Aptera shows off solar EV with supposed 1,000-mile range
The range of Aptera's Gamma model solar EV.
We’re one step closer to Aptera’s funky, futuristic solar EV hitting the streets. The startup revealed the Gamma model of its solar EV at the Fully Charged 2022 event in San Diego. Aptera’s concept first won a lot of attention for its innovative three-wheeled design, along with its claims of a 1,000 mile-range battery.
According to Aptera, the Gamma represents the third stage in developing its flagship solar EV. The company has already gone through its Alpha phase that produced early prototypes and its Beta phase where the vehicles were tested. In the Gamma phase, Aptera developed a vehicle that’s meant to show off the functionalities and features of the vehicle that will eventually go to market. The final step is the Delta phase, which will be the production-intent vehicles.
Aptera announced its flagship solar EV back in 2020, and has been slowly continuing its development. It still remains a promising solar EV with an attractive range and a potential “never charge” feature, depending on how much sunlight you get a day.
Sunny days required — There will be different trims of Aptera’s EV, including a 250-mile-range option or one with a battery that tops out at 1,000 miles. The various models still get 40 miles of range through its daily solar charge capacity, so if your daily commute is less than that, you’ll never actually have to charge your Aptera EV with a traditional plug.
The Aptera will run a 100kW drive system and has a 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Aptera already revealed the sleek, modern interiors in a teaser video a few weeks ago. Even though the solar EV has a bit of an unconventional shape, Aptera says there’s plenty of leg room and trunk capacity. Aptera is going with a steering yoke, but matches other EVs with its big tablet as the car’s infotainment system.
Actually affordable — Aptera is planning on assembling its solar EVs in southern California, while looking to ramp up production in 2023. You can still reserve an Aptera EV on its website for $100, where you can choose from a basic model that starts at $25,900 or a kitted out version for $50,700 with a 1,000-mile-range battery, full solar panel coverage, all-wheel drive, and custom colors for the interior and exterior.
Aptera is going with a surprisingly affordable price point for its base model, which will hopefully help it see some commercial success. It’s in a relatively niche market of solar EVs, but it does have competition from Lightyear, who is working on its own solar EV. Other car makers like Mercedes-Benz and Tesla have also been dipping into the world of solar panels to get more range for its EVs.