The American startup Aptera closed down shop back in 2011 over lack of funding for its project of a three-wheeled electric car, the Aptera 2e. Now that the tide has changed in the electric mobility market, the company is back and is promising a new interesting development: a new version of its electric vehicle that will be capable of harvesting most of the energy needed to recharge the battery from the solar panel integrated on its roof.
When charged only through solar, the car can achieve a range of 45 miles per day, whereas with a battery fully charged (either though solar over many days, or through a traditional charger pole) the top version of the car can potentially drive for 1000 miles.
The three-wheel design and its matte black or UFO silver finishes make the new Aptera look like a quirky police vehicle from a dystopian future. The elongated shape has been modelled to bring down the drag coefficient to a measly 0.13 (to compare: Tesla’s Model 3, which has the best coefficient among electric cars, has a Cd of 0.23), but the Aptera can sit two adults (and a pet, says the company).
Aptera has developed two versions of the solar car, the Paradigm and the Paradigm plus, which packs the 100kWh battery capable of the purported 1000 miles range. Preorders for the new vehicle have started in December on the company’s website while the launch date is set for mid-2021. The final price will go from $25,900 to $46,000, based on options and features picked by the customer.