Our engineering department has been working around the clock to complete the first run of initial test prototypes and move Aptera closer to production. Our leadership team is also growing! We’re excited to announce that two of Aptera’s original team members will be re-joining the company: Nathan Armstrong as Chief Technology Officer and Sarah Hardwick as Chief Marketing Officer.
Armstrong, who will be taking on the role of Chief Technology Officer, started working on the first Aptera in 2005 and has an extensive background in engineering and prototyping over the past 26 years involving all varieties of vehicles, robots, aircraft, and spacecraft. Underneath it all, he’s “just a car guy and a total nerd about vehicle engineering and the inherent beauty of light-weighting and simplicity.”
Nathan’s philosophy is designing and building smarter to keep manufacturing jobs at home while improving the health of the planet. He believes in products that are tough and straightforward to repair, crafted to last a long time into the future. “Once you start optimizing with those goals in mind,” he says, “it's amazing how much room there is for improvement over current vehicle design.” Sarah Hardwick, joining as Chief Marketing Officer, ran the communications firm that launched Aptera into the spotlight a decade ago and made headlines across the country. Tapping into what Aptera customers were passionate about, she helped to build and nurture a loyal community of fans who have since followed Aptera to become investors and a founding part of the company’s success. “The first time I saw Aptera, I knew it had the potential to change people’s lives, and I still feel that way,” Sarah said. “The timing is better, the vehicle is better, and the world needs Aptera more than ever.” With these two on board, Aptera is moving forward in a more determined and dynamic way to usher in a new generation of ultra-efficient, safe and beautiful vehicles.
Along with adding extreme talent to the team, we’re also making great progress on our vehicle tooling and development efforts despite COVID slowing down many of our vendors. We’ve begun drivetrain testing and are bringing in new systems to our electrical architecture daily. We are also pushing to finish up our camera systems, displays, user interface systems, and low and high voltage harnessing. Our tooling stands at roughly 70% complete now and interior parts are coming together nicely. Above is a picture of the first primary body structure (no sides) out of our composites shop. We’ll use this in our electrical lab for wiring, EMI testing, and general part fitment. We’re just waiting on our front and rear subframes to install and wire all of our test components. Then we’ll calibrate and test everything in the lab before installing things in our first rolling chassis to begin road testing.
It’s exciting to see everything coming together in preparation to show you, and the world, our exciting solution to the inefficient state of transportation today. Remember that EVs have gained notoriety over the last few years but they still account for less than 1% of the vehicles on the roads around the world. We have a LOT of work to do getting more out of the energy we use to transport people and goods. Aptera uses a quarter of the batteries that a typical EV uses for the same range along with a quarter of the energy per mile. That means that, if every new EV is like taking three gas cars off the roads in terms of emissions, then the Aptera is like taking TWELVE gas cars off the road! Each Aptera put into use will have a huge positive impact on our planet and people's lives!