Solar EV developer Aptera crowdfunds $33 million


Carlsbad, California-based startup Aperta announced it has raised $33 million in a crowdfunding round to support the initial phases of production of its three-wheeled solar electric vehicle.

The company’s Accelerator Program sold 2,000 vehicle reservation slots that were made available to prospective customers investing $10,000 or more in the company. The program was launched in January 2023, with the top investor committing nearly $4 million to the company. Aptera has secured over $100 million in funding over the past two years.

The reservations are for Aptera’s Launch Edition vehicle, which supports a 400-mile range and is equipped with 700 W of solar cells. Aptera said the solar cells onboard enable grid-free electricity generation for up to 40 miles of additional range per day. The company targets a full-scale production vehicle with a range of 1,000 miles.

The Aptera vehicle is designed to have low-drag for increased range, contains liquid-cooled electric motors, and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, the company reports. The vehicle is equipped with all-wheel drive.

In October 2022, Aptera said it would partner with major solar module provider Maxeon to source the vehicle’s solar cells.

Aptera said funds raised through the Accelerator Program will contribute to the procurement of low-volume tooling and the buildout of the company’s first production-intent vehicles that will be used for testing and validation. After these vehicles are validated, the final step is to raise capital for high-volume production.

“When we first launched Aptera as a solar mobility company, we were amazed by the overwhelming support from thousands of prospective Aptera owners,” stated Chris Anthony. “With over 46,000 reservation holders, we are dedicated to securing the remaining funds required for scalable, high-volume production of our solar EV.”

Aptera said its high-volume production line will produce vehicles using ten times less capital than traditional automakers. This is a lofty claim, and time will tell if the company can execute on such a goal.

As Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla, the world’s largest EV manufacturer, once said, “Prototypes are easy, production is hard.”

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