Aptera Taking Orders for EV That It Claims Never Needs Charging

  • Aptera has been promising a long-range solar/electric car for a while now, and it has just released images and video of a production model of the three-wheeler.
  • The Aptera EV has a solar roof array, making it possible to drive 40 miles without charging, but it also is claimed to have 1000 miles of range.
  • Aptera is taking orders with a refundable $100 deposit starting at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, December 4.

    Someday, electric cars will have 1000 miles of range. And that day will come next year, if Aptera makes good on its claims for the latest iteration of its three-wheeled, two-seat EV.

    The Aptera looks like an airplane fuselage minus the wings, which, they say, earns it a 0.13 coefficient of drag and allows it to expend only 100 watt-hours of energy per mile. Thus, with a 100.0-kWh pack, you get 1000 miles of range. Or actually somewhat more, because the Aptera also has another trick: its “Never Charge” solar roof array, which can add about 40 miles of range over the course of a (sunny) day. Adding panels to the hood and hatch can add another 24 miles of range. So theoretically, depending on the location and your driving habits, you might not have to ever plug the thing in.

    Car and Driver

    Which is not to say that the Aptera is solar powered, in the sense of real-time charging while driving. The sun just doesn’t spit out enough horsepower for that, unless you build something with a ton of surface area and near zilch for drag. That’s why experimental solar-powered cars always look like a section of tin roof fell onto a recumbent bicycle. Aptera says the solar charge rate can hit five miles of range per hour. Hey, that could add up. You paying attention, preppers?

    Car and Driver

    The Aptera has decent horsepower, apparently—they’re not forthcoming on that number, although they do have some claims on zero-to-60-mph times. The front-wheel-drive car should be good for a 5.5-second zero to 60, with the three-wheel-drive (!) model clocking 3.5 seconds. Battery packs will range in size from 25.0 kWh (good for about 250 miles of range) up to the 100.0-kWh pack, with the heaviest model weighing in at 2200 pounds. Essentially, you’re driving a battery on wheels. With DC fast charging, Aptera says the charge rate can hit 500 miles of range per hour.

    Car and Driver

    Pricing will range from $25,900 to more than $46,000, depending on options. The first models out will be called Paradigm and Paradigm+, but it’s not clear if that’s the vehicle’s name or just the trim levels. Intriguingly, there’s a variant with higher ground clearance, tougher wheel fairings, and an integrated tent and awning, proving that there’s no corner of the transportation universe untouched by the craze for overlanding.

    This all sounds like fun, but we—like most humans on the planet—have yet to drive an Aptera. Here’s hoping that changes next year.

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