Solar-powered cars could be mass-produced in California by end of 2021

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Developments in clean technology continue to threaten traditional gas-powered vehicles and turn them into dinosaurs.

While solar-powered vehicles have been a dream for more than a half-century, this could be the year we see one mass-produced off a California assembly line.

8,000 people have already put down deposits on a solar-powered vehicles from Aptera that hopes to be in production by year's end.

The three-wheeler can transport two people, using a solar array that can be supplemented with additional panels on the hood and rear hatch to extend range up to 1,000 miles.

The Batmobile-like profile was designed to reduce wind resistance, which impacts range. Instead of steel, the body is a composite of carbon, Kevlar and hemp. Composites are used in racing cars, such as Formula 1, to provide strength and safety.

Price is another key factor to keep it affordable. Depending on features, the range is expected to be from $26,000 to $46,000.

The Aptera can be plugged in when driving long distances or when it's cloudy. A factory is being built in San Diego. The co-founders believe sales of 2,000 vehicles per year are viable with a goal of 10 times that many, especially as its develops a full fleet of models.