Wow! The Aptera is a new, solar powered, electric car ‘most drivers’ never have to charge and its range is 1,000 miles, the manufacturer revealed. All from $25,900 to $44,900. Such traits seem to be a popular combination. Why? Because 3,000 cars were pre-ordered within days of the launch and that equated to $100 million.
The Aptera looks like nothing else on the road. In fact, it looks like it travelled from the future. Note the curvaceous bodywork, for example. Note the covers over the front wheels that optimise aerodynamic efficiency and maximise the range per-charge. Note too that the vehicle has 3 wheels, 2 seats, plus a practical size boot.
Battery, range, charging
The manufacturer lets you choose a battery that suits your lifestyle and budget. Pick the: 25 kWh (250 miles), 40 kWh (400 miles), 60 kWh (600 miles), or the 100 kWh battery (1,000 miles).
Whatever the battery, it can be charged by a solar panel on the roof. This adds ‘16 miles’ to the car’s range per-day, the manufacturer estimated. Not enough? You can optionally add a panel to the roof and tailgate to gain 45 miles a day. Furthermore, the car can be recharged via a standard plug or a public rapid charger.
The manufacturer summarised the vehicle’s solar credentials and what it means for you. ‘Our built-in solar array keeps your battery pack topped off and anywhere you want to go – you just go’, Co-Founder Chris Anthony said. In ‘most regions’, expect to harvest enough energy from sunlight to travel ‘over 11,000 miles per year’.
Power, speed, drive
The Aptera has power, speed, and drive options too. Choose 100 kW and front-wheel drive, for example. This configuration propels the vehicle to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Alternatively, the 150 kW all-wheel option is far faster. Expect 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. You can further pick the vehicle’s exterior and interior colour themes.
The vehicle is available with optional extras, too. The off-road kit, for example. This raises the ride height and adds tougher wheel covers so you can explore rough terrain with further confidence. All for $1,000. Among other things, there is also the pet kit ($300), the camping kit ($600), and a better stereo ($600).
The manufacturer is understandably pleased to have attracted so many orders just days after launch. ‘We were hopeful the world would see the potential of an ultra-efficient vehicle that can travel farther than any other and charge itself with the power of the sun’, it emphasised. ‘However, we never could have imagined the outpouring of interest and support that followed our announcement’.