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When Aptera announced details about its Launch Edition first production model in a webinar presentation a few days ago, company execs said the solar EV did not need DC fast charging capability, at least not at the moment.
Well, it looks like they had a sudden change of mind as the startup put out a press release and a video on January 23 announcing “all Aptera vehicles will come with DC fast charging, including the first Launch Edition vehicles that roll off the assembly line.”
In the video, Aptera CEO and co-founder Steve Fambro announced that Launch Edition vehicles will offer between 40 and 60 kW of DC fast charging, with the company to provide an update on the maximum charge rates once testing is complete. The executive also said Aptera will be working on a 100 kW version for release down the road.
What’s more, Aptera’s DC Fast Charging system is designed to work with Tesla’s Supercharger network – the solar three-wheeler features Tesla’s charge port (NACS) – so if Tesla agrees to open its network up to Aptera, owners of Launch Edition vehicles will have access to the country’s (and the world’s) largest fast charging network.
Needless to say, this could be a huge selling point for future Aptera owners as Tesla’s Supercharger network in the US has 60 percent more NACS posts than all of the CCS-equipped networks combined. Tesla is yet to open up its US Supercharger stations to EVs from other brands, even though it has already done that in Europe.
To their credit, co-founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony admitted in the video that “pretty consistent” and “pretty overwhelming” feedback from the Aptera community is what caused the company to backtrack on its initial decision not to offer DC fast charging at the start of production.
Aptera is able to do that because its solar electric vehicle has been designed from the get-go to offer DC fast charging capability. The company decided to pause the program months ago when it wasn’t sure it could use Tesla’s NACS connector, but now that it has access to it and reservation holders made their voices heard, Aptera decided to make a change.
As Fambro explains in the video, the cool thing about this is that Aptera’s Power Distribution Unit (PDU) is designed to accommodate DC fast charging hardware, so implementing this change won’t be too difficult. Here’s hoping that’s true and the Aptera Launch Edition won’t be delayed further because of this.