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aptera tests durability of its solar electric car with three wheels in pininfarina's wind tunnel

Pininfarina wind tunnel can optimize aerodynamics

 

Aptera and its three-wheeled solar electric car swing by Pininfarina Wind Tunnel in Turin, Italy to test the sun-powered vehicle’s aerodynamics performance. Aptera is taking its three-wheeled vehicle platform to the next level with a validation phase focused on optimizing aerodynamic performance and efficiency. Collaborating with Pininfarina Wind Tunnel, the solar electric vehicle manufacturer has conducted car tests to validate its computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work and gain valuable insights into the vehicle’s shape.

 

This can allow Aptera to tweak and refine its solar-powered car to make sure it works well and achieves the lowest drag coefficient among all production passenger vehicles. Aptera says it has received successful wind tunnel results that can reaffirm its design philosophy centered around aerodynamic efficiency. By leveraging Pininfarina’s expertise, Aptera is pushing to manufacture solar electric cars capable of daily use without charging them for several weeks.

aptera solar electric car pininfarina wind tunnel
images courtesy of Aptera Motors and Pininfarina

 

 

Aptera tests its solar electric car’s efficiency

 

Aptera has designed a few solar electric vehicles under its belt with three wheels, an efficient powertrain, and teardrop shapes. Through Pininfarina Wind Tunnel’s help, the solar electric vehicle manufacturer can be assisted in making sure that its cars’ aerodynamic shape is truly the key to its energy efficiency, ‘allowing its solar EVs to achieve an industry-leading 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 claims.

 

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.’

aptera solar electric car pininfarina wind tunnel
Aptera swings by Pininfarina Wind Tunnel to test the sun-powered vehicle’s aerodynamics performance

 

Morphing the teardrop shape of the solar electric car

 

For the teardrop shape of the vehicle, Aptera used AirShaper to analyze multiple design iterations of the car alongside its AirShaper Aerodynamic Shape Optimization functionality to let the algorithm automatically morph the car toward lower drag values. Pininfarina Wind Tunnel, which is Italy’s first wind tunnel to be built for testing full-scale cars, opened in 1972.

 

Since then, it become a tool for automotive brands to achieve high-level standards in their vehicle performance, energy consumption, and overall comfort through aerodynamic and aeroacoustics testing and validation. 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.

aptera solar electric car pininfarina wind tunnel
the car tests validate the computational fluid dynamics work and insights into the shape of Aptera’s vehicles.

aptera solar electric car pininfarina wind tunnel
air testing inside Pininfarina Wind Tunnel

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Aptera’s solar electric car in Pininfarina Wind Tunnel in Turin, Italy

aptera solar electric car pininfarina wind tunnel
Aptera says it has received successful wind tunnel results to improve its three-wheel cars’ aerodynamic efficiency

aptera solar electric car pininfarina wind tunnel
close up view of wind tunnel test

aptera solar electric car pininfarina wind tunnel
the next step in Aptera’s validation phase is to build Delta validation units

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Aptera’s solar electric car in Pininfarina Wind Tunnel in Turin, Italy

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