MemberAugust 22, 2021 at 11:05 pm
In perfect, cloudless weather conditions with a full-solar Aptera sitting in direct sunlight over the course of an 8-hour day, the vehicle will store 4 kWh in its battery (unless some of that solar power is drawn-off to run the flow-through ventilation system). If the vehicle uses 1 kWh to travel 10 miles, that’s the “40 miles of solar range”.
A FWD Aptera will have two 50 kW motors – the equivalent of one 100 kW motor. I found some figures from an EV with a 64 kW motor: When accelerating from a full stop, the motor draws 50+ kW from the battery. Traveling at 70 mph on a flat highway in clear weather with no considerable wind it draws a continuous 15-20 kW. So, even though an Aptera’s solar cells will to generate power in the presence of light, they will not generate enough power to seriously affect the vehicle’s performance or range while it is being driven.
Another thing to consider is that all we really know about range at speed comes from vehicles that are not nearly so light and aerodynamic as Aptera: CTO Nathan has said that the aero benefit kicks-in at speeds above 45 mph – so, for all we know, Apteras may not see a significant difference in range between city and highway driving. The big difference – with all current EVs – is that highway driving (using CC or ACC) involves very little regeneration while stop-and-go city driving reaps the benefit thereof.