- 71 Replies
- MemberNovember 1, 2021 at 5:18 pm
Bottom half rolls down electrically.
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 9:20 am
Investor and reservation holder for Aptera here. I can’t wait to get mine and be able to show it off but boy do I wish they could do something about the side window’s midbar. Part of the appeal to driving a shiny new toy is to be able to roll down the windows and greet/chat with people but the midbar awkwardly obstructs the driver’s face and vision. Any remedy to be able to minimize it or atleast make it transparent?
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 10:25 am
They discussed this in a Q&A video. The split window was important for smoothing airflow. Any amount of ridge at that point hurt aerodynamics too much. Making it transparent might be possible since they can use polycarbonates (autocycle regulations).
- MemberJuly 6, 2022 at 2:37 pm
I heard Chris say they couldn’t get the window to go all the way down due to the curvature of the body. I’m sure that’s why the glass got shortened. That midway bar, transparent or not, must be creating drag. Back to the drawing board, guys.
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 10:45 am
Sure! Want to get together and make some aftermarket acrylic bubble doors?
The window bar exists to give an edge for the lower window for aerodynamics. It also increases side impact safety since in the US vehicles are tested to prevent unbuckled occupants from being ejected. It keeps the unbuckled dummies in the car and it keeps foreign objects out. If there’s no side airbag the bar will serve that purpose.
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 12:35 pm
I agree that Peter’s extremely cool full side open window concept may not meet side impact requirements, though I wish it would and we could get one!
My strong preference would be for a full roll-down window or a half-way single roll-down window that opens from top to mid-way down if the shell curvature restricts further up/down movement. If neither of those were possible, then I would actually prefer a fixed single sheet of glass (that doesn’t even open) over the current design. Others prefer to have the half slot window on the side over no opening, which is fine and understandable for them. In my opinion, this is an obvious field of view blocker and impediment to an optimal driving experience. I am a big fan of the Aptera and have ordered one, but this is an example where they chose eeking out nth degree efficiency in an already incredibly efficient vehicle and “lost sight” that there are other important priorities for an all-around effective vehicle such as driver experience, safety, and field of view. I anticipate there will be some negative feedback on this design issue when people drive it in the real world. Even though a single piece of stationary glass would cost less, have fewer parts, weigh less, improve aerodynamics even more, and improve field of view, I would actually pay for it as an option. However, there are currently no plans to do so.
There was a lot of really good discussion about this, including alternative design ideas with concept drawings, in the old forum that is not available anymore. I saved some of it offline and even wrote a nice letter to the CEOs since I believe the mid-window view-blocking frame is a mistake. They did not respond. There was one generic response to a webinar question a while ago stating that they do not plan to change / improve the side windows design. Hopefully, after future requests, it will become either a factory option or aftermarket solution to resolve this with a better design. However, it might require replacing the entire door, not just the window area of the initial door.
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 12:51 pm
As a autocycle most safety tests don’t apply. Aptera being safe is a good thing but legally they don’t need to do much. Pretty sure you could take the door off entirely and be totally legal. Arcimoto has no doors and neither does every motorcycle in existence.
Peter’s concept definitely wont be safe by comparison to the stock doors but that is a personal risk not an area for government interventions.
Personally I don’t really mind the mid window frame but I can see the concern. Hopefuly the way the door is designed will make it something which could be tweaked. That piece of frame probably isn’t structural or safety related so you’d think it could be far thinner.
- ModeratorNovember 17, 2021 at 1:25 pm
At first glance, I too thought the window sidebar was a big mistake. However, I began to reflect on all the cars I’ve had in the past and a good number of them had some kind of blind spot that I just got used to after awhile. The Aptera window bar will not prevent me from seeing traffic coming at me from the left or the right. Yes, I don’t get a completely unobstructed view, but it’s only 2 inches or so — a stripe of data. I also thought of the other reason I look out the side window: to scan for traffic passing me on the left or on the right. Of course, the sideview mirrors/cameras will handle that despite the window bar.
On balance, I’d rather not have the sidebar, but I think I can accommodate them after a period of adjustment.
- ModeratorNovember 17, 2021 at 2:59 pm
I thought that Chris or Steve indicated that the short window was do to the curvature of the body not allowing a window to roll up and properly seal
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 4:06 pm
Norman, yes, you are correct. The curvature of the shell plus the interior usable area of the current door design are the primary limiters on having a full top to bottom range of motion like a “normal” window that 99.999% of other cars in the world provide (I say 99.999% since some people like to point to a very few random, extremely low volume cars that had this same design issue). This is why I suggested other alternatives (single piece glass that only partially opens from top to midway instead of the current opening from midway to bottom, or even a single fixed piece of glass that is non-retractable as a last ditch solution if they cannot otherwise find a way to resolve this design problem, and/or one of these as an extra cost option for those who are concerned about it while others who do not care about good field of view don’t have to pay for it).
Forum member loswa contributed various ideas a while ago on the old forum, such as the ones here. Not that any of these are the end all be all. The main point is that Aptera has a top notch engineering team that has solved many more significant problems than this. So, it would be great if they did not throw up their hands and ignore it but instead would take it on as a challenge to properly solve.
If Aptera hopefully becomes successful and is around for years, I would not be at all surprised if early Aptera can be easily identified from a distance by the side window frames. Meaning that later models will take real world customer feedback into account, solve for it, and later versions will not have this mid-window frame at all. That’s my crystal ball reading for the day. ????
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 4:21 pm
I believe in the recent Jay Leno video that Chris mentions the aerodynamic impact of having a full retractable window due to the airflow disruption caused by a typical recessed door window with frame. Based on his comment the current design is apparently the best method they could find based on simulations to retain a low drag coefficient while having a partial retractable window.
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 4:33 pm
All good points. Like has been mentioned though, the curvature may prevent a top down solution. Meant this to pair with the response a couple above.
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 4:53 pm
For me personally, if Aptera cannot or declines to fix this problem (which is apparently the case), I would personally rather have the option of a fixed single pane window that could not even be “rolled down”, believe it or not. I am not expecting others to want that since many folks want at least a slot to open, and fixed window is definitely not my first choice, though I have heard some on the old forum agree with this so that they could also have a better field of view and driving experience. It would cost less, have fewer parts (remove all of the controls, electric motor, mid-window frame, extra seals, etc.), weigh less, and actually be more aerodynamic than the current design.
I would also be completely fine with a little less curvature/tiny bit more drag to fit a better solution. Again, it is a broader problem that definitely could be solved if it was prioritized.
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 5:13 pm
Didn’t they lower the seats to accommodate taller drivers in the Beta series? Maybe it will not be so bad for 6′ and under.
- MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 5:52 pm
Kenneth, yes, you are correct. They said they were going to lower the seat some. This does not remove the problem, though, especially since the mid-window frame member swoops downwards toward the front (so it will always obstruct at minimum part of the view for every driver), the problem persists for taller drivers, and separately the lowered seat may create a “go kart effect” that is not as comfortable by reducing thigh support on long trips.
As an example, I took a screenshot from today’s (presumably non-beta) Right To Repair video from Aptera. You can imagine from this that moving the seat down a bit may still affect a wide range of people and eye heights.
- ModeratorNovember 22, 2021 at 8:25 am
Wilson, having reviewed that comments in this thread, I decided to do an experiment. I am going to put a stripe of blue painter’s tape on my driver’s side window to see how annoying it is in real life. I’ll position it in the approximate position of the Alpha Aptera sidebar plus a half inch to allow for the lower seat position we anticipate in the Beta Aptera.
- MemberNovember 22, 2021 at 2:06 pm
I agree with a lot that has been said here. A couple of observations just to point out. Nobody seems to be complaining about the visual obstruction of the A pillar (front door edge) which is on this and most vehicles. It seems that we have all gotten used to those obstructions without constantly running into things. It is also wider than the window seam. Also most of us can turn our sun visors to the side which also blocks view, albeit it is easily repositioned as needed.
Granted constant improvement is a great thing but I am willing to tolerate some issues as an early adopter in order to both get my hands on this new toy and help suggest improvements for future owners.
- MemberNovember 22, 2021 at 7:12 pm
John, I’d really appreciate your input on my earlier post regarding logistical difficulty posed by outboard wheels in getting close enough to facilitate transactions at ATMs, toll booths, parking tickets etc where tight quarters may preclude opening door as option. Do we need to design some sort of extendable robotic arm?
- MemberNovember 23, 2021 at 9:49 am
Lou, I don’t have much input on this issue. There is no engineering solution to the problem because unfortunately, the front suspension design is a feature that supports the efficient aero performance. Even if the windows were designed to roll down completely it would not mitigate the issue. I guess the classic two edged sword, cutting one way a good design feature and cutting the other way a cause for aggravation.
Possibly a driving technique called crabbing for those that are pilots would work but need to see an Aptera and take some measurements to determine if it would be suitable.
Of course, the variety of configurations of ATMs, toll booths, parking entrances and exits make it difficult to create a solution that would work for every case.
I would have to say that Curtis hast the simplest and most practical solution.
Another concern not voiced is that some of the pathways for these devices are pretty narrow. The extra wide stance of the Aptera may preclude easy entry to access the device.
- MemberNovember 23, 2021 at 12:28 pm
Thanks for your input, John. You are correct that the wide stance may create its own problems negotiating through tight quarters. Needless to say we’ll doubtless all have our own yet-to-be-anticipated adventures once on the road!
- MemberNovember 23, 2021 at 1:47 pm
Perhaps Aptera could build some sort of a removable tray into the center console that could be used as an extender when passing toll payments or paying at the drive-thru window. It could slide in/out and be hidden within the design of the console. Or, just buy a church collection basket with extension handle! Problem solved!????
- MemberNovember 23, 2021 at 7:15 pm
I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and suggest that – perhaps – the distance from an open Aptera window to a ticket dispenser or drive-up ATM or fast-food window might be less of a chasm than many are anticipating. Now I might have a unique physicality, but my arms extend from my shoulders and can be moved in a number of different directions: The distance from the side of my torso to the tip of my extended index finger is 31″ (79cm). If one inspects the attached image, the distance from the window sill to the outside of the wheel pants would appear to be significantly less than 31″. Yes, my reach does – indeed – exceed my grasp but I’d venture that the distance is not more than 18″ (46cm). In addition, I’ve not had to open a window to pay a toll in over a decade: I have an EZ-Pass.
- MemberNovember 23, 2021 at 9:10 pm
Very artful tongue and cheek! I think though we need the actual measurements to verify this hypothesis.
I have EZ-Pass too but it doesn’t work well at my ATM
- MemberNovember 23, 2021 at 9:41 pm
To be honest, I almost never use cash – and my bank has only walk-up ATMs. But we know the tire size so we know the wheel width and can make assumptions about the overall width of the wheel pants. We’ve also seen the camera wings close enough to human bodies to estimate their size. I’d be surprised, then, if my estimate was far off the mark…
- MemberNovember 27, 2021 at 5:03 pm
You’re a lot more optimistic about this than I am.
Looking at the design of this vehicle combined with the apparent seating position, and I’m going to say that you’ll never be able to reach anything in any sort of drive-up situation, be it a ticket for a parking garage, a toll booth, fast food, or anything else.
I’ve driven cars where you just sit fairly low that didn’t have wheels sticking way out, and it was challenging even for me at 6’2″.
- MemberMarch 13, 2022 at 1:37 pm
Does anyone know if Aptera will be delivered with UV tinted windows? Since tinted windows help reflect summer sun and help keep the vehicle warm in the winter, I would think it would. But I have not seen it mentioned anywhere.
- ModeratorMarch 13, 2022 at 3:09 pm
I believe their old website had a graphic, which said solar reflective or UV reflective
But I never recall reading tinted windows
- MemberMarch 13, 2022 at 4:33 pm
I’m getting full solar so that eliminate the rear hatch from this discussion.
AFAIK it is NOT legal to tint the windshield.
This leaves only the 2 side which can be tinted, so I wonder how noticeable the results would be.
- MemberMarch 13, 2022 at 7:56 pm
There is a difference between factory auto glass tint (very mild tinting embedded into the glass) and the much darker aftermarket tinting, the latter being regulated differently between states and countries. Most vehicles made since the ’70’s have factory tinted glass that helps reduce UV light exposure in the car and to help air conditioning. I believe Aptera will have traditional factory auto glass tinting (I remember hearing Steve Fambro saying that in one of the videos).
- MemberMarch 13, 2022 at 7:19 pm
I wonder if the tint shop would consider each door as having two windows.
- MemberMarch 13, 2022 at 9:16 pm
There are also, now, IR-reflective films that have 98% transmissivity and should be legal for use on windshields.
- MemberMarch 14, 2022 at 6:58 am
The typical solar cell spectral response extends into the infrared bands to about 1100 nanometers so putting a IR reflective film on the windshield would block usable light to the solar panels on the dash and reduce their output.
- MemberMarch 14, 2022 at 3:22 am
If you don’t get the full solar package I would think this could have the same issues as the AMC Pacer with all the glass it had. This issue becomes all too real for me as I’ve reserved the basic model because it fits my needs. This however leaves me with an open back glass area where all of mother natures harmful things can occur. II will most likely tint and make a custom cover for the back area to prevent anyone from seeing the contents inside.
For now I would think a custom closet pole holder, a spring loaded blind and a few clips should do it. I don’t have a 3D printer but I’m sure I can make something out of wood.
- MemberMarch 14, 2022 at 7:41 am
Isn’t UV radiation part of the valuable source of solar cells energy production? I guess UV shielding on the windshield won’t harm the electrical output of the dashboard solar sells, as much as it will protect the interior for long life expectancy of the vehicle. I guess we can afford a 10% reduction of the few miles per day we expect from the dashboard cells.
- MemberApril 10, 2022 at 6:25 am
By the time the sunlight hits the surface of the earth, there’s very little UV left (compared to visible and infrared).
- MemberMay 26, 2022 at 11:40 am
What’s it like driving the Aptera wit the windows down? We know the whole window doesn’t go down and we know why. The portion of the window that does open does look nicely sized for most things like getting drive through food or perhaps taking the ticket you just got for doing 65 in 55 or what ever. But on a hot summer day and you’re not feeling like using the AC or you want to save a few miles, I wonder what the air flow within the Aptera will be like? Considering the shape of the vehicle would air rush in if the window is open or mostly blow by? Would it buffer around in the cabin in an annoying manner?
I dunno. Anybody have any thoughts? Anybody test drive the Aptera with the windows down?
- ModeratorMay 26, 2022 at 11:52 am
Watch the Aptera video from Jay Leno’ Garage
I believe Jay drove the entire time with the window open, arm out the window as he was talking to Chris… driving through busy CA
( I never open my windows in dusty hot AZ)
I only got a ride on Sol, in CA, but the windows were closed
- ModeratorMay 26, 2022 at 11:55 am
Good question, Bob. You may want to take a look at a discussion I started “A Breath of Fresh Air” that seems related. One consequence of driving with the window(s) open would be what kind of buffeting might one experience in the interior. You’ve probably felt the uncomfortable pressure buffeting in your ears driving with one window door in a typical vehicle. Often, stopping that requires opening one of the rear windows a bit. I’ve hear that Toyota Supra owners have had trouble stopping annoying wind noise and buffeting while the sunroof is open.
This question, like many, will probably not be answered until some production Apterae are produced. While the split side window seems to be a given, there may be other final refinements that could affect the phenomenon of airflow in the interior.