We are just over one year removed from the initial launch of solar EV startup Aptera’s Accelerator program, which was implemented to not only get customers to commit to their SEV purchase fully but also help give the company some financial runway as it inches toward scaled production. It may have taken longer than anticipated, but the program succeeded, raising nearly $34 million.
Today’s milestone is another feather in the cap of solar EV developer Aptera, the last prominent startup remaining in the quest to achieve scaled production and deliver its ultra-sustainable mobility solutions to the masses.
To say it has been a journey so far is an understatement, and Aptera has an interesting history you can recap via our years of consistent coverage. For the sake of time (it is Friday, after all), we’re only going to circle back to January 2023, when Aptera announced a Launch Edition of its long-promised SEV by the same name.
Launch Edition is a preconfigured, limited edition design that will (hopefully) kick off Aptera’s SEV production and arrive as the first vehicles of their kind on the road. Celebrated for its continuous progress updates and transparency with its fanbase, Aptera openly admitted the Launch Edition vehicles could not reach production with significant additional funding.
Days later, Aptera co-founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony announced an Accelerator Program, which requested community funding investments from reservation holders starting at $10,000, which prioritizes who gets the first commemorative Launch Edition builds based on how much a person forks over.
This led to a leaderboard competition for the 2,000 available slots. Uptake was slow at first, so Aptera ended up extending the crowdfunding program indefinitely until all slots were spoken for. Just over a year later, that day has come – over 2,000 people have invested, and Aptera is now $34 million closer to scaled solar EV production.
Aptera production boosted by continued investments
Now that all 2,000 production slots for the Launch Edition SEVs have been filled, Aptera has officially closed the Accelerator program to new customers. That being said, those already on the leaderboard are more than welcome to commit to further investments in the startup to climb the chart for an earlier delivery.
As you may notice on the current leaderboard, Aptera completed its customer investor process with 2,040 reservations. Aptera initially promised 2,000 initial builds of the Launch Edition SEVs, so we’ve asked the company if it will honor those 40 additional customers. A representative for Aptera told Electrek it expects some of those pending investments to drop from the leaderboard in the coming weeks, but any customer who submitted an Accelerator investment before 8:20AM PT on January 31st, has secured their slot in the program and will be entitled to one of the first SEV reservation slots.
The initial purpose of the crowdfunding was to give Aptera some up-front cash flow to purchase the necessary production equipment to build its Solar EVs – funds that will eventually be reimbursed by a $21.9 million grant awarded last year. As of October 2023, Aptera had already acquired over 60% of the essential equipment and tools required to manufacture its Body in Carbon (BinC).
This included stamping dies and post-processing tools – some of the most expensive components of the production process that require the longest lead times to be commissioned and delivered. In December, Aptera announced a multi-million dollar deal with Korean manufacturer CTNS for battery packs to power its solar EVs as its tier-1 supplier.
To date, Aptera has raised over $100 million through its crowdfunding efforts in total and intends to commence production builds in late 2024 before ramping up in 2025. However, a financial caveat still remains, per a spokesperson for the company:
The exact timeline is funding-dependent. With the $33 million raised through the Accelerator Program, Aptera has secured the capital to fund the procurement of low-volume tooling and the buildout of the company’s first production-intent vehicles, which will be used for testing and validation. After Aptera’s production-intent vehicles have been validated, the last step is to raise capital for the sourcing of tooling and equipment for high-volume production.
While the Launch Edition solar EVs have all been spoken for, you can still reserve a fully-customizable Aptera of your own for $100 down, $70 if you use the following link.
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