Aptera Subscription PossibilitiesPosted by christien-bibler on May 5, 2022 at 6:30 pm
Has anyone seen anything about Aptera planning to charge any type of subscription for any of parts or software of the vehicle? Furthermore has anyone seen anything about them mentioning charging extra fees for you to unlock certain things like faster speeds? I’ve recently seen some things about this with other companies specifically with electric cars and the Aptera vehicle just seems so good I find myself thinking it’s almost too good to be true. I looked around the forums a bit but found nothing.
MemberMay 5, 2022 at 6:40 pm
I understand the concern and share it, generally, for the EV market. However, with Aptera, they promise 0-60 in 3.5s with the 3-motor so I dont think they could get away with later throttling it via software locks. They also promise the full suite of safety and autonomous driving features with that order upgrade. I imagine if they were to lock anything, it would have to be new features that are created after the vehicle has already been delivered as promised. However, I dont think see this happening with Aptera. I sure hope it doesnt.
MemberMay 5, 2022 at 7:02 pm
The Aptera business model is a purchase model not subscription.
When you reserve your Aptera, you select the configuration of the vehicle and premium features you wish to add. The price for the configuration you choose is displayed. When it comes time to order you may make changes and then execute a purchase agreement for that configuration. You get all you select and all that enables that functionality for the purchase price.
At some point there may be over the air functionality available as an upgrade or additional functionality not ready at the time of first production vehicles. At this point, since Aptera is still in the testing phase, we have no infomation on what that may be or if an owner will have to pay for it if they want it. I believe that if it was a feature originally in the plan for the vehicle, there will not be a charge. If it is something new, it is completely reasonable the we would pay for it if we want it.
All will be clear before delivery to customers begins to avoid surprises or misunderstanding.
Without question, Aptera is a remarkable value. Pinch yourself. It will hurt you are not in a dream!
There won’t be any $10,000 up charges for self driving like I was asked to pay when I bought my Tesla Model 3.
MemberJuly 26, 2022 at 10:20 pm
I can understand the subscription model for a function that is mainly a software add on and needs to be regularly up dated, like self driving. However there are companies looking at charging later to keep the initial price down, for features that in the long run are cheaper to build in rather than offer as options, like heated seats, that bothers me. I also understand having a wiring harness built in designed to accommodate things that a dealer could upgrade later, like a premium sound system.
However Aptera will not be using a dealer system any time soon, if ever.
But people are asking for possible and on later options like a larger battery, but this will involve much more than just a battery.
In fact Aptera is being up front about these things, when GM introduced the Volt they did not disclose the fact that while there was more demand than supply, they would prioritize building the more fully equipped (more profitable versions).
MemberJune 18, 2023 at 9:35 am
What are the terms of ownership of an Aptera: do I own the vehicle or am I in fact leasing various features that might be already built into the vehicle? Will my use of the vehicle be limited to specific instances? For example will I be able to use it as a off grid storage battery at a vacation property? Etc.
MemberJune 18, 2023 at 9:40 am
I know of no reason to believe it will be any different than any other vehicle. You will purchase it and it’s yours. You can do with it what you want. Just like any other vehicle, I suspect there will be certain things that would void related warranties.
MemberJune 18, 2023 at 10:41 am
It is a purchase so you and maybe your financing entity if you finance, will own it. Like other vehicle manufacturers, Aptera may have some functionality/services, that if you want them, may have to pay a onetime feel or a monthly fee. An example would be full self-driving in a Tesla is $15,000. If you want heated seats in a BMW there is a monthly fee. Such information will be available close to production.
MemberJune 18, 2023 at 1:43 pm
I think pretty much everyone has 2024 as their delivery estimate. Given that:
a) they are still waiting for funding, and we know it will be 9-12 months after funding arrives for the first customer vehicles to appear, and also
b) in their most recent SEC filings, they are now suggesting 2024 for initial vehicles with a 2025 ramp, I think it would be wise to expect 2025 unless you have an early slot in the accelerator program.
Regarding using the vehicle as a household battery, you will need to wait (possibly for a later variant). Aptera have said that they would like to make this possible, but the V2x specifications for the NACS port are not yet available. It’s true that NACS actually uses the CCS protocol, and CCS does have V2x defined, but it would be very risky to make assumptions until Tesla have documented it.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Michael Marsden.
MemberJune 18, 2023 at 4:02 pm
The trend towards car ownership as a service is the main concern. This is where car companies exercise software control of the vehicle. Once that control is established then you don’t really own the car anymore.
Tesla is a good example of this. “Rich Rebuilds” has demonstrated how Tesla software-locks the car so it doesn’t charge. This option is exercised in response to salvage as well as unofficial repairs.
While Aptera hasn’t yet confirmed or denied this level of control, they have said their cars will ship with cellular data. That very likely means they have the ability to take control if they want to, and that probably means subscription services eventually (which is your concern).
Honestly, I have the same concern which is why I intend to disable the cellular connection in my car. Ideally, it is a physical modem and/or SIM that can be removed. In the worst case, it uses an eSIM with software restrictions to prevent its removal, or a soldered modem that cannot be physically removed. Then I will have to either remove the antenna or build a faraday cage around it. In the WORST worse case, the car will deactivate if it can’t “call home” for X number of days or something.
The one reassurance is Aptera’s “right to repair” philosophy. To remain true to this philosophy, they can’t exercise remote control in the way that you are concerned about. But you can still wear a tinfoil hat with me.
MemberJune 18, 2023 at 7:08 pm
IMHO “Ownership As A Service” is to abolish the American Dream, which may have evolved to become a mirage anyhoo.
MemberJune 18, 2023 at 10:32 pm
It’s really only a problem with software, and it kind of makes sense in a way. Software development has increasingly moved towards “continuous” development and deployment models, and this requires perpetual ongoing labor to maintain because the entire environment is so fluid. Therefore, you basically pay a subscription for modern software just to keep it running.
Dysfunctional? Yes. Necessary? No. We could easily go back to more conventional models for software design and development. However, this requires actually removing components from the stack, and programmers are generally too lazy to do this. It is easier to keep adding new layers which, conveniently, buys you job security as well.
(yes, I am a jaded programmer!)
MemberJune 19, 2023 at 5:08 am
Software services are there for continuous improvements. If you want the improvements, you pay for it. If you don’t you should be given the choice not to participate without any disadvantage for the main/general operating properties of the vehicle. That’s my opinion, realistic or not….
MemberJune 19, 2023 at 9:57 am
That line is increasingly blurred as cars move towards general computing and apps. There is a muddled progression here which I will try to enumerate:
1) Control systems used to be implemented in hardware (wiring harness). They are moving towards software to simplify that wiring and save money.
2) The control software used to be embedded compute. Embedded compute has the advantage of being reliable because it is very purposed with no operating system. It’s just raw hardware and code with no real abstraction between the two.
3) As GUIs became more popular, the control software moved towards general compute with operating systems and frameworks, not because it’s necessary but because it’s easier to develop (at the cost of reliability).
4) The use of these operating systems and frameworks added system complexity and resource abstraction which begot the need for ongoing software updates due to necessary bugs.
5) OTA updates were the solution for ongoing software updates. In doing this, now you have a mainstream operating system connected to the internet. So now you need OS updates as well which now requires the remote connection to have God access to your car’s systems.
The essential progression is, more software needs more access needs more control. And the unfortunate implication of this acquisition of complexity is more bugs, and those bugs are met with more software which creates more complexity which creates more bugs. Taken together, you inevitably end up with codependence on the software industry as they take more control of everything. That is when they start charging a subscription for heated seats… because they can, and you can’t do anything about it because they are in control.
MemberJune 22, 2023 at 12:46 am
My understanding in regard to Aptera’s starting point in this regard is answered by the tenants of “Right to repair.”
The status of Aptera in regard to driving automation involves adding a third-party product from Comma AI which involves open source code.
Right now the software for the comma ai ‘box’ … the algorithms adapting the “unit” to the car – the software – is as I understand it free. The multi-camera computer that runs the software is purchased outright and comes with a one-year warranty that you can extend to two years apparently for $400.
I haven’t gone deep on the Comma, AI thing – I think the box is called the comma III – but as the video Aptera put out on it constitutes 99 percent of my knowledge on this product, it does suggest comma may eventually draw a competitor. Since Aptera is not directly involved in the delivery or installation of the software; the idea another company may offer competing add-ons is a possibility.
The point being, these future products offered by third parties may fulfill your expectation that subscription services may be an option. But I think right to repair precludes Aptera from implementing the type of subscriptions mentioned.
For instance, with right to repair, one might consider a non-operative heated seat – all the parts are there – as an item in need of repair and presumably I would have a right to repair it without a paywall. The ‘repair’ would be removing that software ‘glitch’ some greedy bastard hacked into existence.
MemberJune 19, 2023 at 1:59 pm
Kind of like “Outer Limits”: Do not attempt to adjust your set. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical…