Aptera to showcase solar EV tech in the UAE as it preps its first production-intent builds [Video]


Aptera Motors has just delivered its first solar EV to a customer. April fools! Yes, it is now April, which means we get another video update from Aptera. This month’s progress update recaps a recent visit to France, details an upcoming trip to the United Arab Emirates, and talks about the status of Aptera’s first production-intent solar EV builds. Watch the video in full below.

Aptera Motors is a veteran solar EV startup that perpetually remains on Electrek’s radar for two reasons. First, it’s the only viable contender left working toward scaled solar EV production, potentially paving the way for a new form of electric mobility that takes sustainability to a whole new echelon.

Secondly, Aptera remains newsworthy in its quest because it prides itself on offering a refreshing level of public transparency, posting monthly video updates usually led by at least one, if not both, of the startup’s co-founders and co-CEOS, Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony.

Aptera’s February update video included a peek at its upcoming solar EV app, as well as a glimpse at the upcoming vehicle’s battery packs that supply partner CTNS will manufacture in South Korea. That video followed a separate post from Aptera offering a look at the forthcoming build process of its production-intent solar EVs.

In this month’s update, Aptera shares even more details about the production-intent build process while laying out its plans for April and beyond.

Aptera production-intent

Aptera is building its first production-intent solar EV

The four-and-a-half-minute update from Aptera Motors can be viewed in its entirety below, but here’s a quick recap for you. The video opens with a look at Aptera’s first production body structure bonded together, which, according to co-CEO Chris Anthony, is on its way to Aptera’s headquarters in Carlsbad, CA, right now.

The production body will enable Aptera’s electrical engineers to finalize cable routing and component placement, a vital precursor to building drivable production-intent solar EVs. Next, Anthony recaps Aptera’s recent visit to JEC World 2024 in Paris, where its Body in Carbon (BinC) was displayed.

From the conference, Ennegi General Manager Marco Ciselli walks you through the BinC build and explains the work that went into the molds that helped bring the current iteration of the Aptera solar EV to life. This is an exciting process we recommend you check out below.

Ok, it’s time for the juicy stuff – the production updates. Anthony says Aptera is building “PI-2,” its first solar EV operating with a production-intent drivetrain, frame, safety structure, and suspension.

As Aptera preps for the PI-2 build, the EV’s suspension geometry is being finalized in Italy by CPC Group ahead of the tooling of framing and suspension components. Per Chris Anthony in the video:

In preparation for our production-intent vehicles, we’ve kicked off many parts of our supply chain to complete systems such as lighting and our seats. Our battery supplier, CTNS, has been kicked off to build production-intent modules and validate their production process.

Anthony also explained that to speed up the production-intent build process, Aptera’s battery team in Southern California has ordered parts to build its first full packs, which should be implemented in PI-2. Other non-structural body parts are being validated in Italy as the tooling process and production-intent builds will continue “in the coming months.”

Looking ahead, Aptera says it will be attending DRIFTx in Abu Dhabi – a conference in the United Arab Emirates that, according to Anthony, “promotes investment in groundbreaking ideas such as Aptera.” Could we see some new investors later this month to get Aptera into scaled production? That money could also move the startup closer to its planned IPO. We have to watch this closely.

Check back with Electrek often for the latest updates on Aptera’s production progress. As promised, here’s the full March 2024 update video:

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