The makers of a $26,000 solar-powered electric car that they claim never needs charging have sold out the first batch within 24 hours.
California based startup Aptera describes its three-wheeled car as “the world’s first Never Charge solar electric vehicle”, and boasts a range of up to 1,000 miles (1,600km).
“Aptera leverages breakthroughs in lightweight structures, low-drag aerodynamics and cooling, material science, and manufacturing processes to deliver the most efficient vehicle ever made available to consumers,” the company states on its website.
“Aptera’s Never Charge is built into every vehicle and is designed to harvest enough sunlight to travel over 11,000 miles per year in most regions.”
The unusual teardrop shape is designed to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible in order to require less energy to run.
No mass market electric vehicle currently on the market has a range greater than 500 miles, though Aptera’s huge range and no charge claims have certain limitations.
The solar panels covering the car are only able to capture enough energy from the sun to charge 40 miles per day, and even that requires sunny California weather.
“40 miles doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s the equivalent of parking your car and having it magically fill up with two gallons of gas overnight," said Aptero co-founder Steve Fambro.
“So the fact that you can park it at work or wherever and go back to it with more energy in the tank than when you left it – have it charge itself without having to pay a dime to drive it every day. That’s the kind of freedom I think a lot of people would love.”
There is a 110V outlet that allows manual charging, which can be plugged into a standard wall socket. This can provide 150 miles of range from an overnight charge.
Only 330 of the futuristic three-wheelers were available to order in the first batch, with deliveries set to begin in 2021.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies