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Aptera, the solar-powered three-wheel electric vehicle company, recently announced a new Chief Financial Officer, Jannies Sun Burlingame. Burlingame tells Auto Futures how she came to Aptera.

She also reveals how she plans to support the company to bring the most efficient, clean and responsibly sourced vehicle to market. Her background includes experiences that help her in a job today.

Burlingame came to the U.S. from Taiwan when she was eleven years old. She watched Sesame Street and was helped by tutors to learned English in a year. Her mother is a doctor. Her father is a metallurgist who holds forty patents in metal alloy, working as a Tier One automotive supplier.

When she graduated from Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, she was voted most artistic and was the dance captain. When she attended the University of Michigan, her roommate’s father worked for Chrysler. She then received a B.A. in accounting from the University of Southern California.

Then she was involved in auditing and consulting roles with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and her own international consulting firm advising IPOs. She speaks three languages, English, Chinese and German.

She sees her job as a CFO as an adjunct to the CEO.

“The CFO enables the CEO’s vision to be a reality to achieve goals and carry strategies throughout the company,” says Burlingame, “I safeguard the assets.”

Her artistic background helps her presentations. “Art is persuasive. It helps me when I need to make numbers speak and make a presentation so that it is so that the investors understand.”


Burlingame joined Aptera because Aptera is on a mission.

“We are wholehearted and care about the environment. As a mom, I want to leave the world a better place. We are on a solar and electric mission,” says Burlingame.

She met Aptera’s co-founder Steve Fambro through her husband, who owns a catering company, Red Oven at a catering event. She appreciates Fambro’s work in hydroponic growing.

Fambro would give the Burlingames delicious organic kale and parsley. Fambro asked her to look at Aptera’s financials before coming to the company.

Aptera currently has Alpha vehicles and is getting approximately 100 orders a day which means close to a billion dollars in production for the next year, says Burlingame.

Munro and Associates is an investor and advises Aptera. It has mapped out the production line. Aptera will have very clean production with no waste products and choose local suppliers, when possible, says Burlingame.

“Auto factories may not be as pristine as one may think, but many are moving towards a more socially responsible approach.  We are aiming for reduced carbon-footprint from supply chain to assembly, and being clean is an integral part of our build plan,” says Burlingame.

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“Coming from a research background we tend to be conservative with our evaluations.”

Burlingame has driven the Aptera vehicle that reminds her of her Porsche 911, because it is sleek and fast.

Aptera vehicle may look small. However, it has 25-cubic feet of storage that can fit a surfboard. Just for fun, recently 15 kids aged 3 to 15 years old fit in the vehicle says, Burlingame. There is also an available pop-up tent. The company recently revealed the Sol, the second completed Alpha in the fleet of Never Charge Solar Electric Vehicles (sEVs).

Aptera plans on assembling vehicles in the San Diego area. ”We have the layout. We are looking for the perfect location for production in 2022,” says Burlingame.

“People should know how passionate we are about our efficient vehicles with solar panels that can go a thousand miles on a charge. No one comes close to that,” says Burlingame.

There has been quite a bit of news about new electric vehicle companies inflating their numbers, but not Aptera.

“Coming from a research background we tend to be conservative with our evaluations. We are in the position to go IPO or a SPAC. Many factors will decide which one we decide,” says Burlingame.

She is also working on a 60,000-word doctoral dissertation on empathy and negotiation through a double doctoral degree program co-taught by Durham University (England) and Emlyon Business School (France).

When asked if she is an overachiever she answered, “No, I have a passion for learning.”

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