MemberJune 16, 2022 at 5:16 pm
I am considering having an Aptera as my primary vehicle.
The idea of driving most of the time for basically free is very appealing to me.
The thing is I would be giving up a 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue for a 400-mile range Aptera with a fully loaded solar package, back glass fully covered and all-wheel drive, which is a MUST for a 3-wheel drive vehicle. Now it is just me, so that would not seem to be too much of a problem.
But I am concerned about how it would handle adverse weather conditions, such as snow, ice, and the occasional flash flooding that hits here in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where I live.
Also, severe weather storms with hail are common here in the spring and sometimes summer months. How would the solar panels stand up to Hail damage?
Now I have my Aptera on a reservation, but I am on the fence as to whether I should give up my 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue for an Aptera as a one and only primary vehicle.
So, I am asking this wonderful community for everyone’s opinion.
If it was YOU…would you make this decision?
I humbly ask this because different people bring different perspectives and I value all of your opinions!
Fort Smith, Arkansas.
MemberJune 16, 2022 at 6:44 pm
@Darrell Cravens How’re all you northerners up in Arkansas doin? 😆 Seriously, ’round these parts, anyone living north of I-20 is considered to be a Yankee!
Down here in DEEP southwestern Mississippi, Aptera will be my only vehicle: As a single person I don’t require more than one vehicle, plus I have only a one-car garage!
There should be no reason for Aptera to handle adverse road conditions any differently than any other modern FWD or AWD vehicle. The same rules should apply: Do NOT try to drive through standing or rushing water. Drive slowly and carefully on ice. Make sure you have winter or all-season tires for driving through rain and snow. Endeavor to drive around deer, not through them.
Aptera’s solar cells are encapsulated within removeable body panels: They’re not covered with glass like the panels you see mounted on peoples’ homes and barns. They’re currently stress-testing several different possible varieties of panel. My guess would be that, as some form of “plastic”, hail will bounce off them up to a point, just as it will bounce off of the composite body panels. If they do become damaged, the panels can be removed and replaced.
MemberJune 16, 2022 at 7:12 pm
One option is to hold on to the Hyundai after your receive your Aptera. Try to use your Aptera as much as possible. If you find the Hyundai just collecting dust you can, in good conscience, let it go and commit to the Aptera. On the other hand, if the Aptera is a bit to quirky (e.g., in foul weather) or unreliable for whatever reason (let’s hope not!) and you find yourself going back to the Hyundai from time to time, then maybe it’s better to hold on to both.
My wife and I downsized to just one car 2½ years ago and haven’t looked back. When we have our Aptera we will probably keep our current car (a 2018 Subaru Outback). There are times when we would like to have more than 2 people in the car. But that is very rare and it may not justify keeping the Outback around. Otherwise, I’ve been thinking along the lines that I’ve described above.
My 2¢ worth…
MemberJune 17, 2022 at 3:14 am
I am planning on my Aptera being my only vehicle living in NE Ohio where we obviously have much worse winter weather and storms. I am a little worried about snow and my reservation does have the off road package to help deal with the snow depths on the the roads here. The off road package will also probably be helpful for the potholes on the roads that plague this area. Not exactly the same but I have a 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited (non hybrid) and I REALLY like it but I am going to let it go when I finally get my Aptera. I don’t think hail damage on the solar cells is anything to worry about as from what I have been reading from Aptera they have tested them in those conditions and even if worse case they are replaceable.
ModeratorJune 17, 2022 at 5:04 am
Darrell, welcome! Like Bart, I live in NE Ohio. Currently driving a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid. My daily driving is limited to roads that are regularly plowed in the winter. I’m retired so this will be our “get around” vehicle for local travel. My wife has a Subaru Crosstrek so that will be our alternative if we need to plow through blizzards and do the occasional summer trip. I have no worries about Aptera as a primary vehicle for me.
MemberJune 17, 2022 at 6:58 am
I’ll be taking a wait and see approach. I have a Tesla Model 3 which I’ll keep along side the Aptera at least until I’ve been through one winter. I did the same thing with my Volt after I got the Tesla, after I determined that the Tesla’s winter range loss wasn’t a problem I gave my Volt to my sister. With the Aptera I will want to see how well it handles winter but I’ll also want to see if it’s multi-day road trip capable. It’s range will make it even easier than the Tesla for doing single day trips because it can go farther than I can possible drive in a day. For multi day trips it’s DC charging speeds will matter and nobody will know how good or bad it will be until they start shipping customer vehicles. If they end up with CCS, Chris desperately wants to use Tesla but it’s unclear if Tesla will allow them to do that, I’ll want to see how reliable the CCS network actually is.
MemberJune 17, 2022 at 7:18 am
My Aptera will be used for about 99% of my daily driving. My only concern is that I usually leave for work before the plows are out in full force, so often have to drive on unplowed or poorly plowed highways. AWD works great for slippery conditions, but my concern is that it will be difficult to stay in the tracks made by other cars due to the third wheel, as well as the very wide wheelbase up front. When you get out of those tracks, vehicles really get pulled around. I don’t see any concern for city driving, but highways might be interesting. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. At least I can still cheat because I’ll be selling my current car, but keeping my 4WD Dodge Ram around. I hate driving that thing when it isn’t absolutely necessary, but if the Aptera turns out to be a total basketcase on snowy highways, it’s not the end of the world if I have to drive the truck when heavy snow is expected.
P.S. I know many of us are looking at Aptera because we have environmental concerns. You’ll have to forgive me for the truck. It ONLY gets driven by me or lent to friends/family when actual truck work is involved. It doesn’t even go through a tank of gas a year.
MemberJune 17, 2022 at 9:07 am
I would say that your main decision drivers for the Aptera being your only vehicle is driven even more by whether or not a 2 seater will always work for you and if the good storage space in the back meets all your needs. Snow can potentially be planned around some (unless you have a job with inflexible schedule), plus it is only a small percentage of the overall year in your southern state. Hail will be sporadic but will occur no matter if it is your primary or second vehicle, so that decision response may depend more upon your parking scenario (if generally in garage / carport or open outside).
MemberJune 17, 2022 at 2:22 pm
I will be using the Aptera as my primary vehicle, but I will be keeping my 2011 Volt for use for the few times I need to carry more passengers.
MemberJune 17, 2022 at 4:58 pm
I know it’s different for everyone, but I laugh when people ask me why I’m buying a two-seater as a daily driver. Only one time in the six years I’ve owned my current car have I needed the back seat for people. I’d hold onto the Volt as well though. I was so mad Chevy killed it just when I decided to go new car shopping.
MemberJune 17, 2022 at 6:33 pm
How often do you have more than 2 people in your car? During those times how convenient would it be to meet people at the destination or ride with them? It’s pretty easy to rent a 4 seat or pickup if they are only occasionally needed. Think hard. The extra, rarely used vehicle can be expensive with taxes, depreciation, insurance etc.
MemberJune 18, 2022 at 7:19 am
Not only is the Aptera going to be my primary vehicle, it’s going to serve as a light duty delivery vehicle. I’m getting the awd package so I’m hoping that’s enough to deal with the few times a year I have to drive when the streets are covered. Only other major concern I have is how far the front wheels stick out. I foresee myself curbing them regularly or even an inattentive driver running into them.
I just thought of a minor concern. My driveway gets a ridiculous amount of sun. It’s resulted in faded paint and even melted parts on past cars. It would be ironic that my Aptera suffers similar damage.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Che McKittrick.
MemberJune 18, 2022 at 7:57 am
My Aptera will be my primary vehicle.
(OK, my wife has an SUV…..)
MemberJune 18, 2022 at 9:36 am
Well, according to Aptera US, you have within 1wk/1kmi window to see if your Aptera fits you.
If it does, I’ll ditch my DD/primary 2014 Mazda6 Touring 6MT (routinely does 42mpg). If not, a 2 seater Mazda Miata RF.
MemberJune 18, 2022 at 10:15 pm
Howdy, I too plan to use my Aptera as my primary vehicle. The last time I used the back seat on my Mitsubishi Mirage was last year when I went on a family workation, but I could have just as easily rented a Turo for that occasion. I swear I have rented on Turo.com for as low as $12/day, but I seem to average around $30/day when I do. So, I might even get rid of my trusty 3-cylinder Mistubishi Mirage once I have my Aptera.
Even though I work remotely from my home, I travel a lot for my job. The trek I do most frequently is to the vicinity of where the Headquarters of the company I work for is located, which is about 190 miles away. But I usually don’t bungee in and bungee out, so I could easily drive there with my 400 mile range Aptera, then, usually, 3 days later, after it’s been parked in the sun, even on a rainy week, I would still have enough to make it back without ever having to worry about looking for a charging station the whole time that I am on travel.
I’m an electronics engineer so if I ever have to carry anything in addition to my backpack and garment bag such as test equipment like power meters, oscilloscopes, power supplies and the such, that would very easily fit in the Aptera. But I usually don’t need to lug that stuff anyway.
Also, for extra long cross-country trips, I might consider staying at camping sites or truck stops along the way and using the camping option for additional cost-savings. The Aptera will allow for environmental controls too whilst camping, which is kind of like glamping lol. I do make all of my business travels a bit of an adventure, so I look forward to this. And I love the fact that, of need be, the APtera can charge at a speed of up to 500 miles per hour at a fast-charging station, so, in the time that it takes me to do a nature break and catch a bite to eat, the battery will be topped off for another 400 miles range.
This vehicle will not simply a toy, nor a show-offy thing, though I will be very proud of it. I intend it to be very functional and it will likely rack up a lot of miles just like my Mistubishi Mirage which has 150K miles on it and still drives like new. The MSRP on my Mirage was $12,500 when I bought it so my Aptera will cost me > 2X as much, and I’ve been able to eke out > 64 mpg on my Mirage so the cost savings and ROI in comparison to what I’m driving will only be a little but it’s also my contribution to energy independence and it can serve as backup during power outages, which I have a lot of in my neck of the woods. I live out in the sticks! lol
41kW (400 mile range Aptera) can run a:
Fridge = 200W = 205 hrs
My main AC wall unit = 600W = 68 hrs
My microwave oven = 700W = 59 hrs
Fan on my wood stove in the winter = 50W = 820 hrs, so I won’t freeze in the winter
My laptop = 75W = 547 hrs
Each LED lamp light = 12 W = 3,417 hrs
And that just gives an idea as to what an Aptera can do in the event of a power outage. Likely we would run a combo of these things, but not all of them at t he same time and even a refrigerator doesn’t run it’s compressor full time and we are not always microwaving food.
I can’t wait to get my hands on mine!
MemberJune 24, 2022 at 1:29 pm
I currently have the M3 (wife’s work car) and the 96 Cherokee. Since I’m retired and a wood worker my concern was for the amount of lumber I might want to drop into the back (cringe) but I could also get it delivered if the amount was too large. Obviously the 96 is paid for and insurance is cheap but this is also about savings. So the 96 has to go. No need for more than two people in the car at this stage and if they need a ride, get a job and buy a car. lol
Any 220 or 110 line in the house will get you either the fast or slow charge if it’s not sitting in the sun. Simply add the proper receptacles and you’re good to go. No need for the electrician fees.