Electric vehicle maker Aptera is extending an opportunity for a few drivers to become one of the first owners of its new, solar-powered model.
It’s part of a strategy by the San Diego-based company to accelerate bringing its Launch Edition EV to market and to build on a $21 million matching grant, which the company announced in March.
An investment of at least $10,000 will secure one of the first 2,000 vehicles off the assembly line. As of March 24, there were 1,270 spots left.
“There is no better example than these pioneers helping to accelerate our path to production,” Chris Anthony, Aptera’s co-CEO, said in a video shared by the company.
Aptera’s vehicles use solar panels on their roofs — and on most other surfaces that can catch sunbeams — to provide a ride that requires “no charging for most daily use,” aside from the sun, the company’s website says.
The vehicle gets 1,000 miles of range on a single charge, which is made possible by a sleek design that requires 30% of the energy of other EVs and hybrids, Aptera claims. The sun can provide 40 miles of cost-free driving each day.
The vehicle’s appearance fits with its hyped-up billing. It looks more futuristic than a DeLorean, save for the flux capacitor. Aptera makes its EVs with artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and other futuristic tech. But the starting price is listed at just $25,900.
It’s not Aptera’s first attempt to enter the EV market. The company tried to develop a vehicle in the mid-2000s, Electrek reports. But that effort flamed out.
The matching grant is helping to power the most recent endeavor. But the company needs millions of dollars more to bring the vision to fruition, Electrek notes. The first 2,000 “accelerators” are critical to getting the EVs humming off the assembly line.
“You are helping to make our collective vision of a solar future possible,” Anthony said.
On March 21, Aptera announced a fleet pre-order of 101 vehicles from SustainabilitySooner, valued at $3.35 million. SustainabilitySooner’s team says on its website that the investment is meant “to accelerate [Aptera’s] race to produce the world’s first practical, affordable solar electric vehicle.”
“Aptera is building the most climate-positive vehicle on the planet,” SustainabilitySooner’s CEO David Fuller said in a statement.
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