Aptera exterior finish info

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera exterior finish info

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera exterior finish info

  • Aptera exterior finish info

     Kevin Bradbury updated 1 month, 2 weeks ago 78 Members · 227 Posts
  • Michael Kahlow

    August 28, 2022 at 10:49 am

    Would I be willing to pay extra for a custom “paint” job (be it paint or wrap)?

    Short answer – Yes. I’ve already clicked the “go ahead, charge me $1500 for custom” button on my order. Assuming that everything else checks out and I want to buy the finished version of the Aptera, I’m thinking maybe a candy purple or green if I can get it. Go big or go home.

    It also means that, between the custom color, the elevated body, the three wheel drive, and the 600 mile range options I’ve selected, I probably won’t get mine until 2024. All of the rest of you will be my beta testers. 😉🤣

  • Miles Hunter

    August 29, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    It’s my understanding that wrapping is lighter than paint. I’m interested in max efficiency so I asked for the smallest battery and no other options beside solar panels.

    Wrapping does bring up a few questions about cooling system efficiency but I’ll address that in a different topic, I have thoughts and questions abut cooling…

  • Michael Thwaite

    September 8, 2022 at 10:28 am

    I’m giving a thumbs up for the wrap, the idea that the car can be renewed every few years sounds good to me, the odd stone chip can now be reset. Plus the neighbors will think I’m loaded when I have a ‘new model’ every few years… oh, wait, they change their mom-trucks every year. Nevermind.

  • James Bianco Sr

    September 8, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    This whole conversation has made me rethink the Custom Color exterior. If it’s just a matter of a re-wrap, maybe I save that fee and potential delay of assembly and go with one of the offered colors.

    • John Voules

      September 8, 2022 at 12:49 pm

      Makes sense. Depending on the longevity, due to your weather and environment, you may want to rewrap or may want to paint. Let’s wait and see makes more sense for my self. Never had a wrapped car, in Chicago we definitely have 4 seasons to deal with that sometimes represents the extremes of weather.

    • George Hughes

      September 9, 2022 at 9:59 am

      I suspect that new wraps will occur most often when the Aptera owner trades or sells their old Aptera into the used vehicle market. This could occur when the owner buys a new Aptera with a fancier battery and heat pump. Probably half the re-wraps will occur at the time a particular Aptera changes ownership done either by the old owner in order to get top dollar for their used Aptera or a dealer in search of the same top dollar.

      I also suspect there may be ‘discount’ wraps available in the after-market as advertisers – aware of the eye-catching Aptera’s value as an advertising vehicle – offer owners cash to wrap their cars with branding info.

      But given the simplicity and ruggedness of the Aptera shell and mechanics, I suspect it will be particularly attractive to those who are not maintenance mavens. Rather the people who are notorious for never changing their oil or filter, who run a vehicle till it breaks, will be attracted to the minimal maintenance required by Aptera …. including its finish.

      It may come as a shock, but some people don’t wash their car over the course of years. Seriously,

      They use them until they use them up.

      I was especially aware of this phenomenon when growing up in a farming community where paved roads were far from universal and washboard dirt roads would shake a vehicle to pieces (as well as coat it with mud and dust) in two or three years… which is about as long as a vehicle would last especially if you didn’t drive it hard or change the oil.

  • Vernon Sinnott

    September 11, 2022 at 9:35 am

    I really liked the color of the Gamma vehicle @ the show with the silver & black body & white doors & white wheel pants. Is that a possibilty, or would that be considered custom?

  • Lawrence Leonard

    September 11, 2022 at 11:11 am

    I think the Gamma is all one color. It’s the lightning that makes the doors and wheel covers look white. At least that is what I think. I’ll check some other video images.

    • Lawrence Leonard

      September 11, 2022 at 11:17 am

      Yes, all one color. They do say they will offer custom colors.

  • Philip Raymond

    September 11, 2022 at 11:16 am

    It’s not a custom color scheme, it’s Luna. The door and wheel pants look white from some angles, due to the lighting in that exhibition hall, but if you look at the 2:00 long video on Aptera’s YouTube channel, you’ll see the doors and wheel pants are in fact silver.

  • James Gatan

    September 11, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    I pre ordered stealthy Noir. Coordinates well to the standard glossy black roof and bluish solar tiles. I plan to add mirror rose gold tints on the fixed top glass door windows, to match with the copper solar tile bus bars. It will function as side window sun shades.

    Then I’ll slap two small Skunk Works stickers on each side of the rear wheel pant. 😂

  • Georg Matt

    September 11, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    From what I could see yesterday at Fully Charged, the roof does not have a blue tone. Same black tone as the solar cells.

  • Paul Carlucci

    September 11, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Is it confirmed that Luna has blue panels? Then it’s time to change my pre-order from Sol to Luna.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Paul Carlucci.
    • kerbe2705

      September 11, 2022 at 10:22 pm

      @Paul Carlucci The solar hood, roof and hatch panels are a sandwich of a black base material, the dark blue and copper solar cells and a clear cover material. In direct sunlight the cells will reflect as blue but, the rest of the time, will appear to be black. The solar dashboard will be constructed differently.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    September 13, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Why was gamma painted? It gives the impression that wrap is ugly and they don’t want people to see it. Perhaps this is the last widely publicized showing and they don’t want people to see what a wrap looks like. (Surely not.) Yes, delta is coming but it may not get the same publicity. There are plenty of high quality wrappers in southern California who could do it.

    Many people recognized it was painted before the Fully Charged event, just from the pictures. I am impressed so many people can distinguish between wrap and paint by a picture on the internet.

  • Georg Matt

    September 13, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    The answer I received from an ambassador on Friday was because it would hold up better over the next months when Gamma is shipped around the country for show-and-tell.

  • Eric Quinn

    September 14, 2022 at 7:24 am

    I’m not a chemical expert or anything close.

    If the body is made of composite materials, can’t they just dye the materials in the blending process?

    My two cents. I order Noir, if I had to take it in hot neon pink, I still take it.

    • John Voules

      September 14, 2022 at 9:49 am

      Is been brought up before.. the original smart cars were color infused. There response… Because they will be using different materials for different parts of the vehicle it was close to impossible to color match…plus color infusion is fairly expensive. Mercedes Smart cars stopped the process 17 years ago.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      September 14, 2022 at 9:58 am

      Technically yes but this is not a proven approach and would still need protective clearcoat. They have mentioned this possibility in interviews before.

      The body is UV cured so having it exposed would potentially overcure it making it weaker. It is really unclear how well this would age and it would probably end up looking dull. This may still be a cost effective approach rather than factory wrapping eventually but its life would probably also be similar (ie way less than paint). Aptera has a lot of new techniques and technologies in place but unless they have already ruled it out they may end up working on this after they start shipping units.

  • Curtis Cibinel

    September 15, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Between fully charged and the ambassador tour it is quite clear Aptera will be factory wrapped; this is really the only option given the establishing of paint shops is expensive, environmentally damaging and doesn’t mesh with the microfactories concept. One thing at fully charged that stuck out to me was that Chris called it “film”; this terminology doesn’t seem common with vinyl wrap. This could mean Aptera will have a far more durable type of wrap called cosmetic paint protection “film” (yes its not actually protecting paint but it’s just the name). Cosmetic PPF is 2-4 times the thickness (50-100 microns vs 200) and has warranties up to 10 years for cosmetics (yellowing/bubbling).

    I found one reference which said this material and slightly more difficult process increases the cost of oneoff wrapping a sedan from $3600 to $5000 with the majority being the more expensive material. Prices are not readily available for the material alone. Since Aptera is smaller, the top isn’t wrapped, and it will be produced at scale the cost difference at manufacturing could be as little as $500 (speculation) with a finish lasting far longer (especially given the idea is to leave it parked in the sun). I am by no means an expert but a longer lasting wrap could mitigate many of the longevity concerns.

    Note: Normal paint protection film (Ppf) is simply a clear layer; not the same thing.


    Cosmetics Paint Protection Film (PPF)


    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Curtis Cibinel. Reason: Fixed typos
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Gabriel Kemeny.
    • Scott

      September 17, 2022 at 4:09 pm

      Curtis, thanks for finding that info about PPF. Sounds hopefully better than the long discussed vinyl wraps, though still presumably not as durable or long lasting as paint. Just wanted to ensure you are considering other aspects to what you mentioned in your intro about purported downsides of paint:

      “establishing of paint shops is expensive”: Yes. So, Aptera could outsource painting to a pre-existing paint shop with no capital outlay needed from Aptera.

      “environmentally damaging”: These statements from elsewhere are unsubstantiated greenwashing to make vinyl wraps (if that is what will be used) appear better in comparison. Modern water-based vehicle paints have FAR lower environmental concerns than the vehicle paints of yesteryear. Also, vinyl is an extremely toxic material, both in terms of its manufacture and its later non-recycled disposal. And its environmental effects are cumulative, requiring multiple throwaway layers and associated infrastructure over the same time as one layer of normal paint. Just Google about the environmental effects of vinyl and read away.

      “doesn’t mesh with the microfactories concept”: Actually, having pre-painted body panels delivered without needing wraps to be manually installed onsite would mesh just fine with a micro-factories concept.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      October 9, 2022 at 10:36 am

      Aptera Owners Club just made a video about PPF as an option for Aptera. Unfortunately he didn’t highlight the difference between PPF (aka clear plastic) and Cosmetic PPF which combines this with a color layer and this caused some confusion in the comments.


      • John Voules

        October 9, 2022 at 11:27 am

        Thx Curtis, at this point I wonder if we should speculate that paint protection film will be used.

        I googled colored film and their is a company that makes it in BLACK, GREY &WHITE. Then I saw another manufacturer that has custom color options. Along with different options for thickness.

        Another article mentioned that the paint protection film was tougher than ceramic at dealing with road debris (small stones). With self healing properties…a win win.

        I truly hope that this was what Chris Anthony was referring to when he said film.

        Another nice thing mentioned was that the film can be precut for an easier install.

        The basic colors as listed on APTERA’s order page is covered and the special order option should give buyers a nice range of choice. 🤞

  • kerbe2705

    September 15, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    @Curtis Cibinel The durability and life expectancy more than compensates for the increased cost.


    September 16, 2022 at 8:40 am

    For those of you that are worried about caring for a wrap finish and washing there are two avenues to go. Number one, Waterless wash and a special waffle microfiber towel designed for waterless wash. Number two, for heavy dirt and road grime use a foam gun with a neutral PH car wash solution {soap} and a soft microfiber wash mitt, rinse with garden hose and use a soft microfiber drying towel or a leaf blower to remove the excess water. You can go to ADAM’s Polishes.com and click on the video link and there you will find a video on car washing the proper way. Hope this will help with your concerns for taking care of your APTERA. I am on the team that does the official detailing for Barrett Jackson auctions and have been detailing for over twenty years. Car care products have changed tremendously in the last few years and are now more user friendly with better lasting results. As a note: when I was younger I used to wax my relatives cars with Blue Coral wax and it was very labor intensive and exhausting. Today with the new products you can get better results with a lot less labor and your efforts last longer. Check out all the videos on the web site, there is a wealth of knowledge and tips that will make your car care activity easier with better lasting results.

    • Randy J

      September 16, 2022 at 9:29 am

      Hi Greg,

      I’ve bookmarked the site with a number of other Aptera related interests. I couldn’t find the link to the video you mentioned. Any chance you can post that? First time I’ve heard of waterless car washing.


    September 16, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    Randy J, if you go to Adam’s Polishes.com and click on the Video link you will find about 20 different Youtube videos covering all aspects of detailing with a lot of cool tips. When we are at Barrett Jackson auctions we do not have access to water so all of the cars that we wipe down and detail have to be done with waterless wash. A lot of these cars come in to the auction on open carriers and are filthy. Waterless wash and the waterless wash towels clean all these cars without scratching the surface. Wraps can be treated like soft clear coat paint, if they become scratched and are not self healing they can be polishes with a mild compound using a DA {random orbital} or dual action polisher without hurting the wrap. Once polished, the best protection is to apply a ceramic coating. Adam’s Polishes has several DIY ceramic coatings that will last from 6 months to a year or more. Worth checking out this web site. Hope this helps you. Feel free to ask me any other questions about detailing as I have been detailing for over 20 years.

    • Joe Lyddon

      September 18, 2022 at 3:09 pm

      How do we know it’s a “wrapped” finish?

      It must NOT be covered very well…

      It seems to me that part of the main description of the car, the Finish should be covered along with prescribed way of cleaning, etc.


      Sounds like a COOL way of Finishing! Just wrap it up! 🙂

      Thank you!

  • Thomas Edmonds

    September 18, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    Seems like an in-mold paint, or material tinting would be best. Low cost is best!

    • Curtis Cibinel

      September 18, 2022 at 7:29 pm

      Colour infusion is actually quite expensive per John’s point about smart cars. Since the material is uv cured it would need substancial clearcoat. Factory vinyl or cosmetic ppf are likely given company statements to date. I’m very skeptical about the longevity of vinyl.

  • David Marlow

    September 19, 2022 at 3:05 am

    We just found out that the body composite has not yet been finalized and that will have an effect on what kind of coating will work best, considering the factors of quality, cost and longevity.

  • Colen Thomas

    September 21, 2022 at 3:25 am

    Obviously this cannot be run through a car wash. Anyone have any suggestions regarding exterior cleaning? Underneath in particular. How much will drag coefficient be affected by accumulation of dirt?

  • Jeffrey Parker

    September 21, 2022 at 4:08 am

    Why are you under the impression this cannot go through a car wash (delicate)? The wheel pull mechanism (remove the wheel shrouds)? There are touchless carwashes if the outboard wheels are your concern. There are carwashes that offer undercarriage washes as well. There are also self-serve pay-as-you-go car wash places. As for any other commonly used washing techniques would suffice, rag, brush on a stick, power washer; go ham and wipe away the dirt to your heart’s content.

    As far as how dirt would affect the aero. That would be up for experiments, aerodynamics is a bit of an unruly monster with many variables. Especially with surface roughness (dirt, erosion) or Reynolds Number in the calculations.

    In my quick read and layman understanding, there are studies of surface roughness of turbine blades for aircraft and wind turbines for electricity generation, and the results after several thousand in service hours when roughness increases the efficiency of the blades drops ~10%. I read this as in terms of lift for airfoils pressure loss. I don’t think this loss in efficiency is relevant to the drag efficiency of the Aptera.

    With the rougher surface the laminar flow boundary layer will contract towards the body surface increasing the turbulent flow. Thus, increasing drag. But how much drag is increased and how much that would affect range. My guess, it would be negligible at the speeds traveled on public roads. Now if you were going 100+ MPH then yeah more drag with increased surface roughness would probably be exponentially more relevant (probably like 5%).

    • John Voules

      September 22, 2022 at 6:10 am

      Great find David Clark. After reviewing the video I became more intrigued and I looked up the company….https://aerotechnology.com/

      Pretty impressive claims and they are backing them up by applying to auto racing.

      The application process is not as simple as we may think though. Not exactly sure how different it is from applying a regular wrap. There seems to be a bunch of surface prep including several sanding and buffing procedures along with use of isopropyl 90% alcohol. There is curing time also that needs to be added to the process.

      This film is what Chris Anthony maybe referring to. I would be more than happy to have this as a final choice or at least an option to regular wrap. Will it work on APTERA’s surface?

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  John Voules.
  • Riley …

    September 21, 2022 at 4:23 am

    I don’t think any reasonable buildup of dirt will have a an effect on drag. Only if large chunks of mud get globbed onto the body than maybe.

    Definitely clean the solar panels on a regular basis. wipe down the vinyl wrapped part with UV protectant. for the underbody use something with a long handle to reach under the car. With such a unique vehicle it will be a learning experience for everyone.

  • David Clark

    September 21, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    Take I look at this stuff. Recyclable, sustainable, no paint fumes, used on race cars and range rovers.

    Maybe it’s maybe it’s old news but I just found it.

    • Scott

      September 21, 2022 at 6:45 pm

      If that’s real deal and not marketing fluff, sign me up. Very interesting find. Thanks for sharing it, David.

  • John Trotter

    September 22, 2022 at 6:06 am

    Dead horse kicking here. That’s OK. Better than live horse kicking. Vinyl film as a color coat is used in various industries, with adequate results. We won’t know longevity until we know the brand and I have faith that Aptera is making a selection that balances cost and durability. Post-production, I see three options: strip and paint; replace every few/several years; cover with “paint” protective film to extend life past ten years. The “replace” option isn’t the end of the world as we would get to choose a new color and, presumably, a more advanced formulation. PPF is a bit pricey ($2-4k?), but really is quite effective at protection. Strip (the film) and paint seems clunky, unless considerable disassembly is done. In any event, these are all personal choices, not affecting Aptera progress.

  • Kevin Queen

    September 26, 2022 at 8:18 am

    While my jury is still out as far as the vinyl wrap goes, I did discover that vinyl wrapped vehicles can be ceramic coated, which greatly increases their longevity in many conditions, including salt, dessert. Thoughts?

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