Aptera – the company that in late 2020 hit headlines with its “never charge” solar EV – has just released a video of its second three-wheeler prototype, which it has named “Sol”, meaning sun.
The futuristic-looking vehicle is essentially the same as the company’s first solar vehicle prototype, but instead of the inky black body it features white “wings” with orange accents.
Both are just a prelude to a planned fleet of lightweight, streamlined vehicles that never require plugging in because they are so aerodynamic and efficient. In fact, Aptera claims you can get 1,600km from a single charge.
The new video is aimed squarely at a young audience, featuring two friends who spend a sunny day cruising the coastline looking for waves – which gives it an opportunity to show how it can fit a surfboard in the back.
We like the concept of fitting a tent on the back also – a perfect way to end a balmy evening.
The Sol is Aptera’s last alpha prototype, which means it will soon be moving onto its beta prototypes. According to Inside EVs, which has been in touch with Aptera co-CEO Chris Anthony, this will mainly mean some small design improvement such as more room in the cabin and an even better drag co-efficient.
With at least 7,000 pre-orders according to official numbers announced by the company in February (and this could even be sd high as 20,000 if comments on the company’s website are to be believed),there is high anticipation for the Aptera solar vehicle.
Having completed a $4 million series A funding round under its belt, it also counts Sandy Munro of Munro & Associates, Inc – the engineering firm that tears down vehicles and is known for its deep Model 3 and Model Y analyses – as one of its investors.
“I’m betting on a solar future, and I’m betting on Aptera,” said Munro of the investment. “The industry needs more creative engineering like this to progress ahead. I’m happy to be assisting Aptera as they move into production and beyond.”
How would the Aptera fair in sunny Australia, you ask? While there is no word yet on if and when it will make it here, an interactive tool on the company’s website suggests that as long as you drive no more than 40km or so a day (the average commute of a working Australian), you’ll never need to plug the Apera in at all.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.