Ask any electric car owner, and the biggest bugbear is the range anxiety or the amount of time running around to get to the nearest charging station. Every electric car, including the latest Tesla and everything else offered in this segment, suffers from that issue, too, with no solution in sight. However, the road going UFO that you see here never needs any charging at all as this is an EV powered by the sun!
Meet the radical Aptera, and it is a Solar electric vehicle (SEV) that boasts of an incredible range of 1,000 miles per full charge, and it also requires no charging at all as a result. All this is done courtesy of solar power as that keeps the battery pack topped off. Aptera calls it “Never Charge” technology, and every Aptera is designed to harvest enough sunlight to cover over 11,000 miles per year.
Along with solar panels strapped onto the car, a lot of the incredible range can be attributed to the design of the Aptera as it has an aerodynamic shape courtesy of the smooth and slippery design. The unique design gives the car a low drag with a drag coefficient (Cd) of .13, which helps the Aptera slip through the air with incredible aerodynamics. The engineering is reminiscent of hypercars with the same philosophy of lightness and lightweight materials being used in its construction. The Aptera is made of lightweight composites that are many times stronger than steel, and to enable cost-efficient production, the car comprises four main pieces. The Aptera is also made for two passengers to sit in reasonable comfort.
The Aptera is an EV at heart with a liquid-cooled electric motor which helps it get to 60mph in just 3.5 seconds. Then there is a top speed of 110mph, which is more than enough considering it is a three-wheeler! But it is the solar power being integrated into the car that piques our interest, and in the Aptera, the solar can be configured to provide up to 45 miles of range per day- enough to meet most driving needs of any user. The 180 solar cells are cleverly designed into the structure of the car itself.
Prices range from $25,900- $46,900 and beyond, with the customer having the option to choose ranges of 250, 400, 600, or 1,000 miles in both AWD and FWD packages. You can also reserve the first lot of limited edition Paradigm and Paradigm+ models with a refundable fee of $100.
Overall, the Aptera threads a different path from other electric start-ups, and its design, solar power, and range make it stand out amongst other conventional EVs. Aptera recently had closed its round of Series A funding with a total of over $4 million. It has also got over 7,000 vehicle reservations in just over two months, totaling a quarter-billion in orders! The future of the electric vehicle now has a twist and might be powered by the sun after all!