Aptera Motors has a very different strategy from that of most EV startups. Rather than a luxury sedan or a crowd-pleasing pickup truck, the San Diego-based company is building what it says will be the world’s most efficient vehicle—an EV with a solar panel on the roof, and as much as 1,000 miles of range.
Now Aptera has raised $4 million in a new round of Series A funding. Participants included crowdfunders, private investors and one high-profile backer: auto manufacturing expert and internet star Sandy Munro.
“I’m betting on a solar future, and I’m betting on Aptera,” said Sandy. “The industry needs more creative engineering like this to progress ahead. I’m happy to be assisting Aptera as they move into production and beyond.”
Sandy is famous for his deep technical knowledge of the auto manufacturing process, and his endorsement is likely to be seen as a signal that Aptera’s technology is sound. “His decades of automotive knowledge and genius analysis of other EV players is great validation that we’re on the right path,” said Aptera co-founder Chris Anthony.
Aptera says it has booked over 7,000 reservations for its Solar Electric Vehicle, which represents a quarter billion dollars’ worth of orders. The company is getting very close to the start of production, and it plans to use its new funding to bring on more employees and fully equip its new facility.
Aptera recently moved into a new production design facility in San Diego. At this 60,500-square-foot campus, the company’s team of development engineers is working on “advanced 3D printing, composites, UI/UX development, and battery technologies development.”