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Is The Future of Solar-Powered Cars Driving on Three Wheels?
Brief: Aptera Motors is developing a solar-powered car that can allegedly achieve a 1,000-mile range on a single charge. This capability would address one of the biggest limitations for many electric vehicles (EVs) compared to gas-fueled vehicles. To cut costs and avoid many of the regulations associated with traditional passenger vehicles, the company has designed its vehicle to have only three wheels. Legally speaking, this makes it closer to a motorcycle (or trike) than a car. Aptera also claims its cars can travel for around 40 miles purely on solar power.
Key People: Co-founder and co-CEO Steve Fambro (former venture partner at Ocean Holding, founder of Famgro LLC), co-founder and co-CEO Chris Anthony (co-founder/chairman of Flux Power), co-founder Michael Johnson (co-founder of Flux Power)
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Security Type: Equity - Common
Amount Raised: $55,862,096
Minimum Investment: $1,000
Here's what I like: I love a great re-founder story (sorta my calling card, if you will). Aptera was originally started back in 2006, but that iteration ended with the business closing its doors in 2011. This go-around, a new management team (a stacked one, I may add) is using a far more efficient model that is less reliant on photovoltaic cells to recharge on-the-go because of how the car itself is designed. Ultimately, the outcome is a car that can travel up to 1,000 miles on a single charge. 👀
There's no doubt that investing in Aptera would be a risky -- but potentially lucrative -- bet. The company's technology is cutting-edge, and if it can live up to its promises, Aptera could very well become the Tesla of the three-wheeled car market.
Here's what I don't love: That said, there are some serious risks associated with investing in Aptera. For one thing, the company is far from proven. It has yet to bring a single car to market (despite reporting more than 30,000 reservations). Furthermore, the electric vehicle market is extremely competitive, and even well-established players like Tesla have struggled to make money. Speaking of Tesla, they own Solar City, and it’s very hard to imagine Elon Musk not integrating this evolving technology into an already stout competitive advantage!
Who should invest and why: So should you invest in Aptera's crowdfunding campaign? That decision ultimately comes down to how much risk you're willing to take. This deal is already at a whopping pre-revenue valuation of $200M -- so even a 4x return would require a billion-plus dollar exit. So, if you're comfortable with putting your hard-earned money into an unproven company with no track record of success, then go for it; you could make a fortune if everything goes right. However, if you're not convinced that Aptera will be able to successfully navigate the challenges facing the electric vehicle industry (again) or you simply don't have spare cash to throw around, you might want to sit this one out.
As always, startup investing is super high-risk, and anything can happen. Don't invest anything you can't afford to lose.
Invest in Aptera Motors here 👉 Term Sheet
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