Going Green is constantly seeking out the best and brightest leaders in the cleantech, electric vehicle, and green energy space, and we were especially excited to sit down with Aptera Co-CEO, Steve Fambro, to learn about his vision for the future of electric vehicles.
Being based in San Diego, we are thrilled to talk to local entrepreneurs and leaders in the cleantech space. Compared to other major tech cities, San Diego doesn’t often come up in conversation, yet it is quickly establishing itself as a leader in biotech, cleantech, and sustainable entrepreneurship.
Aptera has a long history of challenging the status quo when it comes to electric vehicles. On February 28, 2020, the company announced it closed a $2 million round of private financing, supplementing Aptera’s current crowdfunding efforts, where the company had already raised over 300% of their crowdfunding goal.
Let’s learn more about Co-CEO Steve Fambro, and how he got into the electric vehicle space.
Tell us about your background:
I’m a late bloomer. I joined the Army at 17 and left the Army 4 years later while in Germany. Later in the US, I got my BSEE and was hired out of Uni by Illumina in San Diego where I was the only EE on a team that made robots that made DNA. From here, I sold my Illumina stock and started Aptera. Later I started a company specializing in vertical farming which took me and my family to the middle east for 2 years. We returned in 2017 to re-start Aptera with Chris.
What caused you to get into your industry?
I wanted to make electric cars affordable and profitable without government subsidies. I saw how we could use radical efficiency to make them financially viable and commercially sustainable by needing much less batteries than any comparable vehicle- batteries being the most expensive part.
What trends are you seeing in your industry?
While there is a greater, albeit slow march towards electric vehicles, all of them need some government support to be viable. I see only Aptera changing this trend. Also, basic (level 2) self driving autonomy will be seen as a minimum standard for EV consumers.
What is one Action Item for our listeners and viewers to take away from this conversation?
I would say- check us out! See if our values and if our solar vehicle that virtually never needs charging resonates with you, support us!
What is a fun fact about you?
My appendix ruptured this January while I was at the gym. I had surgery within a few hours but complications arose. After 6 or 7 days in the hospital I was so ready to get out, I was desperate. I detected that maybe one of the nurses had mentioned to the doctor, incorrectly, when my wound drainage tank was emptied- meaning I’d have to stay another day. But I had been taking pictures of the tank and made a spreadsheet and graph to show the surgeon I was no longer draining fluid and should be released without delay. He bought it!
Where do you see your industry ten years from now?
I think Covid-19 was the nail in the coffin for the idea of shared ownership vehicles. People want to have their own vehicle, whether they lease it or own it. A person’s car is their avatar, not an appliance. I’m surprised the car companies ever bought into that idea.
Thank you Steve, for taking the time and sharing your vision for the future of electric vehicles.
Our goal on Going Green is to bring you the latest in cleantech news and technology, while also giving you action items to takeaway and apply to your life. We focus a lot on energy, transportation, finance, and media. Aptera has utilized these four industries to change the future of electric vehicles.
We are excited to follow the journey of Aptera, and watch as they bring their vision to life. With the success of their crowdfunding campaign, as well as their ability to raise money through investors, their 2020 and 2021 will be exciting to watch, as the plan is currently to build and test development vehicles through the 3rd quarter of 2020, then move from development into production by the end of 2020.
Steve is an upcoming guest on the Going Green podcast. Going Green interviews leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate on the Going Green podcast. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts.