The resilient startup Aptera has emerged with a strong progress update after a summer dedicated to promoting its forthcoming solar-powered electric vehicle (EV), aptly named after the company itself. Aptera has released not just one, but a pair of videos to keep its supporters informed on the advancements made, which look very promising. There’s speculation that Aptera might be the pioneer in achieving mass production of solar EVs.

The company, an early player in the EV startup scene, was on the radar over a decade ago. Now, Aptera is in its second act, edging closer to the coveted goal within its young and yet-to-be-proven market segment. The startup’s journey has been chronicled extensively, from beta versions to the gamma stage, and it has even secured state grants.

With the introduction of its Launch Edition solar EV, Aptera initiated an accelerator program that rewards early customers who place an order with prioritized deliveries. This is in exchange for crowdfunding, which helps the company acquire the necessary equipment to kickstart production. Currently, Aptera has filled around 1,500 of the 2,000 available production slots, securing the capital needed to support its Body in Carbon (BinC) assembly process through the current validation phase and into the future. The startup has made it a habit to provide monthly updates, often featuring co-founder and Co-CEO Chris Anthony. However, the summer months were relatively quiet.

Recently, Aptera has made a comeback in the public sphere through its favored platform, YouTube, where it has posted some thrilling new updates. The latest news reveals that Aptera has acquired over 60% of the crucial equipment and tools necessary for manufacturing its BinC, including stamping dies and post-processing tools—some of the most costly and time-consuming elements to commission and deliver.

With the stamping dies now in place, Aptera is moving forward with validating its solar EV by assembling builds intended for production. In the next few months, these vehicles will undergo testing to ensure they look and function like the solar EVs that will hopefully be delivered to customers in the future.

The forthcoming steps include completing and validating all six body components into a full BinC, attaching front and rear subframes to the EV’s structural battery pack before moving into the vehicle assembly process at Aptera’s new facility near San Diego, California. In addition to the progress update, Aptera has also shared a video featuring renderings of the assembly lines.

After production-intent testing and validation, the startup will conduct rigorous safety and crash tests, followed by fine-tuning and optimization to ensure passenger safety. Aptera then plans to validate its solar EV manufacturing procedures to refine the entire process. While no specific date has been given for when production will officially start, Aptera is closer than ever to this goal, thanks in large part to its community of customers and investors who believe in its potential. Aptera still has about 540 production slots open for the Launch Edition solar EVs, which require a $10,000 deposit.

Those who prefer to wait for later models can still reserve an Aptera for only $100 down, or $70 with a special link. The full update comes courtesy of Aptera’s chief marketing officer, Sarah Hardwick.