Ever since electric vehicles started to go mainstream, people have wondered "why doesn't it have a solar roof?" The answer has always been the same: solar panels don't generate that much energy.
It's not a big deal for those ultralight and aerodynamic prototypes, but for the daily range of a normal commuter, yes. What if a “normal” electric vehicle had similar performance to ultra-light prototypes? Intercom Aptera.
What if it was an electric vehicle really designed with the primary goal of achieving incredible levels of efficiency, something so aerodynamically "slippery" that it outclasses the performance of production cars? I said it. Intercom Aptera.
I talked about it exactly one year ago. And today the company starts reservations for the first vehicles.
3 square meters of solar panels
The producers claim that the 180 small solar panels that literally cover the Aptera electric vehicle, (an area of over three square meters, 32 square feet), will harvest a lot of energy. So much so that many drivers will never have to recharge it.
Aptera can self-generate up to 72 km of autonomy per day under ideal conditions. It is double the average daily mileage of those who travel to an historic center.
An ultralight city plane on four wheels
With a vaguely aeronautical-looking two-seater cabin, Aptera has an “unheard of” drag coefficient. Just 0,13. Crazy even when compared to the "incredibly low" drag coefficient (0,24) of the Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion concept.
Aptera is entirely built in carbon / kevlar / linen composites with sandwich structures, which make it very light and super resistant.
As for the powertrain, more options are available. There may be liquid-cooled electric motors in the two front wheels or in all three. To read the specifications of the company, we talk about 3,5 seconds to go from 0 to 100km per hour, with a maximum speed of 177km per hour. Rather sporty as data.
The assortment of batteries will also be guaranteed. Aptera promises three types, for ranges from 400 to 1600 kilometers (1000 miles). For comparison, Tesla's Model S P100D claimed a radical increase in efficiency this year and can now achieve 400 miles (more than 600 kilometers) of range on a battery of the same size.
Beautiful Aptera, yes, but… Is it true? Walk?
To be fair, Tesla has taken its cars to the streets, and Aptera has only gotten to the prototype stage of production so far. But now the company is ready to accept reservations for the “Paradigm” and “Paradigm +” special edition cars that will be produced in 2021. A refundable deposit of $ 100 guarantees the reservation. The final price of Aptera will be between 24.000 and 44.000 euros, depending on your options.
How many people will be willing to buy? These are not very low prices, if we take into account the competition that will become increasingly fierce. But it is still the first electric vehicle that (almost) there will be no need to recharge. And there's no cleaner way to charge an electric vehicle than with your own rooftop solar system.