Looking like a cross between an F-1 car and the Batmobile, the world’s first mass-produced solar car has just taken several more steps towards its first market day.
February 18 Aptera Motors announced a Series A financing round of $ 4 million, and also 7,000 reservations of its new electric vehicle, for a total value of $ 250,000.
The Aptera electric tricycle has three wheels, costs about $ 25,000, and contains 34 square feet of solar cells that generate electricity to power the car during most daily trips.
It can be plugged in, of course, for rainy days or at night, but unlike basic EVs, you only need 15 minutes of charging to drive 150 miles without stopping. Even just leaving it parked in the sun for a day can provide 40 miles of range on its own – the equivalent of having your car recharged on just two gallons of gas.
As part of a bid to bring the car to market before the end of the year, Aptera moved into a new design and production facility in San Diego, California.
A technological estuary
An estuary is a unique environment where a large mouth or delta of a river mixes with salty seawater, a fitting comparison to the Aptera solar trike, which is an estuary of different technologies combining, each complementing the other.
Despite looking as dramatic as any Pagani Zonda or Lamborghini, the tapered rear end, streamlined bodywork, and arched dolphin landing gear are designed to reduce drag.
In fact, the detail that is paid to the reduction of the aerodynamic resistance and the use of energy borders on the obsessive. But it is through this ultra-efficiency that solar energy, a relatively limited form of electricity generation, can become a useful feature for powering a car.
“We think energy should be used to turn the wheels, that starts with the aerodynamics,” says Anthony, in a video posted by the company announcing it was taking preorders.
“In a typical vehicle, it uses 60% of its fuel simply by pushing air off the road at highway speeds; So if you could reduce that drag to 0, you’d instantly get 60% more fuel savings.
“Instead of having 200 to 300 body parts, [the Aptera] they have four parts to the main frame, and that makes it much easier to build, track and assemble, ”says Steve Fambro, the company’s second co-founder, in the same video.
In fact, made from composite materials including fiberglass, carbon, and aluminum, most panels are designed to be 3D printed, further reducing production and emissions costs.
They also added intelligent autopilot functions and took advantage of more than 20 years of innovation in batteries and electrical transmission technology to create what they call the best electric car in the world.
(CLOCK Aptera’s new video below).
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