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Aptera Cost

Aptera Cost

Aptera Cost

Instead of delivering cars, Aptera Motors, Inc. was liquidated in 2011. Then in 2019, the original founders Chris Anthony and Steve Fambro re-formed Aptera Motors Corp. with a crowdfunding campaign aimed at building a solar-powered electric car billed as "the world's first 'Never Charge' EV." But cloudy-climate drivers needn't fear, the car is designed to include battery packs good for 25, 40, 60, or 100 kWh, with the largest delivering 1,000 miles of range, presumably in pitch darkness. Color us super skeptical of the entire enterprise, but here's Aptera's pitch for its reborn solar-powered electric car, which the company reckons it can sell for $25,900. Toward that end, there's ample energy absorption in front and side-impact beams in the doors, but the high door sills and extreme curvature of the body side in multiple directions are said to help fend the Aptera off when struck by another vehicle. (It will remain to be seen if this design trades blunt-force trauma for whiplash-type injuries.) And the wind-cheating teardrop shape with fully faired-in wheels is said to now achieve a drag coefficient of 0.13 (down from the 0.15 claim for the 2011 Aptera 2e).The roof panel solar array will be standard on all models, and it is said to be capable of providing 20 miles of solar charge per day in sunny climates like southern California. Covering the hood and hatch with solar panels brings the total solar panel area to roughly 3 meters, which at today's 24-percent efficiency means they capture 700 watts of energy. This adds $900 to the price and increases the daily solar range to 43 miles. That's more than the average daily commute, which is how Aptera comes to reckon that (at least where it's usually sunny) daily commuters may "never charge" their car. (Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained checked Aptera's math in a recent YouTube video and found it to be slightly conservative.)With that efficiency, it means the car would have incredible range on the same batteries put in regular EV sedans. The Aptera claims 250 miles on the sort of small battery found in an older Leaf, and a version that can go almost 1,000 miles on a charge with the a 100kwh battery as might be found in a Tesla model X. That’s actually a wasteful amount of range, since nobody is likely drive more than 600 miles a day without tiring, though it opens the potential for road trips in remote locations not otherwise suitable for EVs. That much battery has another purpose we’ll talk about below.

With all the great specs above, Aptera promotes even more their solar charging feature. Every car comes with a basic panel that’s roughly 300 watts on the roof. For $900 you can add panels to the hood and rear to raise it to 700 watts. Aptera promotes that in this full configuration, you can gain “up to 48 miles/day” of range with solar charging, or about 10,000 miles/year in San Francisco or 7,500/year in a place like Boston. Since the average driver only goes about 12,000/year in a new car, many drivers, they suggest, could get all their miles from the sun and have a fully solar powered car they never have to plug in. Many potential buyers find that very appealing. Overall, Aptera should avoid calling this “never charge” and focus instead on its convenience aspects. For those wanting to be green, Aptera could even offer those who will be able to plug in at home the ability to buy solar farm shares for the same money as the panels and make the world a much greener place with their money. In fact, all other EV makers should consider the same thing. The reality is the panels on the Aptera are only going to provide the 40 mile maximum if you park the car in the sun in Chile’s Atacama desert in high summer. On dark or rainy days, or in winter, or in less sunny climes, it’s only going to provide a mild boost of 10-15 miles. While Aptera says the average car only drives 29 miles/day, that’s not true for fancy new cars, which always get driven more than the older vehicle in the house. The shape, like everything on the vehicle, is squeezed for efficiency. It has a ludicrous 0.15 coefficient of drag and a curb weight of just 1,800 pounds. Depending on what battery you order and how much sun the rooftop panels can add to your drive, you could get 1,000 miles of range out of this thing. If you live in a really, really sunny spot, you can gain over 41 miles a day in free electricity from the solar panels, or "up to 11,000" extra free-sun-happy miles a year. (There are different claims on the Aptera website and the math doesn't add up the same between claims, so I'm taking these as rough guesstimates for now.) If you live in, say, New York, you can still make between 11 and 30 miles a day. For people who don’t actually drive that far in a typical day it’s basically free fuel forever. (Source: www.autoweek.com)

 

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