- Electric-vehicle startup Aptera has taken more than 3,000 orders for the futuristic, three-wheeled EV it launched this month.
- Aptera claims it has built the first “never-charge solar vehicle,” and says the vehicle’s integrated solar panels can deliver thousands of miles of driving range each year.
- The startup plans to start production in 2021 and deliver the first vehicles the same year.
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Aptera launched its new solar-powered electric vehicle earlier this month, and after one week it has taken thousands of preorders.
The startup announcedFriday that it accepted more than 3,000 reservations for its efficient three-wheeler from US and international customers, totaling to more than $US100 million in sales. Within 24 hours after its December 4 launch, Aptera allocated all 330 reservations for its Paradigm and Paradigm Plus models, which it will build first once production begins.
However, seeing as one can reserve an Aptera vehicle with a refundable $US100 deposit, the startup is still far from realising that $US100 million sales figure. As production nears, many of those preorder holders may give up their reservation for one reason or another.
Aptera was founded in 2005 and ran out of money in 2011, but reformed in 2019. This month, the startup debuted its new EV, a lightweight two-seater that it claims will offer up to a 1,000-mile range. There will also be lower-range models that can go 250, 400, and 600 miles on a charge, according to Aptera, and the lineup ranges in price from $US25,900 to $US46,900.
Aptera’s bold “never-charge” claim stems from the 700W of integrated solar panels that it says can provide up to 45 miles of driving range per day or up to 11,000 miles per year. But the jury is still out on just how useful Aptera’s solar capability will be â€” the mileage a buyer can expect will depend heavily on where they live, where they park, and the weather on a given day.
Aptera does recognise that and offers a solar calculator on its website that tells prospective buyers how much juice they can derive from the sun depending on their location. According to Aptera’s calculations, most US drivers could drive an Aptera vehicle between 11.6 and 40.9 miles per day on solar power â€” but it’s not clear yet how realistic those predictions are.
The company plans to start production in 2021 in San Diego and to begin delivering vehicles in 2021 and early 2022.
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