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Investing in Solar-Powered Electric Cars

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted September 15, 2022

Check out this recent tweet from Elon Musk…

musktweet

I’m a huge electric car bull, and I disagree with this premise.

I think it’s bigger than that.

The reality is that it won’t be long before we view gasoline cars the same way we view horses and buggies today.

Sure, internal combustion vehicles still work, but in terms of technology, they’re absolutely headed toward the dustbin of history.

Not that internal combustion hasn’t brought us many great things.

One could successfully argue that without the internal combustion engine, we wouldn’t be nearly as advanced a civilization as we are today.

The same could be said for a lot of other technologies too.

Typewriters, fax machines, rotary phones...

They all served their purpose in amazing ways. But technologies advance and, unless you run a secondhand store, you’re not really going to see these technological relics anymore.

We’ve moved on to bigger and better things.

And such is the case with personal transportation too.

Yes, the transition away from internal combustion IS happening, and to deny that this is the direction we’re heading would be, for lack of a better word, stupid.

Truth is, aside from folks worried about range issues and the ability to quickly charge an electric vehicle on long trips, these cars and trucks are already superior to their internal combustion counterparts.

They have lower maintenance costs, lower fuel costs, are environmentally friendlier (not completely environmentally benign but better than internal combustion), and aren't held hostage by the threat of oil supply disruptions. And in terms of charging times and range, those obstacles are less than 10 years away from being overcome. In fact, last week, electric vehicle startup Aptera Motors unveiled the newest version of its electric car, which boasts a range of 1,000 miles. 

No, that’s not a misprint.

One thousand miles.

That means, with this vehicle, you could drive from Boston to Chicago without stopping once. Although I wouldn’t recommend driving 1,000 miles without a couple bathroom breaks. 

Now, the reason this vehicle can deliver such impressive range is because while other carmakers are trying to increase the range of these vehicles by adding more batteries, which add weight and significant production costs, Aptera has been focusing on the efficiency of the vehicle itself in an effort to require fewer batteries to run it — and fewer batteries result in lower costs since batteries are the most expensive part of electric vehicles.

The car’s undercarriage actually mimics the belly of a dolphin and, because of the way it’s curved at the nose (wide along the sides and tapered toward the trunk, much like an aircraft), it’s able to significantly reduce drag (the force of flowing air against the motion of the vehicle).

The result is a unique shape that allows Aptera to use 30% less energy than any other electric car (or hybrid vehicle) on the road today. The car also weighs 65% less than other electric vehicles on the market, as the body is built with ultra-lightweight composites. 

Its arched shape also mimics the physics of an eggshell, offering a safety cell seven times stronger than steel.

This, dear reader, is what we mean when we talk about the evolution of technology.

Ten years ago, you couldn’t buy a highway-capable electric car with a range exceeding 300 miles. In fact, you’d actually be pretty hard-pressed to find one getting anywhere close to that. 

But today, we’re looking at a highway-capable electric car with a 1,000-mile range that sells for a fraction of the cost of many of the electric cars on the road today... because Aptera’s vehicle comes in at around $45,000 — and that’s for the 1,000-mile-range model.

Don’t need 1,000 miles?

You’ll also be able to buy a lower-range Aptera with a 250-mile range for $30,000.

And that’s before any tax credits.

If the Aptera car qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit, that would bring the price down to $22,500. And if you live in a state where there is a state tax credit, that price falls even more. In Colorado, the state tax credit is $5,000, so theoretically, that would bring the cost down to $17,500.

If you drive an internal combustion vehicle, over the course of 10 years, you’re likely to spend about $10,000 on gas and another $10,000 on oil changes and other maintenance costs that are not required for electric vehicles. Figure those costs into the equation, and you’re actually making money on this thing.

 

But Wait, There’s More!

Beyond being particularly inexpensive compared with other electric vehicles on the market, you could actually never even have to plug it in, thanks to an integrated solar roof that provides enough charge for a 40-mile range.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average driver in the U.S. drives 29 miles per day. So let’s say you drive 29 miles to work, put in your eight hours, and when you leave, have enough juice to drive another 29 miles home.

With this car, it is entirely possible to never have to plug in, which essentially means free “fuel.”

And, of course, as solar cell technology continues to improve, so will the range of these vehicles.

Some engineers I’ve spoken with tell me that they see no reason why future generations of electric cars won’t be able to travel in excess of 100 miles just on integrated solar power alone.

That being said, we’re not there yet. But boy, have we come a long way in just 10 years.

And the next 10 are going to be even more exciting if you’re a fan of technology and progress, and want to profit from them as well.

Now, Aptera is not a public company, but there’s another company that’s also integrating solar into its electric vehicles, and those vehicles are delivering even longer ranges using solar alone.

This company is publicly traded too!

This particular company has been able to embed solar cells into the plastic body panels on the roof and the sides of its vehicle. 

With these solar cells integrated into the entire body of the car (not just the roof), the vehicle can deliver 70 miles' worth of range. 

Of course, we use our vehicles for more than just driving back and forth to work, but this solar-electric vehicle also offers the ability to power up using a typical electric vehicle charger.

At full charge, it delivers a short range of about 190 miles. However, the solar cells still charge the vehicle while it’s driving, so with the solar-cell integration, the range can exceed 200 miles, which is roughly what most base-level electric cars offer today.

The car will also soon sell for less than $30,000, and that’s before any tax credits, which can exceed $12,000 depending upon where you live.

The company already has more than 20,000 pre-orders (or $600 million worth of pre-orders), and they continue to roll in.

The technology is fascinating and, quite frankly, it looks like it’s beating a lot of other electric car manufacturers to the punch with its solar integration — including Tesla!

I actually wrote a short report on how the company’s technology works, as well as a breakdown of why this could be one of the first electric car companies to actually rival Tesla.

You can check that out here.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...

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Jeff Siegel

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Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor's page.

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