US solar EV maker Aptera forms alliance with CTNS for battery pack production

31 Jan 2024

US solar EV maker Aptera forms alliance with CTNS for battery pack production

US start-up Aptera Motors has entered into a strategic alliance with South Korean battery pack producer CTNS, in a move aimed at scaling up production of its transformative solar-powered electric vehicle.

Aptera has signed multiple agreements with CTNS, establishing a formal business relationship to build a battery pack programme. The agreements also aim at developing other energy solutions and revenue streams together, which could pave the way for the creation of a joint venture subsidiary dedicated to advancing these initiatives, says a company release.

CTNS is an expert in battery innovation technology offering services for the development, manufacture, and management of battery packs for industries, including robotics, electric vehicles, and air mobility.

As per the agreement, CTNS will support Aptera in designing, building, and validating a battery pack programme that is high-quality, energy-efficient, and reliable. The company will source and install battery production lines for Aptera in Carlsbad, California and supply the battery pack for Aptera’s solar electric vehicle that is launching with decent 400-mile range and up to 40 miles per day just from the sun’s rays.

Chris Anthony, Co-CEO of Aptera, stated that their alliance with CTNS will allow them to reduce the risk and overall cost of the solar electric vehicle programme. He further stated that with CTNS’s support, a faster approach to validating the final battery pack, which would include UN and IEC certification, can be achieved. He also emphasized that this would enable the company to build an indigenous battery line faster.

Changwon-based CTNS has grown to become the largest battery pack supplier for the robotics industry in South Korea. The company offers end-to-end development and manufacturing of battery packs for companies, including HL Mando, a leading supplier for Hyundai and KIA Motors, Hyundai Robotics, Hyundai Mobis, SK E&S, and more.

Steve Fambro, the co-CEO of Aptera Motors, expressed that through the California Environment Commission’s Clean Transportation Programme, they would be able to expedite the development of a crucial component of their zero-emission vehicle. He mentioned that this initiative would also generate additional business and employment opportunities in California, aligning with their overarching goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state and beyond.

The two companies already have a partnership agreement to establish a joint venture company for Aptera’s battery pack programme and other energy solutions.

CTNS will contribute $5 million to support Aptera’s battery pack programme. The agreement is also supported by the Korean grant programme and will be complemented by a $10 million grant from the CEC.

CTNS CEO, Ki-jeong Kwon, expressed anticipation for a productive partnership that would foster innovation and sustainability in the transportation, maritime, and aerospace industries. He emphasized their shared commitment to innovation in energy technology.

Aptera Motors has achieved breakthroughs in battery efficiency, aerodynamics, material science, and manufacturing. It has also achieved the longest range of up to 1,000 miles per charge for an EV and the ability to travel up to 40 miles a day on free power from its integrated solar panels. Aptera’s unique shape, with only six body components, allows it to slip through the air using far less energy than other electric and hybrid vehicles today.

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