The solar-powered car Aptera Paradigm will be on the market

It looks like it just came out of a science fiction movie, and it gives the impression that at any moment it could take off like the cars in the famous Ridley Scott film, Blade Runner. Although its futuristic design may suggest otherwise, Aptera Paradigm cannot fly (at leat not yet) but it still is something extraordinary.

It is in fact the first experimental solar-powered car to go on the market. It is one of those vehicles that usually join in the World Solar Challenge, the international event where solar-powered cars compete, and which are generally the result of projects carried out by major universities. The Aptera Paradigm has successfully passed all the necessary tests to be put on the market and, starting next year, it will go on sale. Actually the fastest buyers have already been able to pre-order it on the site. Let’s see what are its most interesting features.

Aptera Paradigm presents itself as an electric “never charge” car. The basic version has a range of 640 kilometers for one charge, while the Plus version reaches 1,610 kilometers. This means you can drive from Vancouver to San Francisco without having to recharge your car (and there will still be almost 100 kilometers available). And if you stop to take a break, the charge indicator will report an increase in the range of kilometers when you get back on the road.

The many small solar panels covering the car allow the vehicle to charge by itself by using the clean energy coming from the sun. Under optimal weather conditions, the company says the energy captured by the sun’s rays could add up to 72 kilometers. The panels are placed on the car roof, but if desired, they can cover all the car horizontal surfaces, from the tail to the hood, to increase the amount of energy collected.

The high efficiency is also made possible by the ultra-light bodywork which is made up of light and sturdy materials such as carbon, kevlar and linen that are combined together. As for aerodynamics, the penetration coefficient is 0.13. The car, which has three wheels, features two 50 kW motors integrated on the front wheels, in the 100 kW version. Those who want more power can opt for the 150 kW version which integrates an additional motor on the rear wheel. Top speed is around 160 km/h, so nothing surprising. Acceleration, however, allows 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, a very interesting feature.

For its release on the market, its manufacturers thought to make it completely customizable. There is a basic version with 400 km of range available at a cost of 25,900 dollars (21 thousand euros), and  a Plus version of 1600 km range with a price of 44,900 dollars (37 thousand euros).

Among the available optionals listed on the site is the SafetyPilot, which can detect pedestrians in the proximity, make you keep the lane, perform an emergency braking and set the adaptive cruise control. The other optional features include an upgrade of the audio system, a kit for camping, a kit for pets and also a  wheels kit to take the car off-road. 

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