One thing I like to do when looking at new EVs coming out is check to see how they’d perform out on the open road. How fast can you cross the country? Could you take big international trips? As the range of EVs gets better, extreme possibilities become, well, possible. What used to be extremely difficult becomes easy, and maybe even fun!
Thanks to our readers, we are very likely to get our own test Aptera. If you want to help put us over the top on getting one with the biggest battery, you can reserve yours here (and get $30 off the reservation fee). While we wait to get behind the wheel, I decided it would be fun to see just what kind of adventures you can get into driving an Aptera. I certainly won’t be doing all of these myself, but just knowing what’s possible is a lot of fun in and of itself.
While the Aptera isn’t out for real world testing, we can use A Better Route Planner to simulate. Like Tesla’s trip planner, A Better Route Planner (ABRP) can factor in terrain and speed when seeing if you’ll make it. I’ve found that in most cases, it’s pretty accurate. To put the Aptera to the test on ABRP, I selected another EV with a 100 kWh battery pack and then changed the numbers to match what we’ve learned so far, then subtracted 10% just to make sure the test errs on the side of being realistic.
The North Rim
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is one of the toughest places to get to in an EV. While the South Rim is fairly easy to get to (I’ve even done it in my Nissan LEAF), the North Rim’s location makes it pretty tough to get to, even burning gas. As the crow flies, it’s only 73 miles from Flagstaff. There’s a fairly large canyon in the way, though. By car, you have to go over 200 miles to get to a bridge and go around, and climbing onto the Kaibab Plateau is no small task, even if you’re coming in from Utah.
Here’s how the Aptera (and other future 1,000 mile EVs) are going to handle a trip from Los Angeles to the North Rim, and back through Phoenix and Yuma while we’re at it.
It only takes three charging stops to complete the whole 1300-mile trip, including the climb from sea level to almost 9000 feet. With one charging stop, one could arrive at the North Rim with almost half a battery left. Only about an hour would be spent charging.
Even if you approach the North Rim the hard way, the vehicle would have no issues. If you’ve ever driven from Phoenix to Flagstaff, you know that it’s a tough climb going up Interstate 17, but with one charging stop in Flagstaff, you’d still make it to the North Rim with 70% battery remaining, and that’s enough to get into Utah or go back to Phoenix.
Texas Is Big
If Texas is known for one thing, it’s the size. Texas doesn’t mind bragging, either. There’s a sign when you enter El Paso from New Mexico that tells you Beaumont is over 800 miles away, and a similar sign coming the other way. Let’s make it a tad harder and go from El Paso to Texarkana:
A 1000-mile EV can’t actually go 815 miles at highway speeds. This is even harder at Texas highway speeds. After all, you can legally go 80 mph through parts of west Texas, and that’s going to eat some battery. One 30-minute charging stop along the way, and it’s not a problem though.
What about crossing Texas the longest way, from Texline to Boca Chica?
ABRP is being a big pain on this one, but I managed to get the data out of it. Texline to Sweetwater leaves about 57% battery. Sweetwater to San Antonio eats another 33%, leaving us with 24%. Going the rest of the way requires another 38%, leaving us a little short, but there are numerous places to charge for a few minutes along the route. The Aptera would have no problem doing this.
I have several more routes to cover, but it appears that ABRP is having problems today. Look out for another upcoming article with some transcontinental and global challenging routes!
If you’re going to preorder an Aptera, and you feel like we’ve given you good information about Aptera, feel free to use our referral link to make your preorder. You’ll save $30, and we will get an Aptera of our own for detailed testing.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.