The Aptera Width Issue

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions The Aptera Width Issue

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions The Aptera Width Issue

  • The Aptera Width Issue

     Tim Ngo updated 1 week, 3 days ago 109 Members · 329 Posts
  • Chris Hale

    Member
    August 25, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    I have to agree with you on this. It is not able to be towed by another vehicle using a car dolly because they don’t make them wide enough along with a few other downfalls that comes with this kind of width. But it is what it is. Aptera is going with this design, and they believe that 88″ is drivable. They’ve demonstrated that it can work on their posted videos.

    • Mark Salyzyn

      Member
      August 26, 2022 at 3:51 am

      Tow the Aptera backwards.

      • Riley …

        Member
        August 26, 2022 at 3:59 am

        Any wheels with hub motors can’t free spin and always have magnets engaged. The motors would turn into generators and I can’t imagine that would end well.

  • Mark Salyzyn

    Member
    August 25, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Same width, mirror to mirror, as some vehicles out there.

    Kia Soul (as standard tiny vehicle reference) is 80″ mirror to mirror (but they can be folded in), and is 12″ shorter than the Aptera.

    Dodge Challenger is 91″ mirror to mirror.

    Acura RDX 91.5″ mirror to mirror

    • Tim Ngo

      Member
      August 25, 2022 at 2:01 pm

      You are missing the point. 88 inches is from wheel to wheel.

      • John Voules

        Member
        August 25, 2022 at 2:12 pm

        Actually fender to fender.😃

        • Tim Ngo

          Member
          August 25, 2022 at 2:22 pm

          That’s not including the wheel covers. It probably exceeds 92 inches if the wheel covers are included. There will be an inconvenience if you try to park in a tight parking space.

          • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Tim Ngo.
          • Tim Ngo

            Member
            August 25, 2022 at 2:27 pm

            An average full-size car sedan is about 70-75 inches wide from wheel to wheel.

          • John Voules

            Member
            August 25, 2022 at 2:32 pm

            I do believe 88” includes the wheel pants as this is what APTERA has told us thus far.

            The worry has mostly been of others hitting our parked vehicle. Wheels are up front and will not be a hindering when others park beside you.

            • Tim Ngo

              Member
              August 25, 2022 at 3:19 pm

              Regular single-axle utility trailers are from 60 inches up to 77 Inch width and up to 20 feet in length. Good luck if you try to tow it yourself.

            • Jeffrey Parker

              Member
              August 25, 2022 at 3:31 pm

              I think if people are overly concerned with how wide 88″ will feel. I suggest buying two curb feelers now before Aptera is delivered and installing them on their current car to test before they pay $25K+ on something they’ll hit things with. If they hear the curb feeler hit anything, then they’ll know how wide 88″ is.

            • Ray Holan

              Moderator
              August 26, 2022 at 6:43 am

              Thanks a good practical suggestion, Jeff. Easy way to test it before purchase.

          • kerbe2705

            Member
            August 25, 2022 at 11:14 pm

            @Tim Ngo – 88″ is measured from the outside of the front wheel pants.

            The front track – from wheel centerline to wheel centerline – is 77″.

            Aptera’s 195/45 R16 tires are 7.7″ wide – so the measurement from the outside of the wheels is 84.7″.

            The front wheel pants extend 1.65″ beyond each front wheel, for a total of 88″.

        • Tim Ngo

          Member
          August 25, 2022 at 5:02 pm

          Aptera has no fender, just wheel covers.

      • Mark Salyzyn

        Member
        August 25, 2022 at 2:14 pm

        Not missing the point. The Aptera is not widened by its mirrors, they are inboard. On the road, Aptera is narrower than some of the 4 wheel brethren. A standard Garage, a standard stall, is 96″, the limiting factor.

        A wider stance is always more stable, I understand that getting into a stall might feel uncomfortable given that the wheel pants come out to 88″, but you are safe because that is the narrower portion of the cars you are parking betwixt. If Aptera is the pyramid, then all other cars are upside down pyramids, they dance just fine with each other. There was talk of pants-mounted cameras to aid parking however, and I hope that comes to fruition, but it will not be a deal breaker (I can drive up with my door up to see).

        One area that everyone will recognize as being an issue with wider stance, is that most on-street parallel parking stalls have a curb, and the mirrors of such vehicles are free to overlap the curb. This is where a pants-mounted camera would do wonders, as one could be 3″ from the curb with an Aptera with this aid, whereas all other cars are happy 18″ from the curb. I often spend hours watching all the fools trying to parallel park, it is a source of infinite entertainment.

        • Ron Glossin

          Member
          August 26, 2022 at 4:51 am

          You find a difficult task for most actually to be entertaining?

          Wow

          I often spend hours watching all the fools trying to parallel park, it is a source of infinite entertainment.

          • Mark Salyzyn

            Member
            August 26, 2022 at 6:35 am

            Yes it is entertaining. I am a people watcher.

            I took driver training, it was funded by the government, but optional to be taken. In my day we had to prove we could do it as part of our driving test, and can be failed on our inability. It is a very simple task, even a ten-year-old-design car computer can do it. Those that can not do it are showing a deficiency in their education, a deficiency in their practice. It is even funnier when the car is very expensive, they spent so much money/time on their car, and nothing on their education or practice. Without a doubt, education is our most beautiful and most important asset.

            One must learn something new every day. Learning should be fun. I lack skills, as we all do, I relish in every opportunity to improve them. If I have an audience laughing at me, I will try harder, and I will laugh along with them, because it is funny. I have stood naked on the stage.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    August 25, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    Perhaps for the next product (Four wheel multi passenger) or a version for the EU market, but not for the NA production Aptera. Such an engineering change would significantly degrade the aerodynamics of the vehicle, markedly increase the price, and delay production. The wide stance is a characteristic of Aptera we will need to adjust to.

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      August 25, 2022 at 4:16 pm

      @John Malcolm, I am familiar with Aptera’s past comments indicating that moving the wheel pants closer to the body decreases aerodynamic efficiency. But, I may have missed to what extent. When you say “significantly degrade” has there been any quantitative data from Aptera? If not, this may be a situation where a slight increase in drag coefficient may be worthwhile to some potential buyers… especially in non-US markets.

      • Tim Ngo

        Member
        August 25, 2022 at 4:37 pm

        Good point!

      • Curtis Cibinel

        Member
        August 25, 2022 at 5:17 pm

        Aptera is obviously not just putting their fingers in their ears and ignoring people. The current Aptera is designed to be the most hyper efficiency while balancing safety and usability objectives of a consumer vehicle. Realistically they are way too close to production for a change to something as fundamental as width of the vehicle. The width also likely helps the stability (especially with cargo) when handling (ie moose test). The eventual 4 wheel Aptera and other EVs have different design priorities. If the width is truly a problem Aptera might not be the right vehicle for you; consumers have choices.

      • John Malcom

        Member
        August 25, 2022 at 7:07 pm

        Not likely that they would make such an adjustment as their ethos is efficiency and they are draconian about aerodynamics. Aptera will sell on its current merits. Such a change certainly not worth the impact on cost and schedule. The best thing for sales volume is getting the current Aptera in the market. You also have no “Data” on the impact to sales that a narrower stance would make.

        • Curtis Cibinel

          Member
          August 25, 2022 at 7:35 pm

          I really hope Aptera continues to iterate and perfect their ultra efficient 3 wheel solar sports car. They have designed by far the best performance per dollar of any ev with a unique style; it’s a good niche. I’m concerned the sedan will struggle to have enough unique advantages to carve a profitable niche. Especially globally the current design could have a potential market of hundreds of thousands per year; competing for a family market against tesla, kia, gm and other established companies seems far more difficult.

          • John Malcom

            Member
            August 25, 2022 at 7:47 pm

            Agreed!

            I think of Aptera as a sports car too! It is the Miata of EVs.

            I agree also that those features that make it special will be too compromised in multi passenger sedan form to adequately discriminate it among it potential competitors who will soon produce low cost EVs for the North American market. I think the price reduction of the Bolt is an indication of what is coming in the industry.

        • Ray Holan

          Moderator
          August 26, 2022 at 6:47 am

          Good word choice with “draconian”, John. Had to look it up!

      • kerbe2705

        Member
        August 25, 2022 at 11:06 pm

        @Paul Schultz The Aptera’s sole purpose for being is to push the limits of EV range through a combination of lightness and aerodynamics. This makes it highly unlikely that they’d make any changes that would compromise either core premise.

        • Paul Schultz

          Member
          August 26, 2022 at 4:43 pm

          Hmmm, I am not clear on why everyone is thinking I suggested a last-minute change. My question was with regard to John’s comment referencing a ‘significant degradation’. I don’t think we have the data on this to provide a suggestion of severity. As for a potential alternate design, my comment mentioned non-US markets… which in Europe we do know would need a narrower stance. Aptera has indicated they would be considering a vehicle to meet these requirements. So, they could market the current design in North America while also engineering another version for Europe which would release a little later. I could easily see the front suspension, being one of the 6 component areas of assembly, being replaced with a narrower version.

          • kerbe2705

            Member
            August 26, 2022 at 4:52 pm

            @Paul Schultz The original Aptera design of a decade ago wasn’t quite stable enough and tended to lift wheels in turns. This is why they widened the front track in the current design. Aerodynamically it functions as three different bodies-in-motion: Two outriggers and the main body. They’ve been able to optimize this three-part design so that no one interferes with the airstream passing around the others.

            Moving the front wheels closer to the main body would interfere with both stability and aerodynamics: To make the vehicle less wide would most likely require a complete redesign.

            • Paul Schultz

              Member
              August 26, 2022 at 5:40 pm

              That is not denied or disputed. But, comparison to the original Aptera 2e has to be done with caution. The weight distribution with in-wheel motors and a battery in the belly pan would change the center of gravity to a lower point. These facts and the wider stance likely helped with improved performance in the Moose test.

  • Frank Chandler

    Member
    August 25, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    What is the maximum turning angle for the wheels? What is the turning radius of the Aptera?

    • Tim Ngo

      Member
      August 25, 2022 at 3:33 pm

      The Alpha is about 46.6 feet in diameter or 23.3 feet in radius and about 60 degrees without hitting the body. Jeep Wrangler has a turning radius of 17.2 feet, even putting 37 inches tires Jeep Wrangler’s radius is 20.6 feet. It will be an inconvenience trying to make a U-turn at the intersection or any street for Aptera.

      • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Tim Ngo.
      • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Tim Ngo.
      • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Tim Ngo.
      • Tim Ngo

        Member
        August 25, 2022 at 3:52 pm

        I do like to see this company taking off, but they have to listen to a valid concern. I’m a retired engineer, I guess I’ll fabricate the whole front wheels into the body and narrower the width to 75 inches. It’s doable. I do not concern about the warranty, this is just like a project for me to see what I could accomplish.

        • Dennis Swaney

          Member
          August 25, 2022 at 5:31 pm

          You’ll have to completely rebuild the suspension, steering linkage, fabricate new power cables (those orange ones) to power the motors, and, IF it has any form of hydraulic brakes, brake lines/hoses. Also if the suspension, lines, and power cables have airfoil shrouds, you’ll need to fabricate new ones. Oh, don’t forget that moving the wheels closer to the body will screw up the airflow making the vehicle less efficient.

        • John Malcom

          Member
          August 25, 2022 at 7:16 pm

          Feel free to do as you wish under Right to Repair after purchase. However, from a current engineer in the EV industry your approach makes little sense. Why buy the vehicle if you want to destroy the features that make it so efficient. Why not just buy something that fits your perspective more closely? I guess every body to his own.

          Not sure how such a kludge would pass a safety inspection or be licensed.

          • Tim Ngo

            Member
            August 27, 2022 at 11:50 am

            Normally I wouldn’t reply to a statement that doesn’t make any sense. There are hundreds of million cars in the world the width is less than 75 inches from wheel to wheel and thousands of autocycles (3-wheelers) on the street right now the width is less than 72 inches. I guess they all magically passed a safety inspection let alone passed the moose test.

            • Dennis Swaney

              Member
              August 27, 2022 at 12:24 pm

              That may be true, Tim, but none of them were designed for airflow efficiency. Obviously, the Aptera is not for you. I suggest you get one of those 72″ wide autocycles or maybe a 68.4″ wide Morgan 3. You’ll be happier.

            • Tim Ngo

              Member
              August 27, 2022 at 12:33 pm

              Dennis, Aptera has a good concept of self-charge from the sun. But not because of that, someone should not be perfected it. It is doable and the extra drag will be insignificant.

        • Andrew McKeown-Henshall

          Member
          August 26, 2022 at 3:17 pm

          So you want to knock 13” total off the width? 6.5” each side? RIP your steering angle / turning circle 🙈

      • Mark Salyzyn

        Member
        August 26, 2022 at 6:37 am

        Alpha is pretty old news, they demonstrated on Beta, and promised even more on Gamma, that the turning radius has been improved.

      • John Voules

        Member
        August 27, 2022 at 2:26 pm

        Tim, maybe everyone should look at this at a slightly different angle? Is it possible for the European market both in expansion and compliance that if it is engineered properly that they may end up getting something just a little less efficient than what will be in the North American market. This would easily sell more vehicles. Maybe also include Asian market.

        North America has some of the widest roads and many on this forum that are US based are having their issues already (although not so relevant) with parking and narrow garages. Europe is a different beast all together. Garages are narrower roads are narrower and so on. Mediterranean countries especially, most people get a long in scooters all smallest cars. I am hoping that APTERA would latch on to this idea for hitting even deeper markets.

        I AM NOT SAYING SPENDING ANY RESOURCES NOW! Not until APTERA deems it prudent to do so.

  • Qiang Fu

    Member
    August 25, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    It’s a bad idea and probably unsafe, but: if we take off both wheel pants and replace the 225 OEM front tires with 155 tires (tires used in BMW i3), we may just be able to get close to a 2 meter wide Aptera.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      August 25, 2022 at 10:54 pm

      No. You would have something close to two meters but it would not Be an Aptera

    • Mark Salyzyn

      Member
      August 26, 2022 at 6:41 am

      Besides, the oem tires are 195/45R16. Dropping to 155 is 4cm total. Pants could be made smaller then to compensate. This would drop their width from 2.235m to 2.195m …

      • Qiang Fu

        Member
        August 26, 2022 at 10:22 am

        @Mark Salyzyn You are right, it should be 195 OEM. Changing both tires to 155 should give 8cm. Getting rid of both wheelpants will save some more, depending on the thickness of the pant and the distance between pant and tire – assuming one inch, then we save two additional inches by taking the pants off without redesigning the front suspension, or saving four inches if we bring the tires closer by one inch from both side to maintain the same distance between tire and the body as original.

        Entertainment only. Not serious suggestion.

  • Graeme Hanna

    Member
    August 26, 2022 at 1:37 am

    The front width has been among my very few concerns since becoming an Aptera fanatic. Unsprung weight was another. Which got me thinking active suspension would an ideal option for the 2025-28 Aptera, considering the development time for that technology.

    However a slightly less complex adjustable suspension could bring the front wheel base tighter, while lifting the body of the vehicle higher in parking and city driving scenarios. By raising the upper control arms from a flat angle to as much as 45 degreees downward, when travelling at under say… 30 mph or lower.

    If you had adjustable pistons (hydraulic or better) on some combination of the front control arms and steering linkage you would be able to lift the body while bringing the front wheels in tighter.

    Take a minute to picture that. I’ll try to illustrate it when I have time…. Don’t hold your breath.

    Again, this would be at low speeds only. Drag increase would be minimal at these speeds. Turning radius could be tighter if the body was raised enough to allow the wheel pants under the raised front nose. Could be a solution for old Euro city driving and tight parking.

    I’m planning to buy the Aptera as a sports car or ultimate hot hatch. Ultimate power to weight ratio. So I’m hoping the 88″ wheel base performance doesn’t get compromised… let alone the price. Flexibility would be welcome by all though.

  • Howard Robertson

    Member
    August 26, 2022 at 6:52 am

    It is going to be a tight squeeze to get mine to live in the garage, but it will be worth it.

    • Mark Salyzyn

      Member
      August 26, 2022 at 7:12 am

      +1

      Mine will be outside warming itself in the sun!

  • Frank Chandler

    Member
    August 26, 2022 at 10:35 am

    DESIGN BY COMMITTEE:

    Redesign seems to be everyone’s favorite topic. I’ve been following the discussions about desired changes, and I think I’ve been able to incorporate them all into one perfect vehicle for those who want an electric vehicle, but don’t necessarily want an Aptera: Here are the changes we can accommodate:

    1. Move the wheels in tight to the body, but still in their own cocques.

    2. Provide accommodations for one or 2 more passengers.

    3. Replace the steering yoke with a more familiar steering wheel.

    4. Increase storage capacity enough to hold a 10′ 6″ Maverick’s gun and a Yeti cooler.

    5. Improve rear vision without additional cameras.

    Alternative: It seems to me that when one buys a vehicle, one necessarily buys the
    designer’s concept. If you don’t like the concept, don’t buy it.

    OLD (ORIGINAL) DESIGN: NEW (COMMITTEE) DESIGN:

    • Mark Salyzyn

      Member
      August 26, 2022 at 10:41 am

      Yes _that_ but want it in a ’59 Merc skin, and enough cast iron steel to engrave cement medians if I should brush against them!

  • Vernon Sinnott

    Member
    August 26, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Not a problem in Alberta. Vehicles may be 8’6″ (102″) wide.

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    Member
    August 27, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    Wheel width vs mirror to mirror width is comparing apples and oranges

    Mirrors can be folded in. Tires. Not so much

    The Hummer H1 is 86.5 inches (2.2 meters) wide

    My friend had an H1 and it was nearly impossible to find a parking space it would fit in.

    A motorcycle with a sidecar is only 64” to 69” wide

    I’d be more inclined to believe the width of the aptera is based more on using “off the shelf parts” from other vendors to make them easier and less costly to build.


    • Robert Hauck

      Member
      September 14, 2022 at 9:21 am

      I’ve driven an H1 and I think the issue with parking is largely about being able to open the doors once parked. The whole vehicle is wide. That is much less of an issue with Aptera where the main body of the vehicle is much narrower than the wheels. The Aptera’s wheels will be next to the other car’s wheels, not their doors.

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    Member
    August 27, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    Should aptera make it to the road it will officially be the widest car on the road. ( according to motor1 )

    https://www.motor1.com/features/364759/10-widest-cars-crossovers-minivans/amp/

  • Miles Hunter

    Member
    August 29, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    I ordered my Aptera from here in Southern California about an hour north of the factory in Carlsbad. I would plan on using it here for at least a year.

    I actually live on the east coast of Spain (lots of sun). As an American, I wouldn’t have to pay import duty (21%) if I’ve owned the car for a year or longer, it would be treated as personal property.

    The width concern has caused me to think about the cars I’ve used there and how they worked out. I now have a Hyundai XG30, a car that is frequently compared in size with an Audi A6. That Hyundai is about 72″ wide. Parking in underground or enclosed public garages is frequently a challenge, from the size of the spaces to the small turn radii sometimes requiring me to back and fill to make it around the turn. Yes, it’s harder than other cars to parallel park but not impossible (usually). In other respects the size of the car is not a problem.

    I once rented a Citroen C6 for two months so I got very familiar with it. It’s close to 74″ wide and I guess I wouldn’t want to go too much wider. Again, enclosed public garages were a challenge but nothing I couldn’t eventually triumph over. I used that car to take my mother, now 95, from Barcelona to Paris. I took a roundabout route that had me traversing the city of Toulouse on market day. You know how, when you squint your eyes enough, you can no longer see how close the sides of the car are to the carts and stands but can only see ahead and “feel” the space on the sides? Well that worked for me. Don’t ask me how, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Amazing, my mother was curled into a ball in the passenger seat but I never hit anything (that I know of). Aside from those examples, the size of the car was not a problem.

    In Spain I would use the Aptera the same way I would use it here, errands and trips to the store. I live in the foothills of the coastal plain just north of Valencia. It’s not an urban area, there’s lots of room. I have a house that has plenty of secured outdoor parking. Occasional outings in the mountains, a trip to Madrid every couple of years.

    Probably the biggest problem I, and anyone else in Europe, would face would be getting the car past it’s inspections. England has it’s MOT, Spain has it’s ITV. I’m sure every other country has it’s equivalent. I don’t know if Spain is worse but it can be very hard getting a vehicle through those inspections, especially if it is imported from outside Europe. I would expect to have to pay an automotive engineer specializing in “conforming” vehicles ($1000), bribes here and there (who knows!!), and the outrageously nitpicking and expensive “modifications” necessary (could be thousands).

    • Stanislav Jaracz

      Member
      August 29, 2022 at 9:58 pm

      I have exported 2012 Mitsubishi iMiEV to Czechia in 2015 and had to perform a number of modifications. The headlights must have height adjustment feature from the driver’s seat or automatic. The top edge of the light beam should be angled but they tolerate the US horizontal. Right-hand side vehicles have opposite angle and are unacceptable. Turn signals must be amber and no other lights can be amber (e.g. front corner/parking lights). Rear fog light is mandatory. All windows and seat belts, if not EU certified must be DOT certified and their approval must be granted by country’s Department of Transportation. They don’t fuss. The headlight is a big deal, though. Not sure about EU regulation for 3-wheelers. But you can insist that the vehicle is in EU temporarily and keep driving unmodified vehicle with US license plate. Insurance would be a headache, though. You would be insuring by VIN #. And then comes the plug. You will need to bring modified US EVSE. Mine was modified by evseupgrade.com, which no longer exists. The on-board charger is for 1/2 phase electrical system. In the EU, they have 3 phase system so you would be able to use only 1 phase in public AC chargers – with proper adapter. DC fast charging would most likely not work.

      I would not export any car, again.

      • Miles Hunter

        Member
        August 30, 2022 at 2:10 am

        Yeah, I now remember conforming a motorcycle I bought used in the UK (20% cheaper than Spain). Headlights were a big deal even on a motorcycle because it was from a country that drives on the left. Had to change tires from the factory recommended to ones they thought were more appropriate. What was I going to say, no? I now remember the headlight height adjusters on every car there, would a 3 wheel vehicle (maybe motorcycle) be required to have them? I guess that would be up to the inspector and what he had for breakfast.

        In any case, I’m sure it would be a big headache. Nonetheless, I know people in Spain, car nuts, who have passed or gotten exemptions for things you would never imagine would be possible. I think I need to spend more time with those people.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    September 13, 2022 at 8:36 am

    Guess what – Looks like Aptera is actually 85 inches wide (2.159 meters). They were able to trim a little off.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVDGwijbWOs

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      September 13, 2022 at 9:17 am

      This just might provide a chance to squeeze an Aptera onton a tow dolly with the wheel pants removed. I believe the widest dolly I found on a search max’s out at an 82″ width.

      If this works out it would be welcome news for the RV crowd.

      • Qiang Fu

        Member
        September 13, 2022 at 3:56 pm

        Change to a pair of Skinner front tires may lose another couple of inches. Just for towing (not driving).

        • Paul Schultz

          Member
          September 13, 2022 at 7:53 pm

          RVers who tow behind a motorhome are very unlikely to swap tires at a campsite while boondocking or enjoying a national or state park campground.

    • Bob Kirchner

      Member
      September 13, 2022 at 12:29 pm

      There’s always hope, but the measurement method in this video isn’t especially accurate.

      Given the widespread concern about Aptera’s width, I’d think if they had managed to narrow it Aptera would be shouting it from the rooftops.

    • Scott

      Member
      September 13, 2022 at 1:07 pm

      Good info and glad that it may be a couple inches thinner.

      Keep in mind that the overall width will increase whenever the wheels are turned since the wheel pant front will progressively stick out laterally on one side and at the same time the wheel pant back will progressively stick out laterally on the other side.

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 9:08 am

    Mirror to mirror width is a completely different animal than wheel to wheel, mirrors can be folded in out of the way, you can park with your wheels up against the edge of the curb i and 4-10 inches of mirror will overhang the curb, you put the aptera wheel up against the curb and you got 88 inches out into the roadway.

    Also keep in mind. The average parking space in the USA is 7.5 feet to 9 feet

    9 feet. Not an issue. 7.5 feet ? Big problem, considering how people don’t seem the be between the lines perfectly centered or straight.

    7.5 feet = 90”. Leaving you 1” to spare on either side. Good luck with that. Or just don’t go there anymore.

  • Ian Keay

    Member
    October 25, 2022 at 4:14 pm

    My concern is that Aptera is allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good-enough, and in their commendable zeal for lowest coefficient of resistance they will be reducing a niche vehicle to a micro-niche one—and in particular the width of the front wheel pants will prove to be its Achilles heel once it is out in the street in real numbers. Some here have pointed out that the full wheel width is no more than some other cars’ wing mirrors, to which I reply, But wing mirrors are sacrificial!, and a misjudgment in a “normal” car that results in a wing mirror scratch could, on an Aptera, result in serious damage. Here’s an example: have you ever tripped over one of those tall child dining chairs whose feet splay out for stability? You judge the width of the base by the width at the top, right? Wrong! So if your minimalist Aptera pod is parallel-parked curbside, with the outside wheel on or over the line, that distracted oncoming SUV driver who is late for child-care pickup and is trying to get around the double-parked UPS truck is going to make on-the-fly assumptions about where your wheels should be, and pretty soon you have yourself a two-wheeler.

    Look, I will hold up my bleeding-edge car creds against anyone (my Insight is pining for Mt. Fiji), and am on the lookout to replace or supplement my i3 Electronaut in a few years time, and, well, I’m still looking.

    • Randy J

      Member
      October 26, 2022 at 3:52 am

      Ian, that is the best analogy I’ve heard or read yet. How many times have I tripped over my grand-kids high chair? Almost every time. I blamed it on wearing glasses which limits my peripheral vision. I am a cheapskate (free energy and very little maintenance costs) and I love the look and potential performance of the Aptera but I’m not going to take delivery until I see real world driving experiences.

      ” Here’s an example: have you ever tripped over one of those tall child
      dining chairs whose feet splay out for stability? You judge the width
      of the base by the width at the top, right? “

  • Ray L

    Member
    October 26, 2022 at 11:54 am

    I might keep a couple of 6′ tall blaze orange flags in the car. Set them up near the wheels when I park.

  • Dirk Engel

    Member
    October 27, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    highway construction Germany

    • Richard Kaiser

      Member
      October 28, 2022 at 2:12 am

      It’s not illegal to stay in the right lane…

  • Dirk Engel

    Member
    October 28, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    drive behind the truck on the construction site because the road is wider In Germany, driving on Autobahns in construction sites is prohibited if the vehicle width is greater than indicated on the signs, if the vehicle is wider than 2 meters. In the worst case, the insurance fails in the event of an accident There is another problem: many parking spaces are 2.3 meters wide, which is very narrow at Aptera

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Dirk Engel.
  • Will-UK

    Member
    November 17, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    Hi all.
    Living in the UK the huge width of the Aptera is my main concern, that and the fact that you may not be able to see the extremities from the driving position, and other people also may not see how wide the vehicle is coming towards them on a dark leafy narrow twisty country road. I hope the marker lamps will be at the very furthest out points rather than on the prototype where they are in the middle of the wheel housing. I would rather a narrower body was offered as an option or Europe/UK spec.

    • Michael Marsden

      Member
      November 18, 2022 at 7:00 am

      It will have to be narrower due to the L5e-A regulations. Maximum width 2M.

      They’ve said that they have a homologation expert working on any changes required to sell into Europe.

      Note that making it narrower might make the turning circle a bit bigger (the limiting factor is the size of the wheel pants, and the available gap between the body and the pants). … swings and roundabouts.

      • Francis Giroux

        Member
        November 18, 2022 at 7:15 pm

        The best solution includes narrower tires. Tires now are almost 8″ wide. Tires on my Honda Insight are about 5″ wide. You can save 6″ right there. The width is about 84.75″ now and we need 78.74″ (2 M). 84.75″ – 78.74″ = 6.01″ I’m sure they can squeeze another .01″ more out of the suspension, when they shorten the suspension and build new wheel pants, to fit the narrower tires. This way they won’t have to change the main body. Actually I am surprised that such a light vehicle is using such wide tires anyway.

        • Dennis Swaney

          Member
          November 19, 2022 at 7:23 am

          No, the tires are 195/45×16 so 195 x .45 = 87.75mm 87.75/25.4 = a tad over 3.45″.

          So the TIRES are NOT “almost 8″ wide”! Perhaps you meant the wheel pants are that width? That would make sense as adding 2″ clearance on each side of the tire, would total 7.45″.

          • Michael Marsden

            Member
            November 19, 2022 at 8:36 am

            I’ve seen some posts claiming that the tyres are 225. So I suspect that is where that width came from. 195 seems more likely.

            Having said that, I’m not sure that’s the right way to calculate it. I don’t think the profile is used in that way. My understanding is that 195 and 225 is simply the tyre width in mm. It’s the sidewall height calculation that uses the profile (i.e., 195/45R16 has a 3.5″ sidewall).

            Using a tyre size calculator on 195/45R16 gives this:

            Diameter 22.9″ / 582mm

            Width 7.7″ / 195mm

            Sidewall 3.5″ / 89mm

            Circum. 71.9″ / 547mm

            • Dennis Swaney

              Member
              November 19, 2022 at 9:12 am

              DUH, you’re right! Mea culpa; must have been a brain fart!

              Actually, since the tread width is 195mm and since when there is weight on the tires the sidewall bulges out wider than the tread, the overall tire width under load will probably be over 8″

        • V Pilot

          Member
          November 19, 2022 at 9:08 am

          It’s the width between the outer hub surfaces where the rims make contact with the hubs that determine the width of the track. Rim offset won’t have much effect on the total wheel width…you can only have so much before putting extra stress on the bearings. So having narrower rims/tires will only change the distance between the insides of the rims/tires, not the overall track width. The body and/or the suspension arm dimensions will need to be altered to narrow the track width.

          • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  V Pilot.
          • Francis Giroux

            Member
            November 19, 2022 at 1:17 pm

            Yeah, that’s why I said, “shorten the suspension (the arms, to make the whole thing narrower) and build new wheel pants, to fit the narrower tires. You’d be bringing the whole wheel/tire/motor assembly in, and making the pants narrower to provide clearance from the body. A better suggestion that the dent in the side of the body for clearance, is to curve the back inside part of the pants out, similar to what they did with the present pants. I didn’t know there was a length issue. I’ll have to look at that.

  • Curtis Cibinel

    Member
    November 19, 2022 at 9:03 am

    Looking at the 12cm per side they need to save I did some crude editing of the nose in the old 43:1 STL. I rescaled it to 10:1 (mm=cm) then separated the wheel pods. By narrowing 12cm on each side, narrowing the nose and adding a notch to the body to receive the turning wheel pant it should work. It definitely isn’t as clean visually or aerodynamically as the original but given europeans TYPICALLY drive slower this shouldn’t be too bad (especially if removing the mirrors offsets some or all of this). The way the parts are shown in the CPC reveal the nose is separate and I deliberately kept the edits infront of the other components so only the nose and suspension would need to be changed in this concept.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1WQ8wz4ZoZqW6U_QSnx9NgHKO4e82ZBPt?usp=sharing

    Important: This is a very crude edit of the old 43:1 Aptera STL Model using meshmixer. It shows the concept only. Source files are in the above.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Curtis Cibinel. Reason: Removed images showing the length. Will add shortened version details and impacted major parts details soon
    • John Voules

      Member
      November 19, 2022 at 9:29 am

      Looking forward to the US intent APTERA, but at the same time I would rather have something narrower to actually drive and park in a more congested area like Chicago. I haven’t measured the newer markings that Chicago now seems to be expanding through out their main streets, but the new street markings now include a fairly wide bicycle lane. Even when driving my 70” wide i3 it feels like a squeeze. I try and avoid driving my 78” wide q7 all together unless absolutely necessary. It definitely has the effect of slowing traffic down, which I’m sure was the intent along with creating a bike freindly environment. Without getting ahead of myself, I would buy a narrower European version and forgo a bit of efficiency, if it were available?

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      November 19, 2022 at 10:00 am

      It was brought to my attention by the Aptera Owners Group discord that the L5e spec also limits to 4 meters long. This requires edits to the tail but are all behind the rear wheel. I will update the models to reflect the possibility of saving the required 37cm from the tail. I don’t think this would impact suspension and is essentially a different CF-SMC mold for the main tub, SMC side panel and hatch.

      European localization to comply makes Aptera a substantially different vehicle from the outside but with some smart choices the majority of mechanical and cabin parts can be unaffected.

      • Titus Meusel

        Member
        November 19, 2022 at 10:17 am

        I believe Gamma is even longer, so there might be more to cut off in length to reach 4 meters. I found another homogenization issue we might run into. The rear license plate: US version is 7¼ x 4¼ inch (184 x 108mm) – right? The smallest plate I found for Europe exceeds that with 255 x 130 mm and appears to be reserved for light motorcycle with max. speed of 80 km/h. Plus I found a ruling the so called “Harley-Davidson plates” are prohibited in Germany. Some guy was unsuccessful challenging court to use it for his Harley. The court argues a plate that small can’t be read properly on a bike that fast.

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Titus Meusel.
        • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Titus Meusel.
        • Curtis Cibinel

          Member
          November 19, 2022 at 10:56 am

          Worst case the plate can be mounted spaced out a little so its sits down. This is a fairly manageable problem. Marker lights, light colours, plates etc are fairly normal localization issues for any vehicle; changing the dimensions of the vehicle substantially is a lot harder.

          The other approach to all this is to lobby for exceptions to the rules that make no bloody sense.

      • Francis Giroux

        Member
        November 19, 2022 at 1:37 pm

        Ouch, I don’t see an easy fix to the length problem, other than building the whole Aptera 12% smaller, which would also take care of the width problem. Then all we would need is the machine from “Honey I Shrunk The Kids” movie.

  • Curtis Cibinel

    Member
    November 19, 2022 at 5:09 pm

    By changing the rear CF-SMC tub to end shortly after the rear wheel, replacing the SMC side panel and the hatch they should be able to reuse the vast majority of the rest of the vehicle (drivetrain, rear suspension, battery, interior, wheel pants, roof, etc). This is obviously still a very big change but if really well designed the pack, drivetrain and cabin components can all be unchanged. Hopefully Aptera can get an exception to the L5e rules because this is still a large number of changes overall. Shaving length and width while keeping the majority of the vehicle the same would be a very expensive engineering rework.

    • Front suspension shortened
    • Nose pointed and indented for the relief when turning
    • CS-SMC tub shortened
    • SMC side panel on each side shortened
    • Hatch shortened (and less solar as a result)

    Files: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1WQ8wz4ZoZqW6U_QSnx9NgHKO4e82ZBPt?usp=sharing

    Reminder: Models are very crude to just show the basic concept.

    • Todd Williams

      Member
      November 21, 2022 at 4:09 am

      Interesting. What if you gave the wheel covers a sort of Kamm tail treatment, and remember the front won’t turn in quite as sharp as the rear.

      I would even consider removing the outer face of the wheel cover acceptable. As long as it looks more appropriate than cycle covers I really don’t care about the aero with mainly short distances at city speeds.

  • Tim Ngo

    Member
    November 21, 2022 at 9:22 am

    It doesn’t matter how efficient it is when it can’t go where you want. The width between the 2 front wheels is too wide for a 2-seater autocycle. Here is the solution: less than 20% efficiency but can go almost everywhere you want.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  Tim Ngo.
    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      November 21, 2022 at 9:39 am

      To narrow aggressively isn’t just a question of efficiency. Without major changes to the nose like shown in my mockup the wheels wont be able to turn effectively which is kinda important. 74 inches means shaving another 2.5 inches per side above my mockup. Eliminating the center console and narrowing the body would result in massive parts rework but might be something to consider for a Aptera V2; Inline seating is another option when reworking at this scale.

    • Tim Ngo

      Member
      November 21, 2022 at 11:35 am

      If Aptera wants to be the efficient and practical ideal vehicle, they should learn the front suspension from Vanderhall Edison2

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  Tim Ngo.
      • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  Tim Ngo.
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