It’s been a difficult road for Aptera, but it’s finally landed on three wheels. After more than a decade of hurdles, the San Diego-based startup has just shown off its futuristic solar-powered trike in a new video that will quash any naysayers.
The company first floated the electric three-wheeler back in the mid-aughts, before it was forced to shutter in 2011 due to lack of funding. Some 10 years later, it resurrected the design just in time for the auto industry’s electric revolution. The company unveiled a new prototype in December of last year and has now followed up with an even more refined design.
The second functional prototype, which is shown cruising the winding coastal roads of San Diego in the minute-long clip, goes by the name of Sol. Its moniker comes from the Spanish word for “sun” and gives clue to the vehicle’s main power source. Equipped with solar panels, Sol runs on mere UV rays for true emissions-free driving.
Thanks to Sol’s lightweight body and low-drag aerodynamics, Aptera says the EV can cover up to 1,000 miles on a single charge in what would be a record for the industry. The company also claims Sol harvests enough sunlight to travel more than 11,000 miles per year in the majority of regions. What’s more, the car features a “Never Charge” system, which means it requires no charging for most daily use.
Perhaps most importantly, Sol looks to be genuinely roadworthy. It still looks a bit like a Jetsons-style spaceship, but the exterior sports sleek lines, a sculpted rear and a subdued white paint job.
Judging by the video, the interior appears to sport a large infotainment screen that’s similar to what you’d find in a Tesla. The cabin looks to be spacious and has room for two, while the boot is big enough to store plenty of cargo, including a surfboard and shopping as demonstrated in the video.
Apparently, the Sol also has off-the-grid capabilities, too. A portion of the video shows the three-wheeler high-tailing it to a remote beachside location where it turns into a makeshift camper with a popup tent at the rear.
Best of all, if you want to pre-order ($100) your own, you can customize it to the nth degree. You can choose between three different exterior and interior colorways or select your own. You can also pick between two different drive packages. The front-wheel-drive at 100 kW will see the Sol soar from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds while the all-wheel equivalent at 150 kW will do the same in just 3.5 seconds, according to Aptera.
There are options when it comes to range, too. You can opt for the 1,000 mile model ($44,900), a 600 mile model ($34,600), a 400 mile model ($29,800) or a 250 model ($25,900).
Sol is expected to roll out by the end of 2021. Here comes the sun, folks.
Check out more images below: