A drop of water. The Aptera Launch Edition is a vehicle that may never need to be plugged into a power grid thanks to its solar panels
It is always said that to be noticed in the mass of cars of different types, sizes and technology, the first thing to have is a distinctive image, an unmistakable fingerprint that allows you to identify an average model; especially in these times when the optimization of the interior space and the aerodynamic coefficient are two variables that no designer can avoid, because they are the ones that dominate the market, and the design programs end up generating similar shapes.
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With this concept, the Aptera project was born, a car that does not go unnoticed to such an extent that it could be considered on the border between a machine that can be considered a car and one that represents a flying ship or an exploration vehicle to take to another planet.
After showing that carefully designed cabin to offer the minimum resistance to the wind and achieve the greatest possible efficiency in the use of energy for propulsion, the Aptera showed its technology, which also represented another important attraction, since although its wheels move by action of an electric motor, it obtains that energy from the sun.
Three wheels and three engines within the same mass of each other. It is the solution to leave the bodywork free to adopt the aerodynamic shape that the wind needs
However, it was not until last January 20 when all the technical data that was kept hidden was published for the first time. Until now it was only known that it was a three-wheeled vehicle instead of four, with an electric motor inside each wheel and with an amazing autonomy, since initially 1,600 km of range with the battery charged to 100 was promoted. % and about 70 km daily exclusively thanks to solar energy.
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What has been announced now is that it will have 643 total kilometers, but not because it was not possible to fulfill what was previously promised, but because they have decided to launch the vehicle with a single specification and leave the more efficient and expensive battery options for later.
With the chosen version, and 700 watts of patented solar technology, thanks to which the vehicle can work without having to charge electricity from the network in places with high solar exposure, such as southern California, its user does not travel more than 46 kilometers daily. In contrast, in regions with fewer hours of sunlight, such as New York or Chicago, Aptera says users will only need to plug in the car about three times a year.
Exposed to the sun in regions with long daylight hours, the developers say that the car will never need to be plugged in if it has to travel up to 45 kilometers
This is another of the data that they have recently detailed. To charge the battery by connecting to the electrical network, the Aptera has the capacity to charge in one hour connected to 120 v power, enough energy to travel about 21 kilometers and if it is connected throughout the night, the autonomy will be 240 kilometres. On the other hand, plugged in at 240 v, with one hour connected it will be able to travel 95 kilometers.
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This is largely due to its efficient aerodynamic shape, which barely has a coefficient of friction of 0.13 cx, slightly higher than the best of electric and solar cars like the Lightyear 0, which is at 0.17 cx.
Technically, this three-wheeled car has capacity for two passengers with an interior space of 920 liters, which also allows you to store some not very bulky luggage. In terms of performance, it can have front-wheel drive only by disengaging the third wheel, the rear one, or be all-wheel drive. Under this conception, the Aptera accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds and is capable of reaching its maximum speed touching 160 km/h.
The cabin has a large capacity for two people very comfortably seated and some luggage
The definitive car is called Aptera Launch Edition, and it is the fourth generation developed since the launch of the first prototype, which they called Alpha. This, the Delta version, should begin delivery at the end of 2023, but during the same virtual event in which they released their final technical specifications, its founders, Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony, also said that they need the necessary funds to achieve it. . The investor campaign they are starting needs to raise $50 million to meet their goals.
The owners point out that they have some 40,000 orders, which means that with the economic boost they are looking for, they will be able to start deliveries and thus collect the full amount of the vehicles. The estimated potential is 5,000 units for the first year, with a production horizon that allows them to manufacture 20,000 cars per year. Once production is on track, the company plans to expand the market and leave the United States to market the vehicle in Europe.
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