Buckle up, because this is going to be one weird article. Smoke-belching diesel trucks and high-tech solar cars certainly don’t have a lot in common. In fact, other than cupholders, they shouldn’t have anything in common. But to our surprise, the Ram 1500 and Aptera solar electric car do share one impressive similarity: a 1,000-mile range per charge/fill-up, making them ideal road trip vehicles.
What do the Ram 1500 and Aptera have in common?
It sounds like science fiction, but both the Ram 1500 and the Aptera solar electric car can go 1,000 miles per tank/battery. With just three stops, these two cars can make it across the United States (as long as they take the short route provided by the Maps of World website). That said, you do have to get specific versions of each of these cars.
In order for the Ram 1500 to achieve such a high range, you need to fit it with two things: the EcoDiesel engine and the optional 33-gallon fuel tank. If you add both of those to the base model 1500 Tradesman, you can have that range for just $33,000. And if you splurge on the high-level Limited trim, that price hikes up to $62,000. Pricey, but potentially worth it if you find yourself frequently making long trips.
The all-electric Aptera achieves the same feat for $45,000 thanks to a 100 kWh battery pack and solar panels, which charge the car throughout the day. The roof solar panel is standard and adds an extra 16 miles per day, but the optional hood and hatch panels generate a combined 24 miles per day. But if you don’t need 1,000 miles of charge fear not, the 250-mile version will cost just $22,000.
So yes, you can take a 1,000-mile road trip in either of these cars, even if their power sources are incredibly different. But if you’re going to tear up the highway, you’re likely better off with the Ram 1500.
Why the Ram 1500 is the better road trip option
There are plenty of reasons why the Ram 1500 is the best choice for highway trips, but we’ll start by stating the obvious. First of all, the Ram has five seats. The Aptera only has two. The cabin is larger, the bed is larger, everything about the Ram 1500 is larger. And on road trips, being comfortable during the ride is half the battle. The Ram 1500 is also capable of towing thanks to the 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque from the EcoDiesel engine.
But another, perhaps even more obvious reason you’d want to buy the Ram 1500 over the Aptera is that you can’t actually buy the Aptera yet. For $100 you can reserve one, but they won’t be available until later this year… hypothetically. You see, Aptera and their solar car have been around since 2006, but struggled to get off the ground. They’re putting up a fight, but whether the Aptera ever sees production is yet to be determined. But that doesn’t make 1,000 miles of range per charge any less cool.
Some other fun facts and features of the Ram and the Aptera
Alright, I’ll level with you: the Aptera and Ram 1500 actually have more than one thing in common. If you choose to, you can opt for all-wheel drive for the Aptera, and the Ram 1500 comes with 4×4 as standard, with available AWD. Yes, there’s a difference. And for an extra $1,000, the Aptera can be fitted with an offroad package, which strengthens the wheel wells and raises the ground clearance. In other words, both are perfectly capable of offroading. Yet another odd similarity, but a welcomed one.
And because the Aptera will be a limited production vehicle (if it enters production at all), you have the option of choosing its color. Yes, there’s white, silver, and black, but for an extra $1,500 you can have whatever color you’d like! Personally, I’d get one in forest green.
And while both vehicles feature automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist, the Aptera one-ups the Ram 1500 with adaptive cruise control and Level 2 autonomous driving. That sounds like self-driving, but it isn’t. It’s more hands-free, so long as the driver keeps their eyes on the road.
So in one corner, we have a high-tech futuristic sci-fi machine, and in the other, we have a heavy-duty rugged diesel truck. Both can handle long trips, but only one is available today. We hope to see the Aptera buzzing around the highway in the future, but in the meantime, if you really need to get somewhere 1,000 miles away, you’re better off with the truck.