Aptera takes customer feedback to heart, quickly makes DC fast charging standard on all solar EVs

Just a few days after sharing specifications of its Launch Edition solar EV, Aptera Motors has backtracked on a previous comment stating that its upcoming vehicles will not come with DC fast charging capabilities. Aptera has now let its community of loyal fans know it hears them, vowing to equip all its solar EVs, including the aforementioned Launch Edition, with the capability to charge on Tesla’s supercharger network.

During a livestream webinar Friday, the Aptera team including cofounders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony, walked the public through the specifications of the startup’s unified, preconfigured Launch Edition solar EV.

While there was much to be excited about, including 400-mile range, all-wheel drive, and the potential to be the most aerodynamic production vehicle ever made, there were some points in the presentation that were not as encouraging.

For instance, the Launch Edition alone remains at least 12 months away, and Aptera cofounders shared that the company requires an additional $50 million in capital just to reach its first gate of scaled production, still in need of the necessary tooling and machinery.

While this is not the most stellar news to hear from a startup, the internet’s ire appeared to be much more focused on one simple tidbit that was left out of Aptera’s initial presentation – there was no mention of DC fast charging rates.

When the Aptera cofounders opened the webinar up to questions, naturally one of the first to arise was in regard to DC fast charging. Fambro and Anthony explained that Aptera was still exploring the possibility of DC fast charging capabilities in the future and could certainly one day add it. However, they were sure to share that the feature would not be present in the Launch Edition. By gathering additional range from the sun, Aptera’s team said they didn’t feel DC charging was necessary.

Well, the company’s following of potential customers and savvy EV enthusiasts disagreed.

How quickly that tune has changed at Aptera HQ, as the solar EV specialist has relayed that it hears you readers loud and clear and has made DC fast charging standard on all its vehicles.

Check out the video below.

Aptera DC charging
Source: YouTube/Aptera

Aptera commits to DC charging, hopes Tesla will allow it

Since Friday’s launch presentation, Aptera has followed up with a release complete with its own YouTube video, explaining it will in fact add DC charging capabilities to its solar EVs. Here’s a blurb:

We will be able to offer between 40 and 60 kW of DC Fast Charging with our Launch Edition vehicles. Once testing is complete, we will provide an update on our max charge rates. We will also be working on a 100 kW version for release down the road. Our DC Fast Charging system is designed to work with the Super Charger Network, so if Tesla agrees to open their network up to Aptera owners, your Launch Edition vehicle will be ready to go. Tesla’s Supercharging network has 60% more North American Charging Standard posts than all of the CCS-equipped networks combined, so it could be a huge selling point for future Aptera owners. 

We must give Aptera an A+ in taking customer feedback seriously and giving many EV enthusiasts what they want. If you’ll remember, this is the same group of Aptera fans that gathered together over 40,000 signatures to implore Congress to make Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug the go-to charger for all EVs, including the Aptera SEVs.

As a result, Aptera vowed to make Tesla’s NACS plug the standard on its vehicles, hence why Friday’s news of no DC fast charging came as such a surprise for many, especially those holding reservations. While future Aptera drivers will (hopefully) be able to gain decent range from level 2 capabilities on the Tesla network, DC fast charging sounds a lot sweeter… and faster.

See the quote above? That last sentence is a big one.

Top comment by Cypress

Liked by 11 people

If they haven’t actually secured a deal with Tesla to allow them to use the SC network, I can see why they wouldn’t want to add that cost yet to their manufacturing.

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Faster charge rates are one thing, but gaining access to the world’s largest fast charging network means even more, especially for activities like camping and road trips. Its tough to try and sell a solar EV that is supposed to one day drive 1,000 miles on a single charge, but not give it access to Tesla superchargers. Per Aptera’s release:

Aptera was always meant to be a true road-trip vehicle, and now with the Fast-Charging standard, we can’t wait to see where you take your Launch Edition vehicles. We are truly humbled and motivated by all of you who support Aptera. Together, we will shift transportation toward solar sustainability through continuous innovation and improvements. 

Aptera’s next step will be getting official approval from Tesla for its solar EVs to use their DC fast charging capabilities on the Supercharger network. Oh, and there’s still that whole raise $50 million in additional funding just to start production on the to-do list as well. One step at at time!

For now, you can watch the Aptera cofounders remove the foot from their mouths and explain how the DC fast charging technology was developed and will be implemented in ALL solar EVs going forward.

Are you all happy? You probably should be. Could be a big win for Aptera (and Tesla) going forward.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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