In just under a decade, electric vehicles (EVs) have morphed from an environmentally friendly novelty into a viable replacement for gas-powered cars. With EV technology advancing rapidly, it won’t be long before electric cars dominate the industry.
Electric car prices will continue to drop as the production process is improved. In the meantime, some automakers are exploring alternative ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
Over the past few years, we have seen more and more companies developing EVs that can be charged with solar energy. One of the most famous solar car startups is Lightyear, which built a solar roof for a Tesla Model 3, as reported by Electrek.
Many other startups have also started working on solar-powered electric cars that address some of the problems that EVs face. Here’s more information about these companies, based on reports from Singularity Hub.
Solar-powered cars are another green option that more companies are investing in.
Aptera Motors wants to deliver the most efficient electric cars
Aptera Motors, previously known as Accelerated Composites, is a California-based startup founded in 2019. The automaker’s goal is to create the most efficient transportation in the world.
Last year, they started taking pre-orders for the Aperta, an electric car that’s partially solar-powered. The solar car has a unique design, featuring two wheels at the front and one rear wheel.
The Aptera is expected to offer up to 40 miles per day on purely solar power. It also reportedly self-charges around 60 km or 37 miles when it’s parked. With the 100 kWh battery option, the Aperta should give you up to 1,000 miles of range.
The car starts at $25,900 and climbs up to $46,000 or more depending on what options you choose. The Aperta is scheduled to be delivered this year.
Squad Mobility focuses on shared solar car fleets
The "Squad Car" is so small, 3 of them can fit in a standard parking spot. In addition to the solar panels, it has a battery that can be charged at a regular wall outlet. https://t.co/SvgFCyUl94
Another startup making major strides in the solar-powered EV segment is Squad Mobility. The automaker is based in the Netherlands and specializes in solar cars for urban mobility that’s meant for sharing.
Its first model, the Squad, is a tiny two-seater solar car. It measures 6.5 feet long by 4 feet wide and offers a top speed of 28 mph. It can drive up to 12 miles after it’s charged on solar power for a day. The standard model starts at 5,750 euros or around $6,800.
Squad Mobility claims that the car can get enough power for daily commute even if they’re in areas that don’t receive much sunlight. If the location is less sunny, the car has a rechargeable battery pack so you can charge it at regular electric outlets.
As mentioned, Lightyear is another company revolutionizing the EV world. The company’s Lightyear One is a fully electric car that can be powered by solar panels integrated on its roof.
Unlike the Squad and the Aptera, the Lightyear One solar EV is more spacious and accommodates five passengers. But it starts at a much higher price tag of 150,000 euros or around $177,000.
Its solar roof is extended to the rear for more exposure to sunlight. According to a Lightyear press release, the Lightyear One offers around 441 miles of range on a single charge.
Solar-powered electric vehicles are gaining traction. This trend might increase in popularity and serve as an alternative or stepping stone to fully electric cars.
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