Aptera starts to market its solar panel technology

Aptera Motors, the Californian start-up for solar electric vehicles (SEV), wants to expand into new mobility industries by licensing its innovative solar technology. Retrofitting cars with solar panels can significantly boost their range. Aptera Motors is looking into various sectors to offer its propriety technology, not only automotive.

Aptera is in the phase of scaling its business. This complex and diligent procedure has already torpedoed several newcomers in the EV industry, like Fisker, to mention one.

Accelerating revenue streams

Aptera itself also survived bankruptcy before resurrecting in 2019. Since then, the SEV maker has relied on public investment for its go-to-market strategy and wants to accelerate its revenue streams by widening its product portfolio. It’s not about a new car but about licensing the solar panel technology that powers the tear-dropped three-wheeler in its range.

Advanced solar technology can also be applied to conventional battery-powered cars and vans to significantly enhance the range and grid independence. Solar power can add over 17,700 km annually to the vehicle’s range in sunny regions, while it can contribute more than 12,800 km in less sunny areas.

This breakthrough reduces the need for frequent charging, alleviating pressure on the electrical grid while addressing the pitfalls of sufficient charging infrastructure.

It’s worth noting that the latest reports from the European Alternative Fuels Observatory indicate that the rollout is on track, especially in Belgium. Also, utility companies spot bottlenecks for depots and giant parking lots rather than public charging.

From ground equipment to trailers

However, Aptera looks beyond the usual suspects in the automotive industry. Several companies offer similar solutions. One notable initiative is a pilot program with Averest to retrofit ground support equipment for a major global airline.

This project includes applying Aptera’s solar technology to a Trepel 280 E pushback tractor and other electric utility vehicles, such as baggage carts. It is set to be completed by Q3 2024 and aims to eliminate the need for conventional charging, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce maintenance and downtime.

Next to ground support equipment, Aptera is also looking into the recreational vehicle industry, logistics, marine, and beyond. Another customer is Polydrop, a start-up in aesthetically pleasing EV trailers that minimize drag and impact on the electric car towing these mobile spaces. In this case, they can provide ‘domestic’ energy while camping.

‘Just the beginning’

Steve Fambro, co-founder of Aptera Motors, said: “Our collaborations with industry leaders like Averest and Polydrops are just the beginning. By leveraging our intellectual property, we are driving innovations that put solar power at the forefront of transportation for personal vehicles and across various sectors.”

As for its solar electric vehicle, Aptera promised to bring it to the factory halls late last year. However, the company is still finalizing its investment round to start production.

As said, scaling is a tough job. One can ask solar vehicle colleagues Lightyear or Sono Motors, both stranded while attempting to reach or grow production. The latter is now committed to supplying solar panel kits for retrofitting. Most fitting, indeed.


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