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Solar EV startup Aptera Motors announced it is leaving its “crowdfunding nest” of sorts, putting a bookend on three years of its Regulation A offering to pursue private funding. The startup shared a deadline for public investors while it engages in discussions with private financial group US Capital to help (finally) get its solar EVs into scaled production.

Scaling is hard.

We’ve seen dozens of startups aim for that vital yet oh-so-difficult milestone only to fall flat and go broke. In the small but exciting segment of solar EVs, especially, finding the funds to reach scaled production has proven arduous. However, Aptera Motors has shown its tact and scrappiness in garnering funding via several unique solutions, such as crowdfunding.

In the summer of 2021, Aptera Motors launched a Regulation A offering, which provides an exemption from registration requirements with the SEC in regard to public offerings of its securities, thus opening the door for funding from its (potential) customers up to a certain amount.

In early 2023, Aptera co-founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony announced an Accelerator Program, requesting community funding investments from reservation holders starting at a minimum of $10,000. Those who invested in Aptera have had their deliveries prioritized with commemorative Launch Edition builds.

By February 2024, crowdfunding investors had called “dibs” on all 2,000 initial production slots, raising nearly $34 million. Even so, Aptera’s co-founders relayed that more funding would be required to scale, and the company has been exploring additional funding streams since.

Earlier this month, Aptera introduced a new investment opportunity in the form of a self-directed IRA. Less than two weeks later, Aptera shared a deadline for crowdfunding opportunities as it looks to move forward with private funding from at least one of the larger players in FinTech investments.

Aptera crowdfunding
Source: Aptera Motors/YouTube

Aptera will stop accepting crowdfunding on June 30

Per an email sent to reservation holders and newsletter subscribers, Aptera will close its Regulation A offering on June 30, 2024, capping off three years of crowdfunding that resulted in over $100 million from more than 17,000 investors.

Those faithful investors have secured a stake in Aptera’s future as it sunsets its crowdfunding program and turns to new horizons with private financial group US Capital. Aptera co-founder and co-CEO Chris Anthony spoke about the startup’s next phase in financial security as it gears up for scaled solar EV production:

The response to our Regulation A offering has been overwhelming, and we are grateful for the support of over 17,000 investors who share our passion for clean, efficient transportation. Their investments have been instrumental in propelling Aptera towards production readiness. 

Aptera’s successful crowdfunding efforts have paved the way for the company to engage with US Capital to secure funding for the production of its Launch Edition vehicles. Through this fundraising initiative, Aptera aims to bring its innovative vehicles to market at scale in 2025. 

We are excited to partner with US Capital as we enter this crucial phase of production funding. Their expertise and support will enable us to realize our vision of delivering solar electric vehicles that redefine the future of transportation.

As we’ve reported in the past, the startup remains interested in an IPO to help get production over the finish line, but a partnership with US Capital can help get Aptera into production of the initial Launch Editions and possibly beyond. Anthony gives the full scoop in Aptera’s update video below.

The deadline to invest in Aptera via crowdfunding is June 30, 2024, at 11:59 PM PT.

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Tesla finally releases Autopilot safety data after more than a year




Tesla finally releases Autopilot safety data after more than a year

Tesla has finally decided to release its Autopilot safety data report after taking a break of more than a year.

For years, Tesla used to release a “Vehicle safety report” that tracked miles between accidents in its vehicles based on the level of Autopilot used or not used and compared it to the industry average.

The automaker used the report to claim that its Autopilot technology resulted in a much safer driving experience and that its vehicles would crash much less often than the average car in the US even without Autopilot.

The data was always limited and criticized for not taking into account that accidents are more common on city roads and undivided roads than on the highways, where Autopilot is most commonly used.

But it was the only data that Tesla was willing to release about its Autopilot and therefore, it was still useful to track progress.

However, Tesla stopped reporting the data after Q4 2022 without explaining why.

Tesla has now decided to release the data more than a year later:


Interestingly, Q1 2023, which Tesla is only releasing now, showed a significant decrease in miles driven between accidents compared to the same period for the year prior, which might explain why Tesla stopped releasing the data at that time.

The automaker is only now releasing the data as Q1 2024 shows a significant improvement for Autopilot:

In the 1st quarter, we recorded one crash for every 7.63 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology. For drivers who were not using Autopilot technology, we recorded one crash for every 955,000 miles driven. By comparison, the most recent data available from NHTSA and FHWA (from 2022) shows that in the United States there was an automobile crash approximately every 670,000 miles.

The data is better compared year-over-year rather than quarter-over-quarter due to seasons having a significant impact on accident rates.

Electrek’s Take

This data doesn’t include Full Self-Driving although that gets murky as of late since Tesla now uses the same software stacks with limited functionalities for Autopilot.

It’s nice to see a significant improvement in safety in Q1 2024 despite the limited usefulness of the data. However, I’m really disappointed in Tesla for only releasing the data now that it starts looking better and stopping to release the data in Q1 2023 as it looked bad.

This shows a lack of transparency that doesn’t help build confidence in ADAS systems.

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This ‘supercharger on wheels’ brings fast charging to you




This 'supercharger on wheels' brings fast charging to you

Mobile car care company Yoshi Mobility just launched a DC fast charging EV mobile unit that it likens to “a supercharger on wheels.”

Yoshi Mobility saw that its existing customers needed mobile EV charging in places where infrastructure has yet to be installed, so the Nashville-based company decided to bring the mountain to Moses.

“We recognized a demand among our customers for convenient daily charging, reliable private charging networks, and proper charging infrastructure to support their fleet vehicles as they transition to electric,” said Dan Hunter, Yoshi Mobility’s chief EV officer and cofounder.

The company says its 240 kW mobile DC fast charger, which can turn “any EV” into a mobile charging unit, is the first fully electric mobile charger available. It can provide multiple charges in a single trip but doesn’t detail how they charge the DC fast charger or who manufactured it. (I’ve asked for more details.)

Yoshi is launching its mobile charger on two GM BrightDrop Zevo 600s and will introduce additional vehicles throughout 2024. It aims for full commercialization by Q1 2025. (I wonder if the Zevo 600 ever charges itself? Yes, I asked that too.)

Yoshi Mobility says it’s already deployed its EV charging solutions to service “major OEMs, autonomous vehicle companies, and rideshare operators” across the US. Its initial customers are made up of large EV operators managing “hundreds” of light-duty vehicles requiring up to 1 megawatt of energy per day that don’t yet have grid-connected EV chargers. I’ve asked Yoshi for details of who it’s working with, and will update if they share that info.

The company says pricing is based on location and enterprise charging needs. Once under contract for service, the service will be deployed to US-based customers within 10 days.

To date, Yoshi Mobility has raised more than $60 million, with investments from GM Ventures, Bridgestone, ExxonMobil, and Y-Combinator in Silicon Valley.

Read more: Mercedes-Benz just opened more DC fast chargers at Buc-ee’s in Texas

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Toyota US boss says company is ‘catching up’ on electric vehicles




Toyota US boss says company is 'catching up' on electric vehicles

Is Toyota catching up in the US electric vehicle market? Although Toyota’s US boss, Ted Ogawa, admits it’s behind Tesla, he believes the company is “catching up” on electric vehicles and new tech.

Toyota has been among the biggest laggards in shifting to fully electric vehicles. After a rocky start (including a recall) with the launch of its first EV in the US, the bZ4X, Toyota has failed to gain traction in the market.

Of the over 2.2 million Toyota vehicles sold in the US last year, only 9,329 were all-electric, or less than 0.5%.

The trend has continued this year, with only 1,897 bZ4X models sold through March. That’s less than 0.4% of the over 486,000 Toyota vehicles sold in Q1.

Ogawa says Toyota is watching customer demand for EVs rather than regulations. “However, the BEV was our missing piece two years ago, so that’s why we were very much criticized,” Ogawa explained in a new interview with Automotive News.

After building internally over the past two years, Toyota’s US boss believes the company is “catching up” on electric vehicles and new tech.

2024 Toyota bZ4X (Source: Toyota)

Is Toyota catching up on electric vehicles?

For example, Ogawa said that Toyota headquarters is building a “very exclusive factory” for EVs.

The new “BEV Factory” will feature several new technologies new to Toyota. The company showed off its next-gen EV production line last year with Giga casting, a process made popular by Tesla.

Mixed production at Motomachi factory (Source: Toyota)

Toyota says its “wealth of knowledge” about molds will help speed up production. The company believes it can reduce the lead time for changing molds to around 20 minutes compared to 24 hours.

Other tech like self-propelled assembly lines and robots are promised to enhance efficiency while minimizing defects.

(Source: Toyota)

Toyota also revealed new EV battery plans last summer, including two next-gen batteries due out by 2027. The first “Performance” battery is promised to feature over 800 km (497 miles) range while cutting costs by 20% compared to the bZ4X.

Meanwhile, the “Popularisation” version, due out in 2026-2027, is expected to feature over 600 km (372 miles) range at 40% lower costs.

Toyota EV battery roadmap (Source: Toyota)

Further out (2027-2030), Toyota plans to launch a series of “further evolution” batteries, including solid-state batteries with over 1,000 km (621 mi) range and 10-min fast charge.

Ogawa believes “this is kind of the starting year of the real multipath way, like the hybrid, which we already have, and then plug-in, something between hybrid and BEV, and then BEV, which it is time to introduce to the market.”

Although Toyota is “of course” behind Tesla’s battery tech, according to Ogawa, the company is “catching up.” Ogawa said Toyota is not only catching up on EVs but “also the ecosystem surrounding the BEV area, such as the home charging or energy management.”

Electrek’s Take

Is Toyota really catching up this time? We’ve heard this several times in the past from executives.

With EVs accounting for less than 0.4% of sales in the US, Toyota will need to do more to prove it. Toyota planned to launch solid-state EV batteries in 2021 and 2022, but now we are not expected to see them hit the market until around 2028 (at the earliest).

Other tech, like Giga casting and automated production, will help improve efficiency, but new EVs are not expected to debut until 2026.

Toyota has made several investments recently to boost US production, including a $1.4 billion investment in Indiana to build a new electric SUV, separate from its promised three-row EV model.

Can new models and tech help Toyota catch up in the electric vehicle market this time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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