Aptera Beta Progress Thread

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera Beta Progress Thread

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera Beta Progress Thread

  • Aptera Beta Progress Thread

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 8:42 am

    Discuss Beta Progress and updates here:

    What is the status of the Beta prototypes?

    Tooling? Molds? Are bodies in process?

    Last I heard – as of June, some engineering changes were made to various things after Alphas, and we will probably hear more after Luna is unveiled.

  • Len Nowak Nowak

    Moderator
    August 13, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Last I saw was Aptera’s Beta Update vehicle from Steve… but none of that granularity with stages and timing

    Yes Luna being finalized, so that is next ( later this month?)

  • Steven G. Bueche

    Member
    August 13, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Can you discuss any tweaks being made to the Beta besides head and side room?

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      August 19, 2021 at 11:08 pm

      In one of the webinars we saw a beta rendering that showed the shell having a molded upper and slower structural member – whereas the alphas have a molded left and a molded right with a molded inner floor structure. It wasn’t explained – just shown…

    • Mark Langenhoven

      Member
      August 22, 2021 at 6:48 am

      Steve mentioned in one of the videos that the cargo area will also be deeper on future models.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    August 19, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    Update: They started milling the molds for beta vehicles last week, so they should have the molds within the next 4 weeks – so circa Sept. 16 they should have molds for beta bodies. So it sounds like there may be a beta body around the end of September.

    Plates for 12 betas also arrived recently.

    • Fanfare 100

      Member
      August 19, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      How might this align with the capability to deliver the fist vehicles before the end of the year?

      September –> October –> November –> December does not leave much time. Might we have visibility to a Master Schedule within a reasonable time?

  • Henry Kitt

    Member
    August 19, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    Yeah, what I think the goal is now is to have a “production intent” vehicle by the end of the year, so the only thing that I think may be possible at this point is to have fully completed 1 delta vehicle, and use that as a basis for scaling in 2022.

    Though in that scenario the delta vehicle would need to be almost identical to the beta vehicles, outside of some cosmetic touches.

    Fully outfitting a new production facility will take awhile so first deliveries in January 2022 is probably far fetched.

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      August 19, 2021 at 11:11 pm

      As I understand it, gamma prototypes are “production intent” while deltas are “production ready,” usually having been constructed using the actual “assembly line”. The only difference between gamma and delta is tweaking to improve the “manufacturability” of the design.

  • Steven G. Bueche

    Member
    August 20, 2021 at 3:01 am

    With some of the issues facing them about acquiring a manufacturing building I would think they’d be hard pressed to move in, set up and start building before mid 2022. I don’t have any insider information so I’m just guessing. But if it takes 30 days to machine a mold and it appears they’ve got 6 due soon with the recent changes, then ramping up assembly sequences, part suppler issues, test runs, crash tests and everything else I think mid 2022 seems a bit more realistic.

  • Alex L

    Member
    August 20, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    I am *more* than happy to have delays now if it means not compromising on the final product.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    August 21, 2021 at 3:53 am

    I would like to know how the molds are constructed.

    • Len Nowak Nowak

      Moderator
      August 21, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      Seems like it is formed the way Chris Anthony’ composite boat’s hulls were formed???

      For the Aptera…. a resin filled sandwich core composite

      I believe there are old pictures in the website/on the internet, posted just before the Dec 2019 Noir reveal that showed some of the forming operation… but more than that… I have not seen.

    • Norman Roberts

      Member
      August 21, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      from past comments, molds are 3D printed, but Chris said milling machines were firing up to make the molds ?? Maybe they are 3D printed and final cut to precise shape on a mill ??

      • George Hughes

        Member
        August 22, 2021 at 8:45 am

        Maybe a 3-D subtractive process where you start with a specific material and then remove the parts you don’t need.

        As far as the assembly factory from my understanding, the hand-built production design has most systems pre-assembled and put into the final car.

        It may help you conjure an image of how spartan the assembly line may be – I understand the car is assembled on a small air-dolly that can lower and lift the car during assembly as it is rolled, on the dolly, down the assembly line. The main challenge is establishing the order of operations in the construction for the fastest quality build quality build they can offer without incurring the major expense of giant presses and paint shops. They would need air-compressors around to run the power tools and to operate the lift on the dolly but compared to the image folks have of an automobile assembly plant, this factory is ‘nothing’ but a wide-open warehouse.

        The understanding of this simplicity in construction comes from Nathan Armstrong who contends that a single man with seven simple hand tools can take an Aptera apart in a matter of a few hours. (The bonded body would not be separated in this deconstruction.)

        • Steve Lee

          Member
          August 24, 2021 at 9:41 am

          George, do you happen to remember the link to where Nathan Armstrong said that someone could take it apart in a few hours with hand tools? I want to show my friend that because he’s a big right to repair guy and that might convince him to buy the car.

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      August 23, 2021 at 9:52 pm

      We saw the molds for the alpha shells being CNC-milled from foam blocks – which is typical for fiberglass molding. Whatever composite eventually forms the Aptera shell, it looks as if both the alpha and beta prototypes will be made from fiberglass.

      Unless they plan to use fiberglass as the production “composite” any testing done on the beta prototypes (crash, stress, etc.) would be moot. It’s usually the gamma range of prototypes that are subjected to testing as they are considered to be at least 90% identical to the final product.

      • Len Nowak Nowak

        Moderator
        August 24, 2021 at 5:16 am

        Remember there scenes of Noir coming together back in ~Nov 2020… I attached a few together in this collage…

        • Peter Jorgensen

          Member
          September 17, 2021 at 11:16 am

          Here are old pictures of the alpha molds.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    September 8, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Still hoping for molds to be completed around Sept 16th?

    Also, new update – Design work is mostly done and they are starting to build betas now:

    “We’ve released full tooling for suspension, body, glass, and closures. We’ve refined the interior and electrical, and we’ll start seeing parts delivered in the next few weeks.”

    So optimistically by the end of September they might have a rolling beta body/chassis.

  • Paul Evans

    Member
    September 8, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    The more I learn from Aptera’s progress and philosophic approach, the more I am reminded of the Albert Einstein quote; “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    September 17, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Alright, it’s September 16. So the Beta molds should be done about now?

  • Len Nowak Nowak

    Moderator
    September 17, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    The Sep newsletter video stated set around the Sep 20th moon event…

    • Peter Jorgensen

      Member
      September 17, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      That’s for Luna – Not beta molds, right? Or am I confused?

  • Len Nowak Nowak

    Moderator
    September 17, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Those look like the Noir molds, shared back in 2020 but then the molds should all look about the same through alpha series Right?!

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    October 27, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    I was just looking through the old Beta Development Webinar and noticed a few things comparing Alpha to early and late beta designs.

    For the betas (relative to alphas)

    The whole car is lower, particularly the belly. I’m definitely going for the offroad option to get some more clearance seeing this.

    Rear wheel skirt is much more gradual in transition from the body.

    Front wheel pants are modified somewhat.

    Windshield/hood transition is much smaller now.

    Rear end is much finer and a little longer.

    Blue is Alpha, Red is late-stage Beta.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      October 27, 2021 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks for this. 🙂

      I am working on modeling the aptera for 3d printing in pieces (including interior / moving wheels / doors). The shape I used from the side profile was clearly the Alpha shape. It wont be perfect but it will be the best I can do and due to the number of separate pieces it should be possible to print very large with some FDM printers (up to ~3 feet long with a ender 5 plus). I’ve been sick but I’m hoping to get back to this and be test printing within 1-2 weeks and will publish my first draft on thingiverse after that (probably will revisit and refine individual pieces after that)

    • Riley ________________________________

      Member
      October 28, 2021 at 2:46 am

      I am a little disappointed in it being more chonkers looking but I understand there would be no way to fit 100kw hour battery in the slender design. Hopefully when we see the full 3d beta car it won’t be noticeable. Thanks for the overlays.

      • Curtis Cibinel

        Member
        October 28, 2021 at 7:19 am

        From the interviews I think it was more about supporting tall drivers. They lowered the seats.

        100kwh is a ton of batteries but it’s not a small frame. The challenges of weight efficient making packs that aren’t designed for big rectangular boxes needs to be respected. I think that the space for the packs must be figured out and theoretically could probably push higher or we wouldn’t get a frunk since that’s optimal battery space for weight balance.

        <font face=”inherit”>I’m hoping they do follow through </font>with<font face=”inherit”> the Q&A and find a way to give access to the space from behind the seats for smaller pack sizes. </font>

        • Len Nowak Nowak

          Moderator
          October 28, 2021 at 7:48 am

          Very early “renderings” had them first … front bias, then as +kWh choice chosen extend then they advance across the bottom to behind the seats.

          As you choose your battery pack on the website order… the position is basically shown but perhaps the battery packs shape is different than that old rendering

          I believe I heard the cargo area deck will be lower plus have a shallow storage below… So doubt batteries will extend to that area, which is not good for weight distribution. 200# max ( cargo area) for best ride… Is what I heard “ in the past”

          They will figure it out and as we learn we can adjust our order. Not commitment until order time…Right? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The Beta has to tell us ALL more….

          I suppose the 40kWh will have a nice weight balance ( I really want the 60kWh. I am not going to be racing and doing the Moose Test run so.. I only want to use the AZ sun to charge and the Level II charger in my garage “ if needed” most f the time. Also I am getting AWD, which may factor into final choice )

          I suppose if the micro channel cooling is significantly more effective on the 40 kWh pack, I could consider that smaller pack

          Isn’t it about 1 lb per kWh for battery weight?

          I may have to adjust my body weight???? I have control of that!

          • Oz (It’s Oz, just Oz)

            Member
            October 28, 2021 at 8:51 am

            Len, probably the worst visualization in the ordering portion is the batteries. It gives the impression, that moving up from the 600 to the 1,000 is accomplished with the addition of a module, that’s shown as 1/2 the size of one of the earlier modules.

            • Len Nowak Nowak

              Moderator
              October 28, 2021 at 9:07 am

              You are probably right… I have no detail knowledge and when I saw Noir and Sol the batteries packs were tucked away in their hidden place in those early alphas units. And they where not production size packs anyway. I assume they were 2170 batteries too.

              Based on seeing under the hood of the Noir… I did imagine that frunk tray storage area… recently revealed. Nice!

              It will be interesting to “see” how the packs and cooling “ all that ⚡️jazz “ connect/ morph into place!

            • Oz (It’s Oz, just Oz)

              Member
              October 28, 2021 at 12:18 pm

              Sounds right, looking forward as well to seeing thoe Betas and waiting as patiently as I can for the eventual production models.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    October 28, 2021 at 11:22 am

    All of our thoughts with the little information we have are only conjecture.

    What we do know for sure is that the engineers are competent, management competent, experienced, and creative. And I would add adaptive. I am confident that the team is busy replanning to compress the schedule as much as possible while maintaining quality standards for each step of the product and the resulting vehicle). Assembly consisting of putting together already assembled sub assemblies. Kudos to the engineers for designing the vehicle to accommodate such an assembly system.

    Sandy Munro designed the assembly process understanding the engineering of the vehicle so it is optimized for the type of assembly and configuration of the vehicle. Of course, training of the assembly team and practice is necessary to smooth out the process and make sure quality check are done at the right places and time.

    Net: It will take a lot less time to set up an assembly facility and to get it to the point of being operational. Certainly a couple of orders of magnitude less that Tesla or other more visible EV manufactures.

    As far as advancing prototypes, I believe they will be creative in managing prototype development to compress the schedule with maybe the Betas being the last real prototype and the next vehicle close to production ready or production ready.

    This team is remarkably creative, more so than any I have seen in 77 years of life and 45 year in the engineering field. I admire and trust them to come through for us.

    When it comes down to it you have to trust a great team to do the right thing and the best that can be done under difficult circumstances.

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    Member
    December 25, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    They say. By the end of the year… they didn’t say. What year. LoL

    • Len Nowak Nowak

      Moderator
      December 25, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      I heard Chris say “Later part of 2022”

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