Everyone’s talking about the Mercedes EQXX electric vehicle and its impressive 1,000 kilometer (621 mile) range. But there’s another concept out there that already gets more range than that. It’s called the Aptera, and it uses solar technology in order to produce an electric car that’ll go up to 1,000 miles on a charge.
The Aptera solar electric car
Flying under the radar is this futuristic three-wheeler, but the impressive stats make it a lucrative, high-range option. Marketed as a “never charge” electric car, the solar panels onboard collect energy throughout the day. The standard roof solar panel collects 16 miles per day. But there are optional hood and trunk solar panels that add an extra 24 combined miles to the car every day as it bakes in the sun.
But wait, 16 plus 24 doesn’t equal 1,000. How does it get that much range? Well, the car has shaped the way it is for a reason, able to slice through the air and reduce drag. But the chassis itself is also light. And every moment the car is out in the sun, you’re using less energy than when it’s cloudy.
So what you have is a car that was designed to be electric and efficient from the very start. But most production cars are built with the consumer in mind, who doesn’t want to sacrifice two rows of seating or a small trunk. Cars like the EQXX, on the other hand, are much more traditional.
Can you compare the Mercedes EQXX and the Aptera?
The one thing the Aptera and the EQXX have in common is that neither is on sale yet. The EQXX has only been teased, and while the Aptera brand has been around since 2006, they’ve struggled to get a production car off the ground. On top of that, there are no stats beyond the estimated range/battery capacity for the EQXX.
So, in order to compare these two cars, we’ll take the creative liberty of comparing the Aptera with the Mercedes EQS. One could assume the EQXX will cost more than the EQS, which only has 478 miles of range. Compared to the EQXXs theorized 621 miles of range while using a smaller 70 kWh battery pack, the EQS will look like the poor man’s electric Mercedes. But for now, it’s our baseline.
You can reserve an Aptera right now for $100, but the 1,000-mile range Aptera will cost nearly $50,000 once it rolls off the production line. The EQS, while not in production either, has an estimated price of $100,000. That means the EQXX will, most likely, cost even more and still get less range than the Aptera. Though the EQS has more power than the Aptera: 329 hp in comparison to the Aptera’s maximum 201 hp (when fitted with AWD).
Then there are the features, which both cars are full of. They’ll each feature some sort of driver’s assistant, with the Aptera available with a Level 2 Autonomous Driving feature. But the Mercedes EQS will have more luxurious amenities, naturally. Wireless charging, soft close doors, and a panoramic sunroof, all while being able to seat 3 more people.
So, the Mercedes is an obvious pick comfort waist. But the Aptera has a few other quirks that most Mercs couldn’t dream of.
Things the Aptera can do that the Mercedes can’t
Because it’s a ridiculous concept car, the Aptera has some ridiculous available options. For an extra $1,000, you can equip your Aptera with the offroad package. This raises the suspension and strengthens the wheel wells so that you can take your electric car offroading. Ridiculous, sure, but it’s not something you’re able to (or really shouldn’t) do in your electric Mercedes.
The same can be said about the camping package. For an extra $600, Aptera will turn your trunk into a tent, allowing you to camp out in the desert you just drove to. All without using a drop of gasoline. Provided, there’s a very niche market for 1,000-mile electric cars that you can take camping and offroading, but I’m sure there’s at least one person.
So thanks to solar power technology, the Aptera can conquer highways and already dominates the teased Mercedes EQXX in terms of mileage. We hope to see it enter production, as the concept is both forward-thinking and ridiculously cool.