Designed by Accelerated Composites, California (USA), the “Aptera hybrid” started development in January 2006 when the company stated that this will be a 330 mpg vehicle at 65 mph that uses a diesel 12 hp engine combined with a 25 hp electric motor. With a planned weight of 850lbs the two-seater coupe (with a centre mounted infant seat) was estimated to have a 0 - 60 mph time of 11 seconds with a top speed, electronically limited at 95 mph.
In 2007 the Aptera Typ-1e and Typ1h were officially launched. Both versions were front wheel drive (unlike previous versions that had a belt driven rear wheel) and whilst the Aptera 1e was an all-electric model with a reported range of 120 miles (193 km), the Aptera 1h was a petrol /electric hybrid that gave 300 mpg though due to concerns over emissions, the diesel engine was dropped. Solar cells in the roof powered the “always-on” climate control system. Both the 1e and the 1h had a planned 2008 delivery date though by 2009 no vehicles had been delivered. At the time the company enhanced the electric version with a series 2e. Enhancements included wider door openings, aerodynamic side mounted mirrors, LED lighting inside and out, GPS navigation, RFID key fob and a 0-60 mph time of under 10 seconds.
It was hoped that there would be 100,000 electric Apteras on the road by 2015 though on December 2nd 2011 the company went into liquidation.