California start-up Aptera Motors has this week unveiled its first “Never Charge” EV, a highly efficient solar electric vehicle which boasts a mind-boggling range of up to 1,600-kilometres.
The futuristic-looking three-wheel Aptera utilises a built-in solar array and breakthroughs in lightweight structures, low-drag aerodynamics and cooling, material science, and manufacturing processes to deliver what the company believes is “the most efficient vehicle ever made available to consumers.”
“With Aptera’s Never Charge technology, you are driven by the power of the sun,” said Co-Founder Chris Anthony. “Our built-in solar array keeps your battery pack topped off and anywhere you want to go, you just go.”
Aptera’s Never Charge technology is designed to harvest enough sunlight to provide up to 70-kilometres of range per day, thanks to 3-square-metres of 180 efficient solar cells.
The Driven covered Aptera’s dream of delivering a fully-electric vehicle with a range of 1,600km over a year ago, but Aptera believes the dream is a dream no longer, with pre-orders open at www.aptera.us.
The Aptera’s built-in solar array is not the car’s only cool new innovation, being built of lightweight composites much stronger than steel which allows for the vehicle’s unique body shape to create superb aerodynamics.
A liquid-cooled electric motor provides acceleration of 0-60 (0-100) in as fast as 3.5 seconds, and the Aptera boasts a top-speed of 175km/h. All-wheel drive and vectorized torque control gives the Aptera a comfortable ride and stability control, and the ability to handle bad weather.
If you do choose to charge from the mains, the Aptera uses standard plugs, and can charge at 20-kilometres per hour, or at 800-kilometres per hour on rapid DC chargers.
Seating two (plus pet) and a 15-inch touchscreen, the Aptera is expected to begin delivery in 2021, with pricing starting at $25,900- $46,000+ ($AU35,000-62,000+) depending on range and options.
Aptera Motors says they have “solved key challenges allowing for rapid, high-volume, and cost-efficient vehicle production” meaning that the Aptera only has four main pieces.
In turn, this allows for scalable manufacturing, and helps to provide customers with the opportunity to design and customise their own Aptera, choosing from a range of 400, 645, 965, or 1,600 kilometres in both AWD and FWD packages.
Unsurprisingly, Aptera Motors doesn’t say whether the Aptera will be available in Australia.