Aptera the Beetle of EVs, A new vehicle for a new generation

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera the Beetle of EVs, A new vehicle for a new generation

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera the Beetle of EVs, A new vehicle for a new generation

  • Aptera the Beetle of EVs, A new vehicle for a new generation

  • tony walker

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 11:17 am

    <div>No one could have predicted the success of the Volkswagen Beetle. Or how it would say popular for so many years. Some of it was just luck . Right time right place. Came out during the time of Woodstock, the peace and love generation. It became a symbol. The Aptera can be a new symbol for a new generation. </div><div>
    </div><div>It’s seems that Volkswagen has stopped making the Beetle. Aptera could win over fans of the Beetle. With the right marketing plan. Aptera could be the car of the current generation. It could win over hearts and minds .</div><div>
    </div>https://www.hotcars.com/volkswagen-bring-back-beetle/

  • George Hughes

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 11:22 am

    yep

  • Oz (It’s Oz, just Oz)

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 11:29 am

    The VW Beetle landed on U.S. shores in 1949, about the time many of the Woodstock folks were busy being born. It acquired it’s Beetle nickname in the late 60’s but that was also when sales began to drop off.

  • Ray Holan

    Moderator
    April 2, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Anyone here old enough to remember the classic repair manual “How to Keep Your VW Alive” — That was the 60s version of “right to repair”.

    • Bob Kirchner

      Member
      April 2, 2022 at 1:45 pm

      Not only do I remember it, I owned it. I gave it away to a VW Bus owner long before the original editions became collectable.

      I’m old, I guess.

    • Stephen Drake

      Member
      April 2, 2022 at 3:19 pm

      That book was the DIY bible for me! I kept my 411 running using that book. Until it rusted beyond the point of being able to hold the seats in place.

  • David Marlow

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    Yes, I compare Aptera to the model T and the Beetle as the break through vehicles, priced for the people, of their day.

  • Gary Greenway

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    I hope the Aptera isn’t like the Bugs I had. I had 1 to drive and 1 for spare parts. The heaters were terrible, the floor was rusted out, like the stock heater shrouds, and I couldn’t keep an input seal in the transmission. It was only 8 years old. I had a gasoline fired furnace in it for heat. I had to pull the engine twice in the year I had it to replace the clutch and trans seals. When it ran, it was fun.

    Since my Aptera preorder >16000, I hope the ‘bugs’ are worked out by then.

  • Jeffrey Renz

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    You describe a niche market of sporty young people. Keep in mind that the VW Beetle had been around for 25 years before it took off in the USA. Its success here in the mid-’60s depended on the arrival of baby-boomers in the new and used car markets. If you look at photos of Woodstock you see a small but noticeable number of Beetles.

    I don’t want to market the Aptera as the 21st century Beetle. I want a larger market than that. I want the stockbroker who commutes less than 40 miles per day to buy it because it makes economic sense. I want the conservationist to buy it for obvious reasons. I don’t want the outdoors person to buy it for its camper because you won’t be able to camp in any National Park that has bears. Nevertheless I want the sporty person to buy it to go surfing, skiing, biking, hiking, and all the sundry things that you can do with all that cargo space (including camping where bears aren’t an issue). I want homemakers to buy it because of the savings and, again, the storage space.

    That’s not to say that there will not be a Beetle-lovers type of market. There will. Aptera has all the characteristics that made the Beetle successful in the mid-’60s: low sale price, cheap (or free) fuel, easy maintenance, and the “cool” factor. (I think Aptera is more cool than the Beetle – and I owned three.)

    But once those kids start having kids of their own, they will look elsewhere if we haven’t come up with a four seater. I am confident that Chris Anthony, Steve Fambro, and Mike Johnson are planning on brand loyalty to convert 3-wheel Aptera owners to 4-wheel Aptera owners in the years to come.

  • Ben From Cincinnati

    Member
    April 3, 2022 at 6:15 am

    I love the excitement here! I do! I’ll be the stick-in-mud though. Personally, I believe what made the Beetle so successful was ease of production. I mean masses of cars easily thrown out of factories. I would love to see that with Aptera but I don’t think it designed for factory production efficiency in mind but vehicle operation efficiency. Being able to get an electric vehicle under $30k with little to no fueling cost!? That’s what has me on the Aptera wait list.

    • George Hughes

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      Actually, Ben from Cincinnati, I think the Aptera is ‘designed’ for mass human scale assembly which recognizes that if you’re smart about assembly, you don’t need to spend a half-billion for 1000 welding robots, another half-billion for a mega-factory and another half-billion (investment) for a mega-press, plus another half-billion, here, there and yonder. To assume that process represents production ‘efficiency’ is a false reading.

      I will admit that process is ‘efficient’ if the way you want to build a car is aimed at making it heavy, slow and inefficient. You can accomplish two out of three of those attributes with traditional automotive methods – and tradition is really, really, really good at making things heavy and heavier.

      What Aptera represents is a different way of manufacturing cars and, in the long run when you consider transportation of parts, etc. there is a very good chance that Aptera will be, on a per-unit basis from day one, the delivered cost will be less than that of an ICE car.

      This is largely because the Aptera, like the Beetle, seems rather minimalist in concept … there just aren’t that many parts. There are many fewer parts, including moving parts, in Aptera than a comparable Beetle … and the Beetle was minimalist for an ICE vehicle.

      The problem with the car market is that people expect cars to be made out of steel in a factory full of banks of robots which weld hundreds of thousands of parts to a uni-body structure with an engine that contains thousands of moving parts with miniscule tolerances. The miracle is the damn things tend to work for 100-200,000 miles provided you maintain them (which is comparatively expensive.)

      The point being, even if the parts and process of making the Aptera were greater than they are, i.e. are justified for efficiency and cost of maintenance and operation, that life-cycle cost is simply so small, there is no comparison to an ICE vehicle.

  • Francis Giroux

    Member
    April 3, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    When I went to college at the University of Vermont from 1968 to 1972 I remember noticing how many VW Beetles were in the parking lots. Once I counted, and exactly half of all vehicles in the lot were VW Beetles. That was just when the new bumpers came out, 1968. There were only a few of those at the time. I drove a 1962 Beetle with no gas gauge. You would fill it up and estimate how far it would go before running out of gas. When it did run out, you could reach down under the dash and flip a lever that would lower the gas pick-up hose deeper into the gas tank. You would have a few miles left before running out for good. Best car I had until after graduation when I went into the Air Force and picked up a wrecked Porsche 914 from a junk yard in San Antonio. I dragged it 150 miles tied up to my rear bumper of a Gremlin to Del Rio (pilot school) where I rebuilt the front end with my own design, with wire lath and fiberglass. My favorite car ever until I ordered the Aptera. Don’t let me down.

    • Jeffrey Renz

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 4:22 am

      Wow. I picked up a 914/6 in Germany. Great car. Cold in the winter because of the passive heating but performed like no other. Best car was 2001 Honda Insight. No maintenance, other than routine, necessary. I sold it with over 200,000 miles on the car.

  • Francis Giroux

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    I had a turbocharger added to my 914/4 which left no heat at all because the heat exchangers were replaced with pressure pipes to the turbo. My first trip was from Utah to upstate New York in November. The last 200 miles was through a snow storm from Buffalo to Glens Falls, without heat or defrost. My 2000 Insight, I bought three years ago with 140,000 miles on it. Now there is 208,000 miles on it, probably 50,000 of which are on the oil that is still in it. I usually change the oil when a dip stick indicates needing a quart. This Honda Insight just doesn’t use any oil. Every time I check it it’s full. I planned on junking this car two years ago when I bought a Prius to replace it, because of problems with the IMA (integrated motor assist) coming on and running down the 12 volt battery. Disconnecting the 12 volt battery for 10-30 seconds will reset the IMA light but only for 10 minutes to two hours of driving, and the light comes on again. I figured the car would expire by now but it’s running better than it’s replacement. Between the Insight and the Prius (rusted out) I want to limp until my Aptera is delivered.

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    The peoples car …. Landlocked Germaine’s version of the model T

    A car for the masses that anyone with a 13mm wrench could practically disassemble the entire car

  • Dean McManis

    Member
    April 5, 2022 at 10:21 am

    I want the Aptera to be more popular than a tiny niche market, but I’ve owned too many modern cars now, with their modern conveniences, to want a bare bones “people’s car” with a 6 volt electrical system, drum brakes, 56MPH top speed, awful heating, and rattling noises everywhere. I still own a 1959 Karmann Ghia convertible (which I love), but I wouldn’t want to commute in it daily, or risk taking it on a 1,000 mile trip somewhere. I do like the old VW’s simplicity, and easy/low cost repairs. But I’d rather have a Tesla-like driving experience, plus some extras (like solar), and lower purchase/operating costs.

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