One of the many peculiarities of Aptera’s solar EV prototypes was the fact that the startup chose to equip it with Tesla’s proprietary charging connector, not a standard plug like everyone else. Back in 2020, Aptera announced that it intended to implement and use the Tesla solution, although we’re not sure how Tesla actually feels about this.
This in an era of increasing standardization and streamlining, when most of the industry is using the J1772 connector in the US and the Type 2 plug in Europe and other parts of the world. Now Electrek uncovered a statement made by Aptera’s Co-CEO, Chris Anthony, who during a recent Q&A session reportedly said
Years ago, we saw the evolution of the J1772 connector and I think we all marveled at the inadequacy of the connector. It was big, clunky, and it looks like a hairdryer. It wasn’t elegant at all. Then one Tesla brought up their plug and it was beautiful, elegant with a little handle that you can easily plug into your electric vehicle.
He does certainly have a point that the Tesla solution looks and operates more smoothly, thus resulting in a better user experience. But how do they intend to convince Tesla to allow them to use this type of connector, which would also theoretically grant Aptera adapter-free access to the Tesla Supercharger network.
However, this is a strange request today when even Tesla has accepted to give up on its own charger in favor of the Type 2-based CCS for Europe (albeit under pressure from European institutions fighting for increased connector standardization in order to minimize waste). We don’t really see this actually happening, in spite of the fact that Tesla doesn’t plan on giving up on its own charger, at least not in the US any time soon.
Aptera says it already has 25,000 reservations (which can be made with a small $100 deposit) and says it will very soon reveal what it calls the Gamma version of its solar EV, which will basically be the finished production-ready vehicle, although it’s still not clear when it will be able to start building them.