Door design and info

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Door design and info

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Door design and info

  • Door design and info

     Russell Fauver updated 2 months ago 31 Members · 46 Posts
  • Peter Robbinson

    Member
    August 18, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Hi, I’m wondering if the doors have been tested in cold weather, specifically if they will stay open at -30C for example. I’m in northern Ontario and gas cylinder assisted doors and hatches can be problematic. As well, I’ve encountered weather stripping on doors and windows freezing and sticking on several vehicles I’ve owned.

    In general with regards to the door design I’m not that enthusiastic. I would prefer something along the lines of a minvan side door type of opening. I think it would be more stable and provide even better access.

  • Bob Kirchner

    Member
    August 18, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    As a former Ottawa resident, I can relate. Most gas strut systems work in the cold initially, but when they begin to lose pressure, cold weather is when they will fail first.

    I hope that the door design positions the struts so that they have good leverage to support the door. I also hope that the design specifies a fairly commonly available strut, so that they can be easily replaced when they fail.

    As for sliding doors, I think the problem would be that the necessary tracks for the door would have a huge impact on the aerodynamic drag of the car, which is the car’s secret sauce, so to speak.

    For sticking weatherstripping, I have found that an annual spray-down with silicone lubricant works wonders to prevent freezing in place.

    • Raj Giandeep

      Member
      August 18, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      You could plan ahead & pre-heat the car. To melt the ice perhaps.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      August 18, 2021 at 6:37 pm

      Bob is right. Sliding doors would negatively impact aerodynamics, one of the things (I guess secret sauce is a good term) we all like.

      Additionally, we are way past the point where an engineering change such as you would like to see would be in the first production Aptera.

      I think the engineering team is excellent and I am confident that they will engineer the doors (Along with help from Roche) such that they are as good or better than a standard door in all kinds of climatic conditions.

      • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

        Member
        August 20, 2021 at 8:25 pm

        how about the sliding mechanism is on the inside rather than outside, part of mechanism can also act as armrest, i saw video showing quite a lot of space between occupant and inside wall of door for the sliding rail system.

        instead of solid hinge or minivan sliding rail i prefer simply rope strap so user doesnt have to carry/drop the door off car, and a mechanical lock to keep door tightly attached to car considering thermal insulation as usual. in older forum (which i hear has been archived at aptera) i made up a purely mechanical system rather than electronic with this door idea(its been long and i dont have it with me now but aptera hopefully will see it eventually in archives). mechanical system is better than electronic b/c if electronics are fried in a crash, mechanical system will allow opening door without needing to break glass (there was consideration to use polycarbonate or some aircraft style plastic with a similar name rather than normal glass, which would be very difficult to break through vs normal glass)

  • G Johns

    Member
    August 19, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Use silicone, once a month.

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    August 19, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    At present there are only three alpha-level prototypes – essentially “proof of concept” models. They are not the actual vehicle that will eventually be built – they’re not even made of the same materials. Any testing done on them would be moot.

    Vehicle designs, traditionally, go through four levels of prototyping. Right now Aptera is building the molds from which the beta prototype bodies will be pulled – and working with suppliers to create components for the vehicle that will be closer (if not identical) to those that will go into production vehicles.

    Endurance testing is usually carried-out using the gamma (production intent) prototypes as they have nearly all of the finalized systems intact – although they’re still mostly hand-built. The delta (production ready) prototypes are the first to be built using the actual “assembly line”.

  • Peter Robbinson

    Member
    August 20, 2021 at 8:12 am

    The replies have been great, thanks. With regards to the doors, I was thinking more along the lines of what’s used on an airline. The door on the Aptera certainly would be light enough to not require too heavy a hinge. If you need a cold weather tester I’m available 😉

  • Peter Dezendorf

    Member
    December 10, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    Perhaps this is answered in some FAQ. Why gullwing doors?

    Also, when the door is open and you are seated, how far up is the reach for the handle to close the door?

  • Len Nowak

    Moderator
    December 10, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    There is a long strap on the door to pull down

    I have been in the Sol and it closes easy “ for Me”

    But you can see the strap in many pictures and videos

  • Riley …

    Member
    December 10, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    I believe they selected butterfly doors due to the wheel pods. Also they look cool.

  • Llewellyn Evans

    Member
    December 11, 2021 at 12:42 am

    The doors freak me out a bit too (fear of the unknown) …. but I am sure I will love them once I get my car. And I agree they look cool.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    December 13, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    By making them gull-wind, they hinge along the longest straight-line edge of the door. This may be a mechanical advantage.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    December 13, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Regardless if the doors are gull-wing or some other design, I just hope the switch for the electric window is a mechanical switch in the door, and not a touch pad on the touch screen.

  • Hayden Maxwell

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    This may have already been addressed somewhere, but how do you get inside the vehicle (as well as open the hatch) since there are no door handles? Additionally, will there be some sort of integrated ice breaker (like that on the Tesla Model X) for those of us that deal with frozen doors in the winter?

  • Thomas Bushaw

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    I don’t know if this has changed during ongoing development, but here’s a relevant entry in Aptera’s FAQ spreadsheet:

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      March 29, 2022 at 5:18 pm

      If you note the images, the three white LEDs are not included in the Beta design.

  • N. Bruce Nelson

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    Hayden, I have this response from Kayleigh Venne, the Community Lead at Aptera –

    “The vehicle will recognize that it is you trying to open the door. We have not made a final selection on this but the Aptera will have proximity detection to unlock the doors. Such as a Bluetooth connection via smartphone, through our app, or a proximity key. Once inside, you can open the door through the center screen controls. The doors will have a manual pull handle for emergencies though.”

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      March 29, 2022 at 5:21 pm

      “unlocking” and “opening” are two very different things…

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    At one point Founder Chris stated that there will be an exterior button, similar to that on the Ford Mach-e. The doors will have a “popper” mechanism that opens them slightly, allowing the edge to be grasped to open the door fully.

    • George Hughes

      Member
      March 30, 2022 at 9:39 am

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      What Kayleigh’s statement said to me is this is all part of the real source of innovation at Aptera … They say it has a proximity lock on the door because this is one of the design specifications.

      The entire door mechanism is being designed for quick, efficient assembly preferably using as few parts as possible and being able to be attached to the roof structure, be opened thousands of times, be driven occasionally unlatched, contain an electric window lift and no blow away if caught by the wind awkwardly. This is precisely the type of work folks like Monro and Rousch do and I think Rousch has the door component manufacturing contract.

      The really cool part of this is the doors are going to have fit random, custom formed composite chassis and shell. A design that makes it easy to attain the expected level of fit and finish is an engineering marvel as that level of finish requires precise, near perfect, tolerances and the real world is such an imperfect mess.

      Everybody knows the problems that Tesla has had with fit and finish and how they’ve made large strides toward quality fit in large part by minimizing variations through mega-castings.

      Think about it, Aptera is starting out with the low weight composite castings – four large pieces – that are glued together and filled with foam during the assembly process using procedures that involve the work of two men. The machines that spit out composite components don’t require the pressures of Tesla’s mega-casting machines – they are slower, less pressurized but no less precise a molding process; you’re just using ultra-lightweight fibers and composites instead of an aluminum alloy injected at high heat in a matter of seconds under intense pressure.

      No welds, no super-heated alloy concoctions that have to have thousands of tons of pressure to work …I’d say Aptera’s processes are more advanced and contribute further to a sustainable footprint.

      • kerbe2705

        Member
        March 30, 2022 at 12:21 pm

        From what I understand, the composite structures aren’t “cast” – they’re SMC (at least at present…). Some of the suspension components will be cast, though.

        • George Hughes

          Member
          March 30, 2022 at 4:19 pm

          It is a process analogous to ‘casting’ metal but is appropriate for fiber composite construction. My limited knowledge of the process involves how you make a bass boat but the point is these composite chassis aren’t made like a flimsy gonzo “GT” body you strap on a space frame with a VW drivetrain.

          The point is if you are coordinating the manufacturing process with the plan being to bring components in for final assembly from independent contractors, you best plan carefully for it by employing processes that can minimize variation.

          The composite monocoque has to be of a precise dimension as does the door if the two items, completed as a component in different locations have to be able to work together.

          Frankly, of all the aspects of Aptera, the one I’ve not seen explored adequately is how the monocoque ‘parts’ are fabricated, rate of production or precision. I just have faith that the technology here is up to the task because it could be a disaster otherwise.

          • kerbe2705

            Member
            March 30, 2022 at 5:23 pm

            At present they are fiberglass, laid-up in molds – exactly like a bass boat. You can see the assembling of structural body pieces in the video about the building of the Beta. The pieces are fitted into assembly bucks and then the various parts are connected to one another with adhesives.

            So far as I know, fiberglass doesn’t shrink, expand or distort in its manufacturing process: Tesla’s “panel gap” woes have been about steel and aluminum sheet metal doing just that. Moving from the Model 3’s 30-part trunk structure to the Model Y’s 3 (and now 2) part structure as a result of employing cast framing components makes a lot of difference

      • Jonah Jorgenson

        Member
        March 31, 2022 at 7:38 am

        George has the most recent official statement about door unlock/lock mechanisms from an official Aptera source. As expected and noted, things can change as development proceeds. We should always check on the latest response to a question as earlier responses may have been supplanted by more recent development.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    March 31, 2022 at 1:35 am

    I thought Chris had said in a video, the door would have a thumb print reader on the outside of the door. The driver would place their thumb on the reader and the vehicle would recognize the driver that way.

    If I walk out of my house to get something out of my vehicle, do I have to take the phone with me? While at home, I do not carry the phone with me.

    How would someone like a repair mechanic be able to enter the vehicle. He will not have our app on his phone. Would this require a key of some type? Electronic key fob?

    Oh the headaches of being chic and trendy!

    • Riley …

      Member
      March 31, 2022 at 1:55 am

      I also remember the mention of a thumbprint reader. Not sure if anyone can verify but I thought that there will be key cards that you can give to a mechanic or valet driver. I don’t see a problem with having to grab my phone when going to the car it’s similar to grabbing my keys.

    • Steven G. Bueche

      Member
      March 31, 2022 at 3:54 am

      Maybe like the Tesla they’ll be an extra card to give to mechanics. This way you start off with two cards and the App. As long as you have the card in your wallet the car will recognize you. Even if it’s in the garage unlocked and you don’t have your wallet, you’ll be fine.

      • Lane Costilow

        Member
        July 31, 2022 at 10:40 pm

        Like my current car’s key fob, I will be keeping the Aptera’s fob/card in a Faraday pouch. I may have to remember to carry it with me to the Aptera.

  • James Castaneda

    Member
    June 14, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Now, having finally gotten to sit in an Aptera in Long Beach, I began to wonder why the doors weren’t more of a scissor (think Lamborghini) design, as it seems rather intrusive as is. People were very commonly hitting their head (gently, but still), or really bending back to get away from it while entering. Anyway, hopefully a little tweaking is still feasible and won’t hinder any other beneficial design features.

    • Harry Parker

      Moderator
      June 14, 2022 at 5:58 pm

      They have modified the door design to allow easier access. What you sat in was the earlier Alpha design prototype. It has been modified since they built that. Also the passengers will have more headroom.

      • kerbe2705

        Member
        June 14, 2022 at 9:43 pm

        @Harry Parker As I recall from one of the ambassador webinars, the shape of the doors was changed to create a larger open area at the drivers’ and passengers’ hips and the hinges were relocated and reengineers to allow the doors to open slightly more “up” than “out”.

  • Chris Hale

    Member
    June 22, 2022 at 10:44 am

    I like the fact that the doors go up on their own, like the rear hatch of my car. However, would be even better if they could close on their own too, like the rear hatch of my car.

  • Matthew Kearns

    Member
    June 22, 2022 at 11:43 am

    It was very easy to close the doors in the alpha vehicle. Short reach with the strap they have.

  • Steven G. Bueche

    Member
    June 24, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    I don’t remember any mention of this so I’ll ask; Are the door hinges operated by pistons or are they a spring arrangement?

    In a few early pictures I’d seen the pistons but I haven’t seen any updates since Rouch (sp?) did the redesigns.

  • Lane Costilow

    Member
    July 24, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    I haven’t had a large vehicle in quite some time. Thinking about it, it seems they’ve been progressively smaller. So I’m glad the door move up and not out as much as other cars: I’ll have to get used to parking a wider vehicle than I’m used to.

  • Eric Caldwell

    Member
    July 31, 2022 at 11:57 pm

    Does anyone have any guesses how this system will work in climates that have freezing rain &/or mixed rain and snow in a freeze/thaw cycle?

    I’ve had enough experience using hair dryers and brute force to open frozen car doors that I’m trying to figure out how you’d pull that stunt off without door handles. (I guess crawling through the trunk to get to the front seat, then wait for the heater to kick in and thaw the ice out of the jambs?)

    • OZ (It’s OZ, Just OZ)

      Member
      August 1, 2022 at 4:58 am

      You should be able to activate the climate control remotely through the App.

  • MIHIR SANGHAVI

    Member
    October 5, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Automatic doors, do we know if only the opening is automated, or also the closing? Apologize if this was already answered.

  • Sam Adams

    Member
    October 5, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    The opening is not automated. You unlatch the door and the struts lift it open. You will have to pull it closed.

  • Stanley Peterson

    Member
    October 5, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    Something that has bothered me about the doors on the gamma is that they don’t seem to fit as well as the doors on the alpha models. They appear to be slightly misaligned when closed and don’t seem to fit flush with the body. You can see this also on the brief video of the gamma in the “wild”. Hopefully this just needs some small adjustment.

    • Dennis Swaney

      Member
      October 6, 2022 at 8:59 pm

      Probably a result of their slap-dash rush to meet an arbitrary deadline last month. It is also evident in the solar cells on the roof. Hopefully they will be more careful about quality workmanship on the Delta vehicle.

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