Aptera Motors, a Carlsbad, California-based company that is developing an ultra-efficient vehicle, announced on July 24th that it raised more than $24 million at the close of its series C round of financing. The company said that the funds will be used to start initial production of its Aptera Typ-1 vehicle and for a new manufacturing facility located in Vista, California. Aptera Motors’ investors now include Idealab, Esenjay Investments, The Simons Family, The Beall Family Trust, and Google, Inc.
"We’re excited that the tremendous demand that we’ve received from the thousands of individuals who have pre-ordered their Aptera Typ-1 has been matched with a strong endorsement from our investment partners," said Steve Fambro, founder and CEO of Aptera Motors. "The vehicle is exciting, the timing seems perfect and the market is eager to buy one of these first built units. These new funds will be instrumental as we pursue our goal of bringing the Typ-1 to market later this year."
"With energy prices and oil prices where they are, we feel dramatic increases in the efficiency of transportation, like the Typ-1, are greatly needed," said Bill Gross, chairman and CEO of Idealab. "The Aptera Typ-1 is designed to be the lowest energy way to transport two passengers safely from point A to point B. Clearly, our expectations for this first vehicle and this company are very high."
According to the company, the Aptera Typ-1 will be "the most efficient passenger vehicle in the world." The first production models are scheduled for release in December 2008. The all-electric version will achieve up to 120 miles per charge, and the hybrid version (which will be available 12 months after) will achieve nearly 300 MPG. The following video, from the September 2007 Aptera launch party, provides additional information on Aptera Motors.
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eSolar, an Idealab company based in Pasadena, CA that produces scalable solar thermal power plants, announced on Monday that it closed $130 million in funding from Idealab, Google.org, Oak Investment Partners, and other investors for the construction and deployment of its pre-fabricated power plants. In January eSolar received $10 million from Google.org.
"eSolar’s primary business goal is nothing short of making solar electricity for less than the price of coal, without subsidies," said Bill Gross, eSolar Chairman and Founder of Idealab. "This is not only attainable, but will truly change the world."
eSolar’s distributed solar thermal plants are designed to address the complex issues involved in large or utility-scale power projects and are able to achieve economies of scale at 33 MW. The modular design of these plants have a number of benefits, including requiring minimal land and yielding a low environmental footprint.
"The eSolar™ power plant is based on mass manufactured components, and designed for rapid construction, uniform modularity, and unlimited scalability," said Asif Ansari, CEO of eSolar. "Rather than over-engineering the solution, eSolar’s smart scalable solar architecture targets what we see as the four key business obstacles facing the sector: price, scalability, rapid deployment, and grid impact."
eSolar has secured land rights in the southwest United States to support the production and transmission of over 1 GW of power. eSolar will have a fully operational power plant later this year in southern California.
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Infinia Corporation, a Kennewick, Washington-based company, today announced that it has closed a $50 million Series B round of financing.The funds will be used to support the commerical launch of the company’s Infinia Solar System product, which J.D. Sitton, Infinia’s President and CEO, states, "[W]ill change the game in the solar power generation market." The Infinia Solar System combines Infinia’s free-piston Stirling engine with a dish-style solar concentrator to produce three kilowatts of grid-quality electric power. Infinia expects to start manufacturing and selling this product later in 2008.
The funding round announced today was led by GLG Partners. Other participants in this round were Wexford Capital LLC and previous investors Vulcan Capital, Khosla Ventures, EQUUS Total Return, Inc., Idealab and Power Play Energy, LLC. In addition, Infinia announced that John Small of GLG Partners will become a member of the company’s Board of Directors.
Infinia previously announced investments of $3.5 million in February 2005 and $9.5 million in June 2007. For more information: