Solar Powered Cars (no fuel/no wall-recharging)

svetz

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I've always been of the opinion that solar on vehicles to power/recharge the vehicle didn't make sense at modern road speeds.
Looks like that's changing, for "town-driving" anyway. I also like the cells that even with microfractures can output 95% spec power... wow!

(It does have a battery and can be wall-charged if you need faster charging.)
 
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svetz

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Base MSRP: $26k
0-60 in 3.5 seconds
1648304187708.png


Aptera-Camping-01-4-1-889x592.jpg
 

svetz

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Safety?
Didn't see any NHTSA information.

It runs around 1 ton, so about half the weight of any other car. Carbonfiber so any crash with a "normal" car is probably going to fling it around. Carbon fiber has 4 to 5 times the energy dissipation of steel, so it might flex and pop back, but would probably need to be replaced. Insurance costs would probably be higher just because it's so different.

Might be safe around where I live as there's only one main road and it's usually 1 lane. Not sure I'd want to drive it near Miami though.
 

mvonw

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This might make sense in SoCal where it's 78 degrees F most of the year, but in other parts of the country where you need to heat the car in winter, I'd burn my battery just getting warm and sitting in traffic. I just can't see how these are even close to practical with today's technology. Plus, that ground clearance on the Aptera would self-destruct on my mountain access road....
 

djnorth

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It’s considered an autocycle since it has 3 wheels. Most states currently classify it as a motorcycle and hence, no crash rating
 
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notarichman

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north idaho mountain roads have lots of sharp gravel. i would think the rocks would destroy the car eventually. but i really like the idea.
 

OzSolar

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It's a math and physics problem.
Give or take you can put 1HP of solar on your car's surface area. As soon as your car needs more than 1HP for propulsion you're loosing ground. I actually was involved in a few of the Solar car races across the country. Some very fun times!!

A very good friend of mine was the college professor that oversaw the team that built and drove the first car to cross North America on solar power. That was 1984 by the way. It resides in the Henry Ford Museum. TSAR
 

svetz

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It’s considered an autocycle since it has 3 wheels. Most states currently classify it as a motorcycle and hence, no crash rating
Under 21 here you'd have to wear a helmet to drive/ride it.
 

sunshine_eggo

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I'm intrigued, but Aptera has a checkered past. I'll believe it when I personally start seeing them on the road.
 

svetz

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... built and drove the first car to cross North America on solar power. That was 1984 by the way.
That's what I meant in the OP by "modern road speeds", as you say... it's just math...even a 50W panel could get you across the country (in a few years). Top speed of TSAR was 20 mph. The Aptera is 0-60 in 3s. 🤩
 

Bigbillsd

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I've always been of the opinion that solar on vehicles to power/recharge the vehicle didn't make sense at modern road speeds.
Looks like that's changing, for "town-driving" anyway. I also like the cells that even with microfractures can output 95% spec power... wow!

(It does have a battery and can be wall-charged if you need faster charging.)
ROFL. I put a $450 deposit on an Aptera sometime in the late 2000's. They eventually (years later) refunded it) and I ended up leasing the 403rd Leaf off the assembly line. I am waiting for an electric car/truck that I can tow 4 wheels down behind my motorhome. I sure hope the Silverado ships with that capability. -Bill
 

svetz

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I’m surprised since it’s fully enclosed

I know open cockpit 3-wheel vehicles require a helmet in many states
Maybe not, don't know for sure other than "helmet laws apply to autocycles." But, you can drive it in Florida with a regular license.
 

svetz

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SEVs​

Would you believe there is so much in the works on these types of vehicles they have their own acronym now: Solar Electric Vehicles.
 
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