Aptera’s Solar-Powered EV Is Finally Finished—and It Looks Just as Bonkers as the Concept

It’s taken time but Aptera’s solar-powered EV is just about ready for the spotlight.

The San Diego-based startup has finally shown off the Launch Edition of its debut model. There are still a few hurdles to clear—including the need for more funding—but the eagerly anticipated vehicle could go into production by the end of the year.

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The Launch Edition Aptera doesn’t look dramatically different from the car that was first teased in 2019. It still has a sleek teardrop shape and two large fenders covering its front wheels, but a two-tone finish and dynamic lighting package are welcome changes. The vehicle’s distinctive profile has a drag coefficient of 0.13, making it even more aerodynamic than the boundary-pushing Mercedes-Benz EQXX, which has a drag coefficient of 0.17. The two-person Codex interior, meanwhile, is clean and minimalistic, with just two screens and a steering wheel up front.

The unveiling, which took place late last week, is light on technical details, suggesting there is still some fine-tuning to be done. We do know that the Launch Edition will be able to sprint from zero-to-60 mph in four seconds and will have a top speed of 101 mph. Those are decent performance figures, but where the car, which has an electric motor positioned on each wheel, really shines is its efficiency.

Aptera says that its EV will be able to travel at least 400 miles on a single charge. That’s less than the industry-leading Lucid Air, which has a range of 520 miles, but the company’s vehicle’s nose, roof and rear hatch lid are lined with 700 watts of solar panels. Thanks to the panels the car can generate up to 40 miles of range per day when the sun is out. That means you could easily go weeks or even months between charges, especially if you’re only driving to work or around town most days. It also sounds like a bigger battery pack that could push the vehicle’s range closer to 1,000 miles is in the works.

Inside the Lauch Edition of Aptera's Solar-Powered EV
Inside the Launch Edition Aptera

“We’ve solved the equation for a more efficient way to travel by harnessing the power of the sun, and we’re excited to introduce our Launch Edition vehicle to the world,” co-founder Steve Fambro, said in a statement. “Our tireless efforts have resulted in the Aptera vehicle, that can take you where you want to go using the creative energy directly from our sun and efficiently converted into free movement.”

Aptera may have finalized the design, but its EV isn’t ready to go into production just yet. The main reason seems to be a need for more funding. The company, which has already raised $85 million, needs to raise an additional $50 million in order to begin building its first car, according to Inside EVs. The company is hopeful it can secure the money needed to begin production by late 2023.

The startup intends to build just 5,000 examples of the Launch Edition, each of which will be identical to speed up production. Expect those to go quickly whatever the cost ends up being, as the brand already has 40,000 reservations for the car. It’s easy to see why. Who wouldn’t want an EV they never have to plug in?

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