MemberOctober 26, 2021 at 3:55 pm
From my days as a motorcyclist (of the 2-wheel variety), I recall breaking down the “lane” into three “sub-lanes”: left, middle, and right. And that the middle sub-lane was the one to avoid on a (2-wheel) motorcycle, because ICE vehicles often deposited excess amounts of oil and antifreeze there. Slip-and-slide with just a light rain, was always a problem if we 2-wheerls rode in the middle of a lane—and that’s right where the third, back wheel of Aptera sits, drives, … and, I’m worried, might spin-out a bit, thanks to ICEers’ unwelcome deposits. Any testing on this? I bet there has been… Ultimate solution is, of course, retire the ICE vehicles! But that’s gonna take a few years of oil and antifreeze deposits…
MemberOctober 26, 2021 at 4:16 pm
All version of the Aptera will still drive on the front wheels. Having a occasional bit of slip on the middle wheel on a paved road shouldn’t cause much of a issue. Each wheel is driven so they have a ton of potential for traction control with driving each separately. On a motorcycle this is a far bigger issue since it can impact both wheels but with 2/3rds of your drive wheels unaffected it shouldn’t be an issue.
ModeratorOctober 26, 2021 at 4:22 pm
But wouldn’t all the Polaris Slingshot and Vanderhall owners be able share their experiences?
Both three wheel tripod configured
The old Aptera 2e in the Progressive X Prize runs was on a track, and there are many video to view on the internet. Of course that was not AWD
The Std Aptera will have front wheel drive and only the AWD engages the rear center wheel
That video of the original AWD Aptera “ Noir” that was test driven on the CA race track that had a heavy cover of residual-stuff and rubber seemed to be ok???
I guess we will know in a few months?
ModeratorOctober 26, 2021 at 4:46 pm
Valid concern, Brian. I owned a three-wheel EV some years back and regularly drove it in winter. The drive wheel was the single back wheel, the other two in front were used for steering but were not driven (like every Aptera model). I lost drive traction to the single rear wheel in some situations, but not steering control. Overall, it inspired confidence. I’d anticipate that Aptera should be much better under the same conditions especially if you order the AWD version. Remember that Roush Engineering is consulting on the Aptera suspension so I trust the issue you are raising will be addressed in their testing and refinement process.
MemberOctober 26, 2021 at 5:55 pm
Motorcycles are inherently unstable. If you stop them, typically they will fall over so comparing them to three-wheeled vehicles falls into the ‘does not compute’ arena. But you are correct about the division of the roadway into three general paths … the two used by most four-wheeled vehicles and the center of the road which is only used by three-wheelers.
If you were driving a Polaris Slingshot, you might have more legitimate concerns as that ‘autocycle’ uses the typical motorcycle power-train configuration of a chain-driven rear wheel that lacks the more sophisticated anti-slip/stability capabilities of the all-wheel electric drive Aptera. In other words, because the slingshot is not FWD, the only control vector involved is steering.
The stability of the front-drive Aptera only has the rear wheel following so slipping on the so-called slippery center occurs only when stopping rapidly. Even in that case, the stability control over the independently powered front wheels, not to mention the 65/35 percent front/rear bias will keep such slippage under control.
With the all-wheel drive, my understanding is that the electronic controls will limit wheel spin when accelerating and stability control at the rear will have a broader range of responses to maintain traction.
If you want to approximate the ‘sensation’ take your 4-wheeled car and drive on the lip of the shoulder with your left-front in the center lane. Unless there are alert features … those reflective buttons or ribbed asphalt that says you’re too-close to the edge of the lane (on a 2-lane) you’ll note that even with the crap left by ICE vehicles, you’re probably okay unless your making a 15-mph hairpin at 45.
Bottom line, you might experience some fishtailing on rapid acceleration in the rain in a slingshot but you’d be hardpressed to notice a difference between a four-wheeled car and Aptera in either 2-wheel and 3-wheel drive. If reality proves me wrong on this, I suspect that this would be a matter of tuning the computer’s power application.
MemberOctober 27, 2021 at 8:31 am
Thanks, George – I’m sure you’ve eased more than just a few minds about this, mine included. I’m moving to hilly WNC where icy winter conditions definitely are a challenge for driving any vehicle, which is why I’ve opted for AWD Off-road package. Now more assured that Aptera will do as well as if not better than standard ICE vehicle.
MemberOctober 27, 2021 at 12:08 pm
Consider, too, that you’re discussing liquids: Liquids don’t – as a rule – stay where they are put, especially when they’re splashed upon a flat or crowned surface. Liquids tend to migrate to the lowest available point which – on a well-traveled road – would be the “lane ruts”. They may leave residue on the less-traveled part of a road surface but I would venture that most paved roads have a relatively even coating.
MemberOctober 27, 2021 at 12:55 pm
Thank you all for your information, swift replies! Very reassuring … and I’m keeping my reservation for all (3) wheel drive for now.
MemberOctober 28, 2021 at 1:48 am
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