In a previous article, I started to explore what one could do in a vehicle with 1000 miles of range, such as the upcoming Aptera. I started by looking at one of the kings of rural trips: the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. That was a piece of cake. Then, I looked at crossing Texas. Once again, piece of cake. At that point, I started having problems with A Better Routeplanner, but the issues have since been resolved.
To review, I take other vehicles in the app and turn them into an Aptera by changing the efficiency and charger types to match approximately what the manufacturer predicts.
Let’s take a look at some more long trips! Let’s do the longest trip across Texas, from Texline to Boca Chica.
The 919 mile trip was a cinch. The 1000 mile EV wouldn’t be able to go across in one go, because highway driving at Texas speeds mixed with elevation changes eats the range down faster than ideal conditions. With one stop for just a few minutes, that trip wouldn’t be an issue at all. One could easily go see a SpaceX launch if they lived at the furthest part of Texas.
Crossing the US is a cinch, too. New York to L.A. looks like this:
Without speeding, the car would beat the current EV Cannonball record by sheer efficiency. If you made regular use of the Aptera’s 110 MPH top speed, ABRP says this would be theoretically possible in just a hair over 33 hours, which would beat the record by over 11 hours.
So, whether you go slow or fast, going across the country would be a relative breeze compared to current EVs. Efficiency rocks!
There’s basically nothing in the Continental US that this car’s simulations don’t seem to be able to handle with ease. Let’s try Forks, Washington to Key West, Florida:
There’s one leg of this trip that the software recommends keeping the speed to 75 MPH for, but there’s not a problem taking the trip. 3,676 miles will be no problem in the Aptera when it comes out later this year.
Now, let’s give the thing a bigger challenge. On default settings it wasn’t able to go from Anchorage, Alaska to Key West. However, by adding a stop at the Tok RV Village & Cabins for a night, the trip became possible.
You’d need to bring your own EVSE with a J1772 or Tesla plug (depending on what the final Aptera has) that can be powered by an NEMA 14-50 to do this, but the trip is very much possible. Also, if you’re going to do this, be sure to give the place a call and make sure they’ll let you charge on an RV post and stay in a cabin. And plan a backup site somewhere.
Better yet, look at my article on taking rural EV trips. You’ll probably want to get an amateur radio license, a radio, and bring along cold weather gear just in case you get stuck out there. I also wouldn’t dare to attempt such a trip in the winter. Basically, take this trip at your own risk.
5772 miles, even in places with iffy infrastructure, is quite an accomplishment for our simulated Aptera EV.
Since we’re virtually pushing the limits here, let’s look at what it would take to run the whole Pan-Am Highway!
If you charge overnight in Chihuahua, Mexico and Guatemala City, the car wouldn’t have any problems going all the way to Yaviza, Panama. Assuming you aren’t robbed and left for dead on the side of the road somewhere on that route, of course. The ABRP map shows slow sections on the screenshot, but by manually putting in DC fast chargers it doesn’t know about, it really wouldn’t require any slowdowns.
I was getting too many waypoints going, and had to settle for this, but if you planned this in several segments, going from Anchorage to Yaviza wouldn’t be an issue, really.
To continue the trip down into South America, you’d need to either hope the off-road package can get you through some of the toughest terrain and bogs in the Americas, and hope that the many drug runners, revolutionaries, and other dangerous people don’t decide you are a good target. Or, you could take a ferry. I don’t know anything about the ferry service to get you into Colombia, but it does exist. It’s not a trip I’ll be taking, but feel free to look that part up yourself.
Here’s what it looks like once the ferry or extreme luck gets you through to Columbia:
ABRP doesn’t seem to know where most stations are in South America. Plugshare does show enough stations for an Aptera to make it down the coast as far as Chile on DC fast charging. After that, it would be a bigger challenge:
There’s one hotel further down in Chile that would allow you to make it down to the bottom of South America if you drove carefully. You’d have to use ABRP to manually input each segment of the trip in South America, so it’s possible to make it down that far. If you did more intelligence gathering, you might find places that would let you use a wall plug that far south, but it appears to be possible. Some long stops with solar charging might even help with this.
In sum, a 13,230 mile drive is possible in an Aptera if you’re adventurous enough and plan the right overnight stops for charging. The whole Pan-Am Highway is possible, it seems.
In a future article, I’m going to look into some other global routes outside of the Americas. I’d definitely appreciate any ideas you might have on some trips to simulate. Could the Aptera make it from South Africa to Norway? What about London to Beijing? It would be a lot harder to simulate, because the ABRP software doesn’t seem to know of many chargers in many developing countries that have a surprisingly good DCFC infrastructure, but using a combination of manual entry of points in ABRP and Plugshare data would probably do the job.
What routes would you like to see our virtual Aptera do?
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