In its latest round of funding, Aptera has raised more than $24 million to begin production of both its Typ-1 electric car and Typ-1 plug-in hybrid. Major venture partners include Google and Idealab.Aptera also plans to use the new funds to construct a manufacturing facility in Vista, CA, close to the company’s present headquarters in Carlsbad.
Steve Fambro, Aptera founder and CEO had this to say about it:
We’re excited that the tremendous demand that we’ve received from the thousands of individuals who have pre-ordered their Aptera Typ-1 has been matched with a strong endorsement from our investment partners. The vehicle is exciting, the timing seems perfect and the market is eager to buy one of these first built units. These new funds will be instrumental as we pursue our goal of bringing the Typ-1 to market later this year.
Initially only available in California, Aptera’s business plan calls for production of its Typ-1 fully electric vehicle (EV) to begin this December. The Typ-1 EV will cost around $27,000 and get 120 miles per charge. Each charge should cost under $3, depending on electricity rates.
The Typ-1 EV will be followed 12 months later by the introduction of the $30,000 Typ-1 plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV), which Aptera claims can get 300 miles per gallon. However, the company readily admits that with a PHEV fuel economy is difficult to describe with one number.
For example, the Typ-1 PHEV can drive 40 miles on electric power alone, but as soon as you get over that threshold, you start using fuel. As such, on a 50 mile trip the Typ-1 PHEV would have a fuel economy of 1000 miles per gallon.
As you drive further the battery energy is depleted and the engine is turned on with increasing frequency, which uses more and more fuel. The result is that on a 75 mile trip, the fuel economy of the Typ-1 PHEV is around 400 miles per gallon and on a trip of 120 miles, fuel economy is around 300 miles per gallon.
After 350-400 miles at highway speeds the fuel economy settles in at around 130 MPG, where it stays until it is charged up again. See the graph to the right for more detail. Aptera has chosen the 300 mpg/120 mile range number because they say that a 120 mile range covers the typical daily driving needs of 99% of the US population.
Aptera has received over 3,300 deposits from buyers eager to be among the first to drive this new vehicle. California residents can reserve a vehicle by placing a fully refundable $500 deposit on the Aptera website.