Aptera’s new community funding program is just two weeks in, but it has raised $3 million of it’s $20-50 million goal. To incentivize further investment, the company is now offering new pieces of Aptera-branded swag to lead investors.
Aptera announced the funding milestone today, though it wasn’t really a secret, as it has had a constantly-updated investment leaderboard ever since its January 27 crowdfunding announcement.
In that announcement, Aptera indicated that it wanted to raise $20 to $50 million by the end of March. Aptera is hoping to attract 2,000 investors at $10,000 or more each, which would put it into this fundraising range.
So far, Aptera has raised $3.10 million from 257 investors, according to the leaderboard at press time.
So, if we assume that investments start fast and trail off, or that the rate of investment is relatively stable over the investment period, it looks like Aptera might be running a bit behind schedule, about a quarter of the way into its two-month investment period.
As a result, Aptera has offered a few new perks to investors, perhaps to speed things up a bit.
In addition to the previous perks of a 5% discount on an Aptera and waiving the $100 reservation fee (which anyone can save $30 on by using our link) for any investor over $10,000, Aptera has promised that everyone who invests over $10k between Jan 27 and March 26 will get a serialized, limited-edition hardcover book about the Aptera production and design process.
Beyond this tier, any investor over $15k in that timeframe will get a “branded Aptera adventure bag,” and investors over $25k will get the bag and a “branded Aptera Accelerator jacket.”
The 2,000 investors will gain access to the first 2,000 Launch Edition Aptera vehicles, roughly in order of their positions on the leaderboard. The #1 investor will get Aptera #1 – currently, that position goes to an investor from Maryland who goes by the initials R.P. They have invested $10,500 since Jan 27, but over $1 million since Aptera originally started taking investments.
Those Launch Edition cars will start at $33,200, with a configuration including the upgraded 400-mile battery, all available solar panels, and all-wheel drive system. Though that price is conspicuously labeled as “subject to change.”
Finally, Aptera promised additional swag incentives in the future, stating that it will add “more items and experiences to the list” as more investments roll in. It also alluded to a special prize for the top 10 investors but said we’ll “have to wait and find out.”
If you’d like to invest in Aptera, you can find more at their Investment Accelerator Program site.
There’s a lot of discussion in the Electrek newsroom any time Aptera comes up. For longtime EV fans, Aptera has quite a history – it tried and failed to bring a car to market once before, though this second attempt seems more realistic than the first did.
The car does have a cool and different design and incredible efficiency. It perhaps could even deliver the promise of being able to drive and charge fully on solar power for low-mileage individuals or people living in very sunny places. This could make it easier for people who don’t have access to their own parking spot to stay charged up from day to day, for example. And while solar is usually more effective on the roofs of buildings or in other stationary applications, solar cars have been a dream for a long time.
It’s also somewhat reasonably priced, with a $25,900 base price (for the non-Launch Edition) – though that’s “subject to change,” as it’s the same price that Aptera originally announced in 2020, and most cars have gone up in price since then.
But one car that hasn’t gone up in price is the Chevy Bolt, which is a screaming deal right now at a base price of $26,500. That’s barely more than an Aptera, but you get a “real car” for that price. Of course, the people looking at an Aptera are probably the type of people who want something different anyway, so perhaps a “real car” isn’t what they want. But that pricing differential doesn’t seem to work in Aptera’s favor, especially when the Bolt will qualify for the federal EV tax credit, whereas the Aptera, as a three-wheeled vehicle, will not.
But then again, nothing can compete with the Bolt on price/performance right now, and it’s nearing the end of its product life. We’ll have to see what GM has in store with the Equinox, which is supposed to replace the Bolt at a somewhat similar price range, and see how the rest of the market develops in the next year or more before the Aptera hits the road.
So, while we remain optimistic that Aptera can make it, we also recognize it’s got a long way to go in a tough environment for startups as funding has dried up across the economy in recent months. As a result, solar EV startups have been having a rough time lately, with Lightyear recently declaring bankruptcy, and Sono running its own crowdfunding campaign. And another three-wheeled EV-maker, Arcimoto, is also in trouble.
So Aptera has its work cut out for it, but maybe offering a few more incentives will nudge some more investors into action.
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