The new EV from Aptera is designed to harvest enough sunlight to travel over 11,000 miles (17,700 kms) per year
US-based electric vehicle startup Aptera Motors has unveiled a prototype of its solar energy powered electric vehicle (sEV). The highlight of this three-wheeled electric vehicle is that the company claims that it doesn’t require any external charging for most of its use.
At a time when EVs and EV-related technologies are still at a nascent stage in the world with manufacturers looking to refine their powertrain and charging technology every day, this solar electric vehicle could prove to be a stepping stone for next-generation EVs. The company claims that the super-efficient and lightweight electric vehicle could offer up to 1000 miles (1600 km) on a full charge which is way above what Tesla offers now.
The three-wheeled electric vehicle can hold up to two adults and is offered with options of battery packs ranging from 25.0 kWh to 100.0 kWh. Another critical highlight that it is super light and with the heaviest battery pack it tips the weighing scale under 1000 kg. It is also providing an impressive energy efficiency of 10 miles per kWh which is definitely more than the current generation EVs.
Coming to its design, it looks like an airplane’s fuselage without its wings providing a drag coefficient (Cd) of only 0.13. It is designed to consume 100 Watts of energy for every mile. Buyers also get the option of choosing a 100 kW front-wheel-drive system or 150 kW all-wheel-drive powertrain. The former can generate a peak power of 134 bhp and the latter can kick 201 bhp.
It also claims for a decently quick performance. The company claims the liquid-cooled electric motor can push the electric vehicle from 0-60 miles per hour in just 5.5 seconds in front-wheel powertrain and 3.5 seconds in all-wheel powertrain with a top speed of 110 mph (177 kmph).
Aptera also offers a number of options for placing solar cells on the EV. Consumers could choose to place the solar cell panels on the roof, hood or back of the EV. These solar cells could add up to 40 miles per day in most regions of the world.
Aptera was launched way back in 2006 and first unveiled the idea of a super-efficient three-wheeled vehicle in 2008. Back then Tesla was still working on its first EV prototype Roadster. However, it was too early for development of EVs and the startup failed. Its co-founders Steve Fambro, Chris Anthony, and Michael Johnson went on to create Flux Power, a firm that supplies batteries to electrify forklifts.
Aptera EV will be offered in three exterior paint schemes- Sol (white), Noir (black) and Luna (silver). The company has started accepting bookings for the electric vehicle at a deposit of $100 and expects to start delivering them in 2021. It has been made available at a starting price of $25,900 which roughly translates to INR 19.10 lakh depending on the battery pack option.