At Fully Charged Live 2022 in San Diego, automotive startup Aptera Motors showed off a prototype solar-powered Gamma electric vehicle.
The history of Gamma is not simple: it was developed back in the 2000s under the name Accelerated Composites. In total, work on the project took more than 15 years – with a break for bankruptcy in 2011. In 2019, the startup revived under a new name and was finally able to bring the ambitious electric car closer to launch.
The teardrop-shaped Gamma does not look like an ordinary car: it has only three wheels and two seats – for the driver and passenger. Another important difference between the electric car and conventional sedans is the photovoltaic cells on the roof and trunk and the wheels with amber stripes on the shields set aside from the body.
The car can cover a distance of up to 65 km without recharging, but in the future, engineers plan to refine the car so that its range reaches 1,600 km. To do this, they will increase the efficiency of the electric transmission and refine the aerodynamic body with a low coefficient of drag, made of lightweight composite materials.
At the end of 2021, Aptera Motors completed testing of alpha prototypes of an electric vehicle and is ready to start beta testing. In March of this year, the Gamma cars were cleared for use on public roads in the US, and in August, Aptera showed the first pictures of the interior.
Inside, the spacious cabin features a helm-style steering wheel, animal-free upholstery, an electronic instrument cluster and a large touchscreen display for audio and navigation controls and views from external cameras located in place of rear-view mirrors. Gamma also boasts a huge trunk volume of 707 liters.
At an exhibition in San Diego, a pre-production prototype was shown, which will go into mass production in 2023. The company has already received 30,000 pre-orders for the electric car and signed contracts with suppliers of batteries and electric motors.
To reserve a place in the car queue, you need to make an advance payment of only a few hundred dollars. The cost of the car will be $ 26,000 (≈1,550,000 rubles), by the time of release, the power reserve is promised to be increased to 400 km.