Aptera Motors’ Solar-Powered EV Never Needs to be Plugged In
Aptera has an obsession with efficiency. That obsession has driven them to create an electric vehicle that can be used for everyday driving but that never has to be plugged in. The vehicle uses solely solar power to be able to go up to 40 miles a day. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually five times farther than any other electric vehicle with a similar sized solar system. That 40 miles per day translates into up to 11,000 miles per year—all without any impact on performance.
“The average driver in the US drives 29 miles per day,” says Aptera’s Co-CEO, Chris Anthony, “so now for most American consumers, the Aptera is a vehicle you never have to plug in to the wall to receive any charge. If you put our same solar package on a Prius, you could get maybe six or eight miles per charge range a day, which some people might find compelling, if you have a really short commute. For most people, it wouldn’t be worth the expense of the solar. But when you only burn 100 watt-hours per mile, like the Aptera does, the same solar package can get you 40+ miles a day of range.” That power is harvested from the sun via three square meters of solar panels, which are designed to be upgradable and replaceable over the car’s lifetime. The Aptera uses electric motors that are individually mounted into each of the car’s three wheels. The chassis is also innovative, featuring only 10 key structural components. The result is a car that weighs a meager 1,800 pounds. There’s also a 1,000-mile version that is powered off of a 110-volt outlet. “Our vehicle is unique in that most electric cars you can never really charge off a 110-vlt outlet,” explains Anthony. “It’s not enough power to charge a Tesla or Chevy Bolt. But with our vehicle, the same outlet that you use to charge you cell phone can charge 130 miles of range per hour.”
Aptera is looking to have the prototypes running by the end of the first quarter of 2020, with production starting by the end of the year.