Way before Fisker and some years before Tesla rolled out its first Tesla Roadster, there was a small startup in San Diego that had the ambition to shake up the automotive industry. The company was Aptera Motors. Unfortunately, the company with its radical, futuristic-looking three-wheeled plug-in hybrid failed to materialize and the company was subsequently liquidated in 2011.
Fast forward to 2019, Aptera Motors was reformed as Aptera Motors Corp. under the leadership of its original founders. This time, the company’s pitch is a pure electric vehicle that never requires charging and from what we are seeing, it is sticking to the three-wheeled design.
The reborn Aptera EV is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that uses under 100 Wh per mile and almost never need to be recharged, or at least you won’t have to as often as a traditional electric vehicle. Thanks to the incorporation of solar panels on the roof, hood and even the dash.
These solar system, which comprises of over 180 solar cells covering over 3 sq.m in total, can add up as much as 40 miles (64 km) a day from sunlight alone, thus yielding a range of up to 1,000 miles (1,600 km). So, yeah, theoretically, Aptera EV probably never need recharging.
With the projected 1,000-mile, Aptera overtook the the Dutch’s Lightyear One which is the other EV that leverages on the sun to give it a boosted range of nearly 500 miles. But the thing is, Aptera three-wheel solar-powered EV remains a two-seater which may not fit into everyone’s lifestyle.
It will be pocket rocket, however, if that’s what interests you. Aptera said the new Aptera EV will rocket from standstill to 60 (0-97 km/h) in just 4 seconds. Furthermore, it boasts an autopilot system that provides semi-autonomous driving capability, AI computer parts modeling and the composite structure resulted a car weight of around 1,800-2,200 lbs (816-997 kilograms).
The first prototypes of the revised Aptera EV are expected to materialize in Q1 2020. In the meantime, the company is running a Wefunder crowdfunding campaign to raise funds. If you believe in Aptera, you can have a piece of the company as an investor. Investor perks include signed art prints of the Aptera design, 3D printed models and priority on the first pre-order list.
As for the vehicle itself, it will have a starting price of $34,000 with the company planning to produce 10,000 vehicles a year by 2022.
All images courtesy of Aptera Motors Corp..