As Aptera moves its way through the development process and toward production, the company knows that its current facility just isn’t going to be enough. For one thing, Aptera is planning to make 40 vehicles daily at some point next year, and that’s not going to happen in a garage or even in a small production facility. So it recently signed a lease on a new manufacturing facility that’s going to give its plans room to grow into reality.
“I started Aptera out of my garage in North County. I’m proud to be back in the community that supported our launch and employ talented people who are working towards a common goal of changing the world through more efficient transportation.” said co-CEO Steve Fambro.
The new facility is in Carlsbad, California and has over 77,000 square feet of space. It also appears to have rather tall ceilings, so there will be plenty of room for the machinery that will no doubt be needed for mass production. Aptera also plans on signing on two other spaces nearby, with 16,000 feet and 8,000 feet for beta development, R&D, and solar composite manufacturing.
On that last one, it may sound strange, as there are many, many places to get solar panels, but nobody has made them so far to withstand the rigors of being placed on a vehicle. Wildly varying temperatures, speeds, noise, vibration, shocks, and other challenges mean the solar panels need to be not only efficient, but light and strong. So, Aptera is definitely going to need to manufacture its own solar panels to make them durable enough for the road.
Pablo Ucar, who has SpaceX and Faraday Future experience, was a big driver of the project’s quick move toward getting a facility. Instead of waiting until later, when the production time is closer, Aptera had to push its schedule up a bit. It turns out that Ucar has a knack for setting up supplier and vendor agreements, and he lined them up faster and in far more quantity than Aptera anticipated.
“We’ll start by producing our first few hundred vehicles, our Paradigm Editions,” says Pablo. “As our supply chain becomes more established, we’ll ramp to 250 per month, and eventually reach our target of producing 40 vehicles per day. To support this demand, we’re predicting growth of our manufacturing and engineering staff by 3-5x over the next three years.”
The move to a new facility was also sped along by the company’s successful funding campaign, which ended up providing $28 million in capital. A public offering is in the plans, hopefully in the next 9-18 months, which will help the company further expand.
Says Chris Anthony, co-CEO, “It’s all coming together! Over the coming months, we will be completing our Beta vehicles, validating our production parts, and moving into testing and certification. We have over 13,000 customers on our reservation list, and our engineering team is working around the clock with a goal to begin delivering vehicles in 2022.”
Aptera plans to eventually expand to dozens and even hundreds of small facilities around the world to produce its vehicles for international clients, so there’s a lot of room for expansion in its future.
Featured image by Aptera.
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