California-based Aptera Motors “is rolling out the first mass-produced solar car this year,” reports the Washington Post, after successfully crowdfunding a restart of their development effort:
It’s a three-wheel, ultra-aerodynamic electric vehicle covered in 34 square feet of solar cells. The car is so efficient that, on a clear day, those cells alone could provide enough energy to drive about 40 miles — more than twice the distance of the average American’s commute.
The Aptera must undergo safety tests before the company can begin distribution, which it hopes to do by the end of this year. Even then, it’s not clear that consumers will want to buy something that looks like a cross between the Batmobile and a beetle. The shadow of an initial attempt, which ended in bankruptcy, hangs over the founders as they gear up to launch their new product. But the Aptera’s creators, Chris Anthony and Steve Fambro, think the world needs a car like theirs. Transportation is the largest source of planet-warming pollution in the United States. The Biden administration has made it a priority to reduce vehicle emissions, and several major automakers have pledged to phase out cars and light trucks with internal combustion engines.
After years of dreaming, maybe the time for driving on sunshine is finally here.
The Post also reports that 7,500 people have already put down a deposit for the two-seater car (which retails for $25,900). It can be charged just by plugging it into an electric outlet, the Post notes, while its creators claim that their car is four times more efficient than the average electric vehicle. “At least 90% of the power produced by the Aptera’s solar panels goes toward making the vehicle move, the company says.”
“Its extreme efficiency means the car can go 150 miles after just 15 minutes at an ordinary charging station.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.