Body shell infoPosted by mike-suding on December 25, 2021 at 7:51 am
It looks like it in the Christmas beta email photo but I didn’t find any mention in FAQ or other official source. Just mentioned in community forum by non-employees.
- This discussion was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by bbelcamino.
- 53 Replies
- ModeratorDecember 25, 2021 at 8:20 am
Mike, Chris Anthony showed a sample of the honeycomb construction in one of Aptera’s videos. Absolutely sure about that, however I haven’t done a search fo the specific video.
- MemberDecember 25, 2021 at 8:44 am
Starting at about 10:10 here:
- AdministratorDecember 30, 2021 at 8:58 am
I am late to the party! Thanks to everyone who stepped in with information. I can confirm the body of the Aptera is of a honeycomb composite structure.
Thank you for asking!
- MemberApril 9, 2022 at 7:02 am
I thought that Aptera would be producing there own body shells, however Chris said in a recent interview wit Aptera owners club that they were looking at other companies to produce them. This could be a significant set back for production, will there be time to get production of them going if they are just starting to talk about it. The current production seems to be at about one every two months.
- MemberApril 9, 2022 at 8:21 am
The Alpha and Beta shells were being custom-fabricated on an as-needed basis by a specialist company in Reno, NV. I’m under the impression that Aptera has found a supplier or suppliers who is/are capable of producing them at the rate required.
Note, though, that – in the same interview – Chris stated that Aptera hasn’t yet decided upon the materials and manner in which certain panels will be fabricated. Although things are moving quickly, it’s still “early days” at Aptera – we won’t start seeing final decisions being made until the Gamma and Delta phases of development.
- MemberApril 9, 2022 at 9:56 am
As I understand it they are using processes considered common in the construction of composite aircraft.
Composites, we know, have not been used extensively in automotive because of the speed of the operation limits production from a single die or mold.
I suspect that there may be a machine in the process of being engineered that will largely automate this process in what I would call a poor man’s mega-casting machine. While Musk’s mega-casting machine will out put, what five or ten or maybe 20 rear or front cradle castings a minute, the expectations for the composite equivalent is maybe one composite casting every five minutes.
This compares, of course, to the garage boat builder who may take weeks or months to complete a composite hull for their vessel.
It would make a great deal of sense for aptera to invest in a ‘mega-mold’ composite casting machine that accelerates the production of this critical component. I suspect such a mega-machine will appear sometime – hopefully relatively quickly – after the IPO.
But there is no question that this area will be the source of news as we approach the implementation of the first production line. Solving the issues of mass manufacture of these components is a potential jungle in the city state known as production hell.
- MemberApril 10, 2022 at 12:16 am
Outsourcing subassemblies from others is just fine and can be a great labor saver. But it does require a great QC/QA receiving inspection department. You cannot have inferior goods show up ‘just in time’ to be sent back or rejected. These outside manufacturers have to keep on top of it!!
- MemberApril 10, 2022 at 2:51 am
In the future, when the money comes in, Aptera can invest in vertical integration of the production processes and do most, if not all, in house. And finally expand to more production facilities world wide. This way profits will rise and prices of the final product will drop(I hope) If they are successful, this is the way….
- MemberApril 10, 2022 at 8:03 am
I was surprised by the revelation that they are outsourcing body shell production, I was under the impression that composites were a core competency for Aptera. It makes sense given their limited capital that they would have someone else produce them but it’s a concern that they don’t have a contract in place yet. They want to start production by the end of the year, how will that be possible if the supplier for such a key component isn’t already doing pilot builds?
- MemberApril 10, 2022 at 9:11 am
That very “core competency” is what empowered Aptera to design a composite-bodied vehicle. But the difference between designing it and producing it are vast: Better to have the product produced in by a specialist facility that already exists than to raise the billions of dollars necessary to build and outfit such a facility.
- MemberOctober 23, 2022 at 10:03 pm
I hope that we glean something about the shell in tomorrows brief. I have observed the subject being avoided in a few discussions, well maybe not avoided, but certainly not expounded on. We believe it is a composite of materials – but what? They are big parts and the layout will take some time. If you plan to produce 30-40 vehicles a day from the Carlsbad facility, where will all the tooling be located? Is their Vista facility, solar production location, big enough for this or will it be farmed out?
I spent 3 hours searching for a Munro Live video to no avail. I do not remember what the subject matter was, but it was unrelated to Aptera or even that days video. Anyway, at the end of the video he and his crew went outside and opened a wooden crate which contained some samples of body parts, not related to the Aptera. Sandy was very impressed with these parts and at the end of the video he said something like this is the future boys and girls. That may have been a clue for us, and I would like to watch it again if anybody knows which video it was I would appreciate being told.
What made me start thinking about this again was that yesterday I saw a Aptera body being transported on the back of a flatbed truck. I can’t answer any questions about it because I only had about 3 seconds of view. It was not in Carlsbad but heading that direction. It was not the gamma and I don’t believe it was the Luna, but it might have been. Thing is it looked like something that was just primed and I am pretty sure there was no glass, could be mistaken about that though. Are they making another gamma?
I don’t know if they will only be answering investment questions or general questions.
- MemberOctober 24, 2022 at 3:09 am
I have been wondering about this and will be watching the presentation today.
I would assume that what you saw was a body shell for another Gamma, I think they may make 1 0r 2 more. They have said that they have been looking at several possible suppliers for the body shell parts. It may be that they are evaluating suppliers by having them each make sample to evaluate. Will any of these possible be able to supply the number of shells they will need or will they need to use multiple suppliers? Using more than one supplier would bring up the question of quality control, but would also not leave them with out alternatives for the most basic part. It will take a large commitment by any suppliers to fulfill this need, I don’t see boats or Corvette bodies being produced at the rate of 40 per day any ware. Unless the supplier had a plant close to Aptera, shipping that quantity of fully assembled bodies would be a problem.
I also wonder about the belly pan supplier, if this will be a stamped part, there could be a lot of potential volume suppliers.
- MemberOctober 24, 2022 at 3:44 am
David brings up a good point.
In the begininng we were shown what looked like a 1/2″ thick material of composite that was to be the body material. Then as time went on this component was removed, then this. At some point it appeared to be simply fiberglass. In the Beta I was a bit concerned when I could see light coming through the A pillars in some of the pictures and videos. It didn’t appear to be as thick as before.
I really hope this is still the composite we were sold on. I don’t see fiberglass being 10 times stronger than steel.
- MemberOctober 24, 2022 at 5:29 am
The Munro Live video with the carbon fiber chassis being pulled out of a crate from Italy was… I think it was a Rivian body in white video. Not that it matters because they later cut that part out and cannot be seen anymore.
- ModeratorNovember 3, 2022 at 12:16 pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Diego, CA, and Modena, Italy, November 3, 2022— Solar electric vehicle manufacturer Aptera has signed an agreement with the C.P.C. Group to produce its specialized composite bodies in Modena, Italy in the heart of the Italian Motor Valley, where legendary supercars and motorcycles have been manufactured with passion for decades.
C.P.C. will be supplying materials and structures for Aptera’s BINC, which stands for Body in Carbon. In keeping with Aptera’s ethos of simplicity, safety and sustainability, the BINC is composed of only six main parts. It can be recycled up to five times, giving it an ultra-low CO<sub>2</sub> lifecycle. The majority of the BINC is made of Carbon Fiber Sheet Molding Compound (CF-SMC), combined with Glass Sheet Molding Compound (SMC).
Carbon Fiber-SMC is a lightweight material consisting of a random arrangement of short fibers that make it possible to mold intricately shaped parts. It offers much higher stiffness and strength than standard SMC. Because it can be press-molded, this process substantially reduces manufacturing time for the BINC and allows Aptera to begin delivering vehicles to customers more quickly.
According to Franco Iorio, CEO of C.P.C., “Aptera represents a shift away from conventional thinking of the past. We desire to be a part of this future, which is why we’re joining Aptera’s movement. We’ll be building the bodies for their unique solar vehicle in the heart of the Motor Valley, allowing Aptera to scale up manufacturing right away to meet the high demand for its first vehicle.”
C.P.C. Group was founded in 1959 as a small artisan company manufacturing models solely made by the expert hand of the model maker. After switching from aluminum to composites, during the last decade C.P.C. has established a reputation as one of the most renowned and appreciated companies in the world for specialized composite solutions in the automotive world. Customers include Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Maserati, BMW, Lotus, and more.
Says Aptera co-founder Steve Fambro, “When we came together at C.P.C. along with Sandy Munro, we realized the true synergy where the world’s most efficient vehicle can be made with the most efficient process. For several months, our engineers have been working closely with C.P.C to finalize our Delta design, and now those efforts are being realized as we take an important step forward towards high volume production.”
With over 37,000 reservations, Aptera aims to begin deliveries in 2023 and ramp up to a full-scale production rate of 40 vehicles per day at its final assembly location in Carlsbad, California. More details about vehicle specifications, final pricing, and timing will be shared in forthcoming announcements.
- MemberNovember 3, 2022 at 12:41 pm
So happy to hear they have found a substantial manufacturer to produce these parts. Wish they were in the USA but you have to go where the technology exists and has been proven. And thanks go out to Sandy Munro for his assistance.
- MemberNovember 3, 2022 at 3:24 pm
This body vendor also has the equipment to provide a high quality paint job, that may answer another major question we have had.
It seems that they will be able to satisfy the growing volume production needs and at a very high quality.
Steve also mentioned now that this deal has been signed that they will be able to give final pricing.
So will this supplier and the shipping of bodies 1/2 way around the world raise the prices by how much? I think what ever it is, will be worth it, as it will give Aptera a true super car heritage.
- MemberNovember 3, 2022 at 7:41 pm
So what’s the production lead time on these composite structures coming from Italy?
Will Aptera have QA people in Italy for accepting them before they ship out?
Last question this brings to mind, as I had assumed aptera was making the composite structures…. How much of this vehicle is actually made in the US? Or in North America?
Motors are imports(though I believe production of the motors is intended to expand to the US ecentually), batteries are imports, now main structures are imports, I assume the major electronics are imports but maybe not?
- MemberNovember 3, 2022 at 8:34 pm
At times in the video, it sounds like CPC will be supplying the materials which will be shipped to US and the body made from these materials. At other times, it sounds like unassembled body parts will be shipped and assembled in the US. Still, at other times, it sounds like the entire assembled boy will be shipped.
Was this change from fiberglass to carbon fiber done to reduce weight, or for environmental reasons, or still other reason. I am sure it was not done for economical reasons.
I briefly talked to Steve Fambro on October 20 who said he had just came back from Italy. I jokingly asked him if he had pick up an IDRA press. (IDRA makes the gigapress used by Tesla). He said he was looking at a press for something other than aluminum. I assumed he was looking at a press to make a magnesium rear suspension arm. Obviously not. (I still think a magnesium rear suspension arm may be a good idea.)
- MemberNovember 3, 2022 at 9:22 pm
Sometimes you gotta let the pros be the pros, if you’re stuck in an island and you only know how to fish, you fish, if your buddy knows how to get coconuts, they get the coconuts, if another buddy knows how to hunt, they do just that. If another buddy knows how to cook and collect edible plants, then they then do only that … think about it, would you really go fishing, climb palm trees, skin rabbits, find non-poisonous berries, making stews and preserving meats? … NO … you fish all day and you trade with your buddies and then you can all put together a badass feast. If everybody tried to do everything, there can only be lame ass feasts. I don’t want a lame ass vehicle 🙂
- MemberNovember 3, 2022 at 10:34 pm
The body was never going to be fiberglass.
Waiting to here if the body parts will be shipped and will they be painted there?
Shipping by boat will add a lot of time to production, by air a lot of cost.
- MemberNovember 7, 2022 at 1:52 pm
@David Marlow And yet, the majority of the body exterior WILL be made from fiberglass SMC.
- ModeratorNovember 4, 2022 at 7:18 am
What about the doors ?? No mention, will CPC form the doors as well ??
- MemberNovember 4, 2022 at 7:33 am
Honeycomb, carbon fiber from all places Italy. Motors from Slovenia, lightweight, close to super car performance, fueled by the sun. So, Aptera owners will be getting world class European parts, assembled in the USA using the best available technology, and it’s going to be sitting in my driveway in a year, maybe a little longer, PLEASE faster is better for me. I know I look like a 5-year-old little boy waiting for Christmas thinking I am getting a neat bike; except I am 74 waiting for my Aptera!