Storm Sondors, the founder of the wildly successful crowdfunded fat tire electric bike, is back. This time with a new company and bigger ambitions: a three-wheel electric car with a base price of $10,000.
The Sondors Electric Car Company has been teasing the idea on its social media accounts for weeks and recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine. As of Monday, the company has raised more than $255,000, one quarter of its intended goal.
This is project structured differently from the Sondors Electric Bike crowdfunding campaign that launched more than year ago on Indiegogo—one of the platform's most successful to date. Under the ebike campaign, people could plunk down $499, plus shipping, for the original fat tire electric bike. When the fund closed, it had raised more than $6 million, far beyond its initial goal of $75,000. Since then, Sondors has added other electric bikes, which are available on its website. Sondors is the largest electric bike distributor in the U.S. and is sold in 67 other countries worldwide, according to the company.
The electric car is under a different company Sondors Electric Car Company and the crowdfunding campaign is seeking investors—not selling a product just yet. The campaign is offering just under $1 million in commons shares of the Sondors Electric Car Company at $12 per share. The minimum investment is $120, or 10 shares. Investors will be added to the company's reservation list and will be among the first to be able to buy the vehicle. Investors can also sell or gift their reservation. Once the campaign reaches $1 million, the offer closes.
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to design and develop a working prototype for the car. The prototype is expected to be unveiled in California within 12 months of the offer closing.
Sondors launched a video, in typically offbeat style, announcing the project.
The car, called Model Sondors, will seat three people and be available in three range options: 50 miles, 100 miles, and 200 miles, the company says. The vehicle will be designed to have an all-wheel drive dual motor system option, with a battery pack in the floor of the vehicle, and the motor and gearbox in line with the rear axle, according to company's business development plan.
The Sondors Electric Car company, which officially launched in August 2016, has no employees other than its sole officer and director. The company says it plans to begin hiring employees in October 2017.
Once Model Sondors prototype is complete, the company will be entering into an electric vehicle market segment that has experienced increasing activity—and a growing number of options for customers—in the past six years. BMW, General Motors, Daimler's SmartForTwo, and Tesla all have (or in GM's case about to have) all-electric vehicles on the market. Others automakers including Volkswagen plan to bring all-electric vehicles to market in the next few years. Startup Elio Motors has more than 60,000 reservations for its two-seater car, which is a super efficient gas-powered engine .
The low price of the Model Sondors could attract an entirely different customer than who the established automakers are pursuing, putting it head to head with Elio Motors. Now he just has to build it.
Correction: Elio Motors has an efficient gas-powered engine that gets 84 miles on a gallon of gasoline. The story previously stated it was electric.