Aptera engines is closer than ever to customer deliveries of its flagship solar EV under the company name. During a webinar presentation earlier this morning, the California-based startup unveiled new details of its Solar EV Launch Edition — a unified configuration that includes all-wheel drive and 400 miles of range, but Aptera still has some financial and infrastructural hurdles to overcome before it ships of these solar EVs to the masses can begin. More below.
Since first unveiling its flagship solar electric vehicle, Aptera Motors has worked steadily to deliver it to a growing number of customers loyal reservation holderssome of whom were fans of the company when it first tried to scale up solar EVs in the late 2000s.
On the second run, Aptera did a lot of things right. In the last two years alone we have driven in an alpha prototypewatched the beta Destroy a Tesla and an Audi R8 Spyder in a drag race and received transparent monthly check-in videos from co-founder Chris Anthony youtube.
We saw it last September the gamma version of the Aptera Solar EV up close and spoke with the team about his plans for the Delta design with production intent. Aptera revealed video footage from Delta a few weeks ago, ahead of today’s presentation, which promised to provide more accurate specifications.
More specifically, today’s news relates to the Launch Edition solar EV, which will kick off the first of many long-awaited customer deliveries…if and when production begins. According to the startup’s founders, that moment could be a year away.
Aptera shares new solar EV specifications and production schedules
After today’s live webinar from Aptera HQ, led by co-founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony, there’s a lot to look forward to regarding the Launch Edition Solar EV and Aptera vehicles in general. However, it comes with an air of caution that’s pervasive in the rollercoaster world of EV startups.
Let’s focus on the positive aspects first.
Aptera reports that aside from some lighting and other validations, the overall design of its flagship solar EV is essentially “penciled down.” Also, the method of how the SEV is created and scaled is also set, another tick. supply contracts are also being worked out.
Initially, Aptera was advised to start with one product, sell it, homogenize the supply chain, and scale from there. Clever. Exhibit A and why we’re all gathered online today is the Launch Edition.
This unified, pre-configured design will be Aptera’s first solar EV to ship to customers (current reservation holders can now easily switch to the Launch Edition for earlier delivery, more on that in a moment). Here are some of the more relevant specs that will be present in all Launch Editions (no customizations):
- Drag coefficient 0.13
- 40 additional miles per day from solar panels whether parked or driven
- Interior in Codex color with rose gold accents
- Luna (Silver) Outer shell that provides UV protection, is cost effective, increases body longevity and is more sustainable
- 42kWh battery that delivers around 400 miles of range per charge
- 13 miles per hour or 150 miles per night with a 120V charger (level 1)
- Tesla NACS connector with a range of 57 miles per hour (240 V level 2)
Notice that there is no mention of level 3 charging? So far, Aptera’s founders believe the solar EV will not require DC fast charging capabilities thanks to its extra range collected from the sun each day. Additionally, this capability adds complexity to the vehicle itself, including the robustness of the battery pack required to handle such charge rates.
That being said, the team said they are still exploring the possibility of DC fast-charging capabilities in the future and might add them one day. However, don’t expect to see it in the Launch Edition Aptera.
Aptera intends to build 5,000 Launch Edition solar EVs initially, but is open to expanding that number should the startup experience overwhelming demand for its first model. Co-founder Steve Fambro spoke during the presentation:
The production of our Launch Edition vehicles symbolizes the beginning of a new era. It’s about introducing Aptera’s unique and revolutionary capabilities to the world as quickly and safely as possible, because we all know that time is of the essence when it comes to saving the planet.
Co-founder Chris Anthony then chimed in as well:
It is also the foundation of our shift as a company towards manufacturing and production. It’s about building the team and processes to ensure we bring solar technology to the masses. It is our desire as a movement to show the world the capabilities of Aptera.
According to Aptera, it intends to have its assembly lines operational in nine months, followed by vehicles ready for solar panels and interior components in about 12 months. Until then, however, Aptera needs to replenish funds to ensure it can meet customer demand and finally deliver.
Aptera continues on its successful trajectory, but will need more capital
Aptera’s movement is certainly growing, as is the list of reservation holders after today’s presentation. However, Aptera’s founders admitted that the startup will need at least $50 million in additional capital this year just to reach the first gate of SEV series production.
To date, the company says it has raised $85 million from over 15,000 investors, including previous crowdfunding campaigns, and says it’s been quite flexible with its money. However, it will take more to implement the necessary tools and machines for mass production of its vehicles.
In addition to more crowdfunding, Aptera’s founders said they are seeking government loans and grant programs to help reach that additional $50 million and beyond. They also mentioned that consumers can still get in as “pre-IPO” investors, whatever that means. We should hear more after Aptera’s webinar with investors next week.
In terms of production schedules, Aptera says the recently unveiled production-intent Delta prototypes will undergo crash testing and validation this year. Physical versions of the Launch Edition Aptera Solar EVs will debut thereafter, followed by test drives (sign me in!)
Current Reservation Holders – You might want to change your configuration to the Launch Edition if you’re absolutely dying to get your hands on an Aptera first. According to the team, here is the priority order in which the SEVs will be built when production begins:
- The first 5,000 (possibly more) launch editions
- Battery pack with a range of 400 miles
- 250 mile range option
- 600 mile range option
- 1,000 mile range battery pack Aptera
You can update your reservation on the Aptera website, or if you haven’t already, you can pre-reserve your own Aptera solar EV today for only $100.
Use this link too Get $30 off your reservation.
Also, watch today’s full 40-minute webinar.
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