The founders of Aptera, Chris Anthony and Steve Fambro, helped to create the electric vehicle market in 2006 with an solar-powered EV, and it got a lot of attention. But the world wasn’t ready for a solar vehicle and funding didn’t exist like it does today. Fast forward thirteen years to 2019, the two returned to designing an EV focused solely on efficiency. Today’s Aptera is equipped with almost 700 watts of integrated solar cells, which enable it to drive up to 40 miles per day on the sun’s rays alone. The car’s battery is designed for a 1,000 mile range.
Aptera is working with Maxeon Solar Technologies as the cell supplier for its solar production program, and the carmaker’s solar engineers have used the cells to create ultra-lightweight and curved solar panels. Aptera selected Maxeon Gen 3 solar cells because they are durable, lightweight and have minimal energy loss.
“We’re pleased to have been selected by Aptera to bring this next phase of solar innovation to market. At Maxeon, we provide the highest quality and most efficient solar technology, and Aptera’s mission to pioneer solar mobility is the natural progression of this innovation,” said Mark Babcock, interim CEO and chief revenue officer at Maxeon Solar Technologies. “The vehicle will feature the same extraordinary cells as those found in our high-efficiency solar panels powering homes and businesses – a true testament to our innovation as a solar leader.”
In June Aptera announced it chose EVE Energy as its supplier of lithium-ion battery cells, and the company said it planned to use Eve’s 21700 NMC 811 cylindrical cells in its vehicle’s structural battery packs.
Apterra said it currently has 25,000+ reservations from customers in more than 100 countries, and that future plans include mainstream autonomous capable 6-passenger cars, 2-seat commuters, and utility vehicles up to 18-wheelers. Prices range from $25,900 to $50,700.
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