Aptera car runs on solar power and never needs charging

The near production-ready car claims a record-breaking range of up to 1,600km per full charge

11 December 2020 - 10:14 By Denis Droppa
The solar-powered car may never need to be charged at all if you live in sunny climes.
The solar-powered car may never need to be charged at all if you live in sunny climes.
Image: Supplied

Cars that compete in the Solar Challenge race are able to run on nothing but the sun’s rays, but those are purpose-built prototypes with one-seater cabins and won’t make practical daily rides.

Now a company called Aptera is about to launch a two-seat solar-powered electric production car that may never need charging, weather allowing.

Now available for pre-order, the electric three-wheeler has 180 small solar panels that make up an area of more than three square metres. The US-based company says these cells can harvest enough electricity for most daily use and give the car a record-breaking range of up to 1,600km per full charge.

That’s the longest range of any production vehicle ever created, claims Aptera, and unburdens drivers from frustrating range anxiety.

The Aptera has 180 solar panels to harvest the sun's energy.
The Aptera has 180 solar panels to harvest the sun's energy.
Image: Supplied

The company says this has been made possible by breakthroughs in lightweight structures, and low-drag aerodynamics to deliver the most efficient vehicle ever made available to consumers. The car slips through the air with an unheard-of drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.13 (for comparison, a Porsche 911 has a Cd of 0.33).

“Our built-in solar array keeps your battery pack topped off and anywhere you want to go, you just go,” said Aptera co-founder Chris Anthony.

Electric motors propel the car from 0-100km/h in under four seconds and on to a top speed of 177km/h.

The car is available as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and customers can customise their own Aptera and choose ranges of 400km, 640km, 965km, or 1,600km.

Aptera will be available to pre-order at www.aptera.us.


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