The US American company Aptera Motors from California has begun accepting advance orders for its three-wheeled solar electric car, which is advertised with ranges of up to 1,000 miles.
For a refundable fee of $100, customers can reserve the Aptera with a limited number of special edition Paradigm and Paradigm+ vehicles, which will be the first produced in 2021. The lightweight electric car was announced last year and is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive and prices range from 25,900 to 46,900 US dollars. This price range includes four battery versions of the vehicle with capacities of 25, 40, 60 and 100 kWh. The lightweight electric car is 172 inches long (4.37m) and 88 inches (2.23m) wide with a height of 57 inches (1.45 m).
For the entry-level price, customers will receive a front-wheel-drive model with 100 kW of power and the smallest battery, and for the top price, there is an analogous all-wheel-drive version with 150 kW of power and the largest battery. According to the manufacturer, ranges vary between 250, 400, 600 and 1,000 miles depending on the battery capacity, which corresponds to around 400, 645, 965 and 1,600 kilometres.
Integrated solar surfaces can be configured to provide up to 45 miles of range per day with over 3 square metres and 180 solar cells designed into the body structure. The company says this makes Aptera the first vehicle capable of meeting most daily driving needs using solar power alone. The Californian manufacturer says it can equip up to three square metres of the exterior surface with solar cells, and that this can generate additional energy for up to 45 miles (around 72 km).
Aptera says that the development of the futuristic-looking two-seater is based on a combination of the latest findings in the fields of lightweight construction, aerodynamics, cooling, materials science and process technology.
The three-wheeled battery-electric vehicle only weighs between 816 and 998 kilograms and with AWD, it should be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, which is roughly equivalent to a sprint to 100 kph. The top speed is said to be 110 mph or just under 180 kph. The San Diego-based company estimates the drag coefficient to be only 0.13, which means a consumption value of 100 watt-hours of energy per mile or 62 watt-hours per kilometre. To compare, the Tesla Model 3 has a drag coefficient of 0.23.
As far as charging technology is concerned, the model should be chargeable by means of a regular 110v STD socket at a rate of 13 miles for each hour charged or 500 miles per hour charged with rapid charging. Inside EV also points out with a picture of the charging plug that Aptera apparently uses Tesla supercharger technology but this has not been confirmed. It is also noteworthy that the vehicle is said to consist of only four main parts, which according to the manufacturer greatly simplifies volume production. To pre-order the charger, a refundable fee of 100 US dollars must be paid. In return, customers will receive a copy of the special edition Paradigm- and Paradigm+ from 2021.
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