehicle on the planet that requires no charging for most daily use.

“Working with Pininfarina to validate Aptera’s shape marks an exciting chapter in our journey towards creating a passenger vehicle with the lowest drag coefficient ever,” said Steve Fambro. “Pininfarina’s expertise and validation will reinforce the aerodynamic excellence of our vehicle platform, and ultimately support the realization of Aptera.” 

The next step in Aptera’s validation phase is to build Delta validation units, which will be continually tested in CFD, wind tunnel, and real-world environments.

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