Blog Post

Electric Vehicle Maker Aptera: "Manufacturing Starts Now"

Aptera sent out a newsletter yesterday saying they plan to join Tesla by moving their concept electric vehicle from vaporware to hardware. Aptera says that after two years of research and development, they are now ready to move into production of their three-wheeled Typ-1. The colloquial letter told the Aptera story as: “What began, essentially, as a very ambitious and slightly insane concept vehicle will soon be staking its place in the real world.”

While the letter said “manufacturing starts now,” there are actually several things the electric vehicle startup has to do first. Their to-do list includes hiring new employees, moving to a bigger facility, crashing more test vehicles and fine-tuning the production process. “Starting mass-production of [the] vehicles” is item number five. So maybe “now” is more like “soon.” Still, Aptera’s “soon” is more promising than the “eventually” most EV makers — both startups and auto giants — are offering investors and customers.

Aptera took some time to toot their own horn and brush off them haters:

The criticisms were inevitable; “It won’t work” and “It won’t be stable enough” were just some of the concerns we heard. But then we recorded 231 miles per gallon on our first test drive. The critics got quiet and everyone started paying attention. Even NASA’s aerodynamics lab did a double-take because of our astounding initial results.

Aptera CEO Steve Fambro started working on the car’s teardrop design some five years ago in his garage. And he told us that the problem is that “cars are not designed to be aerodynamic, they are designed largely as furniture.”

All of this bodes well for the startup, its investors — Idealab and Essenjay Investments — and the Typ-1’s chances of taking home a cool $10 million from the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE where we’re thinking Aptera is a frontrunner.