Frequently Asked Questions
Aptera is in the Beta phase of our vehicle development process, which means we are still running simulations, conducting tests and updating designs in preparation for production. Information on this FAQ is subject to change as we evolve to our final production vehicle.
Does Aptera have bidirectional charging capabilities?
How are you testing the solar panels?
We’ve gone through sun simulators, the steel ball drop, hail testing, environmental cycling, and UV exposure.
Where are the vents and capabilities of the HVAC system in Aptera?
For production, our complete HVAC system will include the following— windshield and side window defrost, left and right under IP footwell vents, left and right outer corners of IP vents, and the main screen vent system, which will be fully controllable in both temperature and velocity of the airflow. The center venting system was born of our design process and philosophy with roots in intelligent efficiency and radical simplicity in that we had two needs fulfilled by one solution.
Will the vehicle have over-the-air software updates?
While we aren’t planning on this for the initial production of vehicles, we have all of the capabilities for it! We will introduce extra features as “over-the-air” updates as we progress the technology to pair with our Aptera app— the idea is for your Aptera to be reusable and easily upgradeable.
Will Aptera have USB ports?
Aptera will have two USB-C charging ports.
What kind of infotainment system will Aptera have?
Aptera will use Andromeda’s Central Infotainment Display (CID) solution and UI/UX functionality within our production vehicles. Andromeda’s HMI utilizes Isochrones by overlaying a polygon that will show accurately reachable areas based on the vehicle’s instantaneous and potential energy capacity. Learn more here.
Will Aptera have windshield wipers?
Yes, we will have windshield wipers.
Will Aptera have side view mirrors?
Will Aptera have heated or cooled seats?
We plan to equip the vehicle with seat heaters. We are designing this vehicle specifically for a lot of the cold countries that love electric vehicles. Our sandwich core composites body offers great insulation and a nice heater, it’s very comfortable driving in the winter.
Cooled seats are great for efficiency because if you cool the body, it’s actually more efficient. Unfortunately, cooled seats are pretty complex. We think those will eventually be an option. We’ll know closer to production whether or not seat cooling will be included. It’s a technical challenge for sure.
How do I unlock and lock the Aptera vehicle? With a key fob?
The vehicle will unlock by detecting you via your phone’s Bluetooth connection, our app, or with a physical RFID card. Once inside the vehicle, you can open the door through the center screen controls. Aptera will automatically lock when you exit by detecting that you are not inside. The interior cabin will include a mechanical release to open the door in case of any electrical malfunction. More information to come as we push the efficiency envelope on mobility.
If parked outside, will Aptera charge even when it is not on?
Yes, for example, while parked at the office on a sunny day, your Aptera could charge about 4.4 kWh.
What is the width across the front wheels?
Aptera is 87.6″ wide. We realize this may be wider than local regulations permit for some of our global customers and we are working through this process with industry experts to ensure we can make Aptera available in Europe and the UK.
What is the ground clearance?
We are looking for at least 5″ on both the wheel covers and the belly of the vehicle, but the belly will likely be higher than the wheel covers. The ground clearance of the Aptera with the off-road package is at least 7″. Exact specs will be released on our website nearing the start of production.
What is the full height of the open door?
This may change slightly in production, but it is 6’2″ right now.
Can you see out the back window when solar is on the back hatch?
Yes, with our rear view cameras.
What are the ramifications of damage to the wheel pants?
Two ultra-sonic parking assist sensors will detect obstacles and protect the wheel pants from damage. This will allow the driver to adjust in tight places and provide enough support to maneuver comfortably.
Additionally, the front and rear bumpers on the wheel pants are of impact-resilient foam. The nose cone and tail cone are impact-resistant plastic similar to a bumper cover on a passenger car. The front nose cone, along with our subframe, is designed to crumple against our angled firewall and extend an impact sequence to the benefit of our passenger safety cell.
What is the max payload for the cargo area?
Aptera is designed to carry a 500 lbs payload of passengers and cargo, or a max of 300lbs in the rear cargo (if you only have the driver).
How will you change a tire on Aptera?
There will be a jack point to lift the vehicle for wheel/ tire repairs. The wheel covers can be removed without unusual tools or special skills in a couple of minutes. See for yourself at minute 1:37 in the video below:
How many Wh per mile does Aptera use?
Aptera uses 100 Watt Hours (Wh) per mile, a fraction of the energy larger EVs are using to go the same distance.
Will a tow package be available?
We are looking into flat towing and will announce more information as we approach production. We hope to make a Tow package available at some point in the future. We envision Aptera could tow a lightweight trailer for camping, maybe even adding some extra solar capability. We aspire to provide our customers with the tools to move with what they need while maintaining our efficient design.
What’s the voltage of the system?
350 V nominal.
What is Aptera’s User Interface?
We worked with Crank Software to get an intuitive and efficient user interface for our vehicles. Find out about our partnership in the video below.
What kind of sound system does Aptera have?
To create an amazing audio experience for your solar powered road trips, our enhanced audio package — with five channels of audio, comes included in every Launch Edition vehicle. This consists of two tweeters, two mid-range, and one subwoofer. The enhanced audio package brings great sound depth with an accurate and deep bass response.
How can Aptera get up to 40 miles of solar charge per day?
Depending on where you live and how your vehicle is configured, some drivers can get up to 40 miles of range per day powered by the sun. Our Co-CEO Steve Fambro explains the science behind this engineering innovation from the team at Aptera.
Why doesn’t every electric car do this?
How many times a year will I need to charge Aptera?
There is a solar savings calculator on our website: https://aptera.us/vehicle/
This will show you if your daily driving and location are compatible with a “Never Charge” lifestyle or if you will have to charge a few times a year. It will also show you approximately how much Aptera will save you in cost compared to the vehicle you drive today.
How quickly does Aptera charge?
Our charging infrastructure is stellar. You will achieve up to 40 miles of range per day while outside in the sunlight, trickling down into your battery pack. From a 110V cord, like what you’d charge your cell phone on, you receive about 13 miles an hour, or about 150 miles of charge overnight. At roadside charging stations, you’d likely get about 100 miles in 10 minutes. Once we have final charging specifications, we will be able to provide you with exact charge times based on your battery pack size, home outlets, and amperage available, as well as any onboard chargers we might recommend.
How do you charge Aptera when you need to? Is it solar only?
You can plug Aptera in like any other electric vehicle — Aptera can be charged and travel 250, 400, 600, or 1,000 miles (depending on your battery pack size) by plugging in at home to a standard 110V or 220V outlet. The built-in solar power is a bonus.
We plan for Aptera to be compatible with Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 DC Fast Charge stations; and to ship the vehicle with a charging adapter so that you can charge it anywhere.
What do you mean by Never Charge?
The average American drives 29 miles per day. Even though the longest range Aptera can drive for about 1,000 miles between charge, the reality is that most of our driving is 30 miles or less. For Aptera, 30 miles consumes about 3 kWh of electricity. Now, let’s say your commute is 15 miles each way, let’s assume it’s dark when you’re driving to and from work. While parked at the office on a sunny day, your Aptera could put back in about 4.4 kWh which is far more than what you’ll use that day. You’ll arrive home with more charge than when you left with. That’s how it works, it’s as simple as that.
What are the benefits of a Solar Electric Vehicle?
One of the key features setting Aptera apart from other electric vehicles is our unique combination of solar and electric power to get you where you need to go with less impact on the planet.
Aptera uses the Sun to enhance its range — charging up to 40 miles a day from the solar cells alone when parked outside; this is made possible by Aptera’s aerodynamic design – fundamentally solving significant energy loss from drag. In other words, Aptera only uses 1/3 of the energy of a typical EV, charges more than 3x as fast, and gets 3x more mileage per battery charge.
And for those who drive farther than the sun can take you, not to worry. You can plug in your Aptera to a standard 110V or 220V outlet and achieve 250, 400, 600, or 1,000 miles in range, depending on your battery pack size. Watch our video and learn more about Aptera – a True Zero-Emission Vehicle.
What’s a Solar Electric Vehicle (sEV)?
Eco-friendly transportation that preserves our natural resources by reducing carbon and chemical emissions. Solar vehicles give people the ability to constantly recharge using the power from the sun without any requirement of a charging station, making the driver independent.
Is Aptera safe?
Aptera has significant safety advantages over other vehicles. We are designing to meet or exceed all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards and use industry-standard testing protocols to ensure reliability and durability. Our Formula One-inspired safety cell uses advanced Carbon Fiber Sheet Molding Compound (CF-SMC) that is ultra-lightweight and many times stronger than steel, paired with metallic front and rear subframes that absorb energy after impact.
We will show our testing and provide Aptera’s safety rating upon passing a production vehicle through the full safety tests. With an anti-lock braking system, optional forward collision warning with the safety pilot package, two airbags, four external cameras, and parking assist.