Aptera unveils new solar electric vehicle

Aptera is a company that closed in 2011 after not having got enough money to launch a three-wheel electric car they had designed (they needed a $150 million loan).

Now, 9 years later, they return with another project, a new solar electric vehicle that, it looks like, does not need to be recharged.

In the press release, they comment that the top model has a 100 kWh battery. It has 3 wheels, allows 2 people, and its sunroof is responsible for providing about 70 km per day, charging while parked, as it is not charged while driving. With all batteries 100% charged (either traditionally or with panels), they can reach 1,600 km of battery life.

The idea is that the built-in solar array keeps the battery pack always full, and ensure that they are able to capture enough sunlight to travel more than 17,000 km per year in most regions.

Among its advantages are:

  • Range: Provides up to 1,600 km per load.
  • Solar: Integrated solar energy can be configured to provide up to 70 km of range per day.
  •  Efficient motor trains.
  • Tunable efficiency: The adjustable settings built into Aptera's user interface keep drivers up to date with ways they can conserve power and extend the range in real-time.
  • Scalable manufacturing: Allow fast, high volume and cost-effective vehicle production, with only four main parts.

The design of the solar car

What catches the most is its curved design. It has a coefficient of friction of only 0.13 (by way of comparison, Tesla's Model 3 has a coefficient of 0.23. It can go from zero to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds, and its three-wheel drive model can reach 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds.

At the moment they are receiving pre-orders, but they are already advancing that their price will range from $26,000 to $46,000, depending on the customization. They will deliver the first units in 2021.

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