The Aptera Gamma prototype was recently unveiled at Fully Charged Live in San Diego.
Electric vehicles such as the new Cadillac Lyriq are often touted as the way forward. Thanks to advancements in technology, the latest slew of battery-powered cars are capable of traveling hundreds of miles on a single charge, all while providing adequate performance and zero tailpipe emissions. But not all EVs are made equal - some aren't as eco-friendly as you'd expect.
The same can't be said of the recently revealed Gamma, the latest prototype from California-based Aptera. This futuristic-looking electric vehicle has a rather neat trick up its sleeve, and that's efficiency. Solar panels provide a claimed driving range of up to 40 miles which, theoretically, should allow some customers to travel solely on energy gleaned from the sun.
Thanks to the lightweight design, the quirky creation doesn't require a massive battery pack. This benefits both travel range and performance. Depending on the specified configuration, Aptera claims the three-wheeler can hit 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. What's more, the electric vehicle has a battery range of up to 1,000 miles on a single charge.
If you remain unconvinced, have a look at the drag race below - the results are nothing short of astounding. But it's about so much more than performance. The idea behind Aptera's creation is sustainability. The start-up notes that running the vehicle for a year has the potential to reduce the average owner's carbon footprint by 14,000 pounds.
Part of this comes down to aerodynamics. That wacky shape isn't there to wow and impress onlookers. The Aptera Gamma has a claimed drag coefficient of just 0.13. To put that into perspective, the Mercedes-Benz EQS (the world's most aerodynamic vehicle) boasts a figure of 0.20. These figures and statistics are very exciting but, often, these vehicles never come to fruition.
The Aptera is the exception to the rule. At the unveiling, the company said the prototype is inching closer to production. "It's amazing to show everyone the progress we've made over the last three-and-a-half years," said one official. "It's an exercise in bleeding-edge engineering to make this vehicle...a dream," he added.
Another remarked, "it's incredibly rewarding to see this car coming to fruition."
So, when can we expect to see the Aptera hitting local roads? According to Elektrek, the firm hopes to start production as soon as 2023. Reservations remain strong, with a reported 32,000 pre-orders placed for the range-topping variant. If you're interested, the company is accepting reservations on its website for $100.
As for pricing, it largely depends on your requirements. If you're lusting after the claimed 1,000-mile range, expect to pay $44,900. There are three more affordable models, though, the cheapest being the $25,900 variant with a 250-mile range. You can also choose exterior paint options, how many solar panels you want, and select your interior scheme.
The Gamma, as mentioned, is still a prototype. A 'Delta' model is expected to follow soon, and that will be the production-ready version.