MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 10:10 am
Will there be some sort of “Factory Approved” technicians Listing? A Course of Training/Familiarization for Folks who will offer Repairs as a Favor? As a Busness?
Until there are Facs in Every major Metro, and Every State, prospective APTERA Owners are gonna feel like they are facing uncertainty WRT Repairs. Unless You can assure Interested Buyers that the Maintenance Standard they expect (Trained by past ICE ownership and EVs They own Now) can be met, they will be Much Less Likely to Make the Purchase.
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 10:23 am
Belaboring the point –
Repairs to a Vehicle are important to get right, and to do in a safe manner as well.
Much like Reloading or making Your Own Rounds for Shooting, Things can be “Safely” or “Unsafely” done. Correct Toolsets, and Procedures will be necessary.
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 12:27 pm
Support of Right To Repair has been one of their top priorities from the start. Speaking to that, they have asserted in various statements and interviews that:
– Maintenance and repair instructions will be readily available.
– Maintenance and repair parts will be available for overnight shipping.
– Simplicity of maintenance and repair activities will be baked into the design.
Of course we have yet to see how well they can hold to those ideals in the face of all the other pressures of bringing the vehicle to market. But that does bode well for your favorite mechanic to be able to get where they need to be to do a proper job fairly readily; even if that is DIY.
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 3:22 pm
I think this is a potential Achilles Heel for Aptera.
Aptera vehicles are the product of a startup with first round production. Design and production issues not anticipated in the development process will be revealed in every day driving use cases requiring remediation. At this point I do not see a plan that will insure that sufficient resources qualified to do repairs will be available for the number of vehicles projected to be manufactured and sold into the market place with perhaps above average defects from first time manufacturing. Nor do I see the structure of the logistics operations that will provide parts for both production and repairs especially at a time when there are so many COVID difficulties impacting supply chains.
These are some high level things that are considerations to be sure that Aptera is ahead of the curve:
– Early collection of reliability data during testing to forecast failure rates and needed parts supplies and number of trained repair people (Not mostly DYI)
– Establishment of some sort of training for people interested in becoming qualified to repair Aptere. On line manuals are not sufficient for this purpose. My guess, only owners will take the time to wade through manuals. Professional repair people can not afford to take much time to “Learn” on their own time and buck as they are usually hourly wage people and if not being productive, then not earning money.
– Some sort of standardization and certification is necessary so we can have confidence the repair people know what they are doing when working on our Aptere
– The above should be underway at this point and we should have a status report on the progress. The Makers Presentation on Right to Repair was lacking on the specifics and schedule.
One of the worst things that can happen is that a bunch of Aptere are sold and defects and slow Time to Repair keeps them off the road and Aptera gets the reputation for manufacturing defective vehicles with no easy way to get them fixed.
I am sure we have logistics people on the forum that could add detail to the above so that we could have a better understanding of what needs to be done to be ready for vehicles in the market place.
MemberDecember 28, 2021 at 9:53 am
I get your reservations but I’m personally of the opinion that the generic nature of the drive train components and associated computer controllers suggests that there will be some real interest among third parties to fill this gap … and by that I mean accessing the manuals and training tools that Aptera will be providing for free under right to repair.
Right now, independent shops are avoiding EVs of all types because, well, they are all so proprietary from top to bottom. The Aptera, OTOH, is using off-the-shelf hardware and, for that matter, software available from parts suppliers.
I even went so far as to suggest that independents wanting to get on board with the EV revolution band together in select markets and start a parts and repair outfit that just happen to have an addition 50,000 SQ FT of space in their shop that they can ‘rent out’ to Aptera, Nobe, and any number of new EV entries (powered trailers) to become, in essence partners, to add final assembly to the stalwarts of parts and service. Lease a sales suite or two, add a wider variety of EV-centric parts including batteries, etc. and you have a location where those interested can interact, innovate and more quickly rescue the climate. Hell, throw in a coffee bar and you have a business that doesn’t exist blossoming overnight.
The proprietary things about the Aptera is its composite monocoque body/chassis and the suspension parts and brackets on which to mount the in-wheel motors. But the electronics – the computer of it all – is off-the shelf components for battery management, inverters, the CAN bus and UI … customized by a third-party software company that is set up to be software for the ‘right to repair’ EV segment.
It is that very Right to Repair aspect of the Aptera that contains the seed for a whole new market segment that positively contribute to the electrification of transportation both through support for the independent producers both hybridization and retrofit of ICE cars and smaller manufacturers. It is only in the localization of this kind of expertise that the EV future can be sustainable. This is because other EV makers are all-in on proprietary access to the internals; largely because they really, really, want exclusive access to all sorts of data that can be collected by the myriad of digital systems on EVs; particularly those with high-level automation.
MemberMay 2, 2022 at 3:36 pm
youtu.be/uVP-luWVufg After watching this video on Nobe, I REALLLLY don’t think we want Aptera’s name and Nobe’s used in the same sentence.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 12:20 am
That ‘s a hoot. The only time I heard anything about the Nobe was when Sandy Monro was talking about it. Monro is an oft disappointed champion of three-wheeled transport having some involvement with Archimoto and the guy from Nobe was also featured on Monro Live.
I really don’t blame the naysayers. I mean beginning with the cross-dressing founder of the Dale car ; a light weight 1970s version of the aerodynamic three-wheeler that gets 85+ mpg and was touted farand wide in magazines from Mechanics Illustrated to Time. I was a series on HBO last year or so. Do I need to bring up DeLorean or Tucker?
It was a cute retro design that had some wide appeal and its curved back seat just felt cool.
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 6:34 pm
As much as it will upset lots of reservation holders, I think this points to geographically-limited initial release – locations where there is warrenty service within a hundred miles or so. Releasing simultaneously across the US is too ambitious, unless there is way more preparation than simply “right to repair” slogans. This is tied to a broader problem with EVs where it is hard to find qualified service, independent from the builder. Maybe Rich Rebuilds should start a coast-to-coast chain of qualified shops.
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 7:11 pm
A good point about geographically limited release! Makes a lot of sense. Had not thought of that as an approach especially for a new, complex product without an existing support network. I guess we will see if reservation holders and Aptera management can be self disciplined enough to embrace such an approach
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 8:14 pm
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 11:10 pm
Ah….. the lost art of reading documents and forming an opinion based on facts.
Nice one Oz. I like it.
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 9:43 pm
I think the only option they really have is to honour the reservations but make it very clear what the warranty and expectations are regarding service. Anyone outside the US shouldn’t expect to get an Aptera for at least a year of production start regardless of the order they reserved. Hopefully a system to delay can be relatively fair rather than “get it now or lose your reservation”. I only ordered 3 months ago (~14000th in line) and am in Canada so I expect my position is probably safe but anyone in europe or australia might need to accept more risk or delays.
Obviously we all hope the car is perfect from day 1 but realistically vehicles even with the simplistic design of an aptera are likely to develop unforeseen issues. Those in the Paradigm reservation slots are riding the rapids for any initial issues and ideally shouldn’t be too far from Aptera’s facilities if something major crops up in the first few months.
Any independent contractors Tesla used ~5-10 years ago to provide service are the ones Aptera should be establishing relationships with.
MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 11:26 pm
I agree this is a potential Achilles Heel for Aptera. The vehicle has a warranty and Aptera needs people they can trust, to decide what actions need to be taken and what parts need to be replaced.
I agree Aptera may deliver vehicles according to geographical regions. They may make first deliveries to people in the San Diego area according to their reservation number. Then they may start delivering vehicles to people in the Los Angeles area, according the to order of their reservation number. This progressive expansion of deliveries areas, may be done until they believe the bugs are worked out and they can jump to nation wide deliveries.
We assume the order of reservation numbers are also the order of deliveries. This is not necessary true, and I believe they have said this.
MemberDecember 28, 2021 at 2:12 am
Agree Aptera has said this.
They have also said more information coming after the beginning of the year on production distribution. They have recently said they would like to assemble/deliver 5,000 vehicles in 2022 and production would start “Latter part of 2022” A lot of “Have saids”
Oz Man is right. We should examine the SEC Filings (2021 being drafted now) To get a clue about what the current thinking is. To be ready for that 5,000 in what ever form the distribution takes, plans and actions for support should be well underway
Also shame on me for not looking at the SEC filings ????
MemberDecember 28, 2021 at 7:02 am
The rollouts to additional regions should be predicated on where they have put rangers in place, that will introduce a certain randomness as to where they can do deliveries because hiring and training techs will depend on the ability to recruit capable individuals.
The way Tesla handles repairs in regions where they have no service centers is by having arrangement with local garages that give their rangers access to lifts when they need them. Aptera will have to do something similar. They should also pursue setting up deeper relationships with local garages that involve offering training and certification.
MemberDecember 28, 2021 at 10:10 am
My concern is day 1 of retail distribution. Many of the ideas expressed in this thread are more applicable to some future state already established. On the day I get my Aptera, early in the first production run, say September of next year, if it brakes down, what are the provisions for warranty service. The statement of “Right to repair” and the few bullets on the repair concept is not sufficient to give me a level of comfort that the defect will be remediated expeditiously.
I would expect the detail on this topic promised for ” Early next year” to be available by the end of the first quarter off calendar year 2022.
MemberDecember 28, 2021 at 11:35 am
wrong yopicir attachment.
MemberDecember 29, 2021 at 9:47 am
I think they should honor the reservation order in general when it comes to production, but they could deliver in batches to regions where they have more reservations. They should also inform customers who are alone in their region for the foreseeable future that they may experience some delays in case warranty repairs affects a large portion of the fleet.
Hopefully they can recruit some techs willing to travel. Until they reach a large number of delivered vehicles, they are unlikely to get a lot of breakdowns simultaneously in a limited region, so techs would be unlikely to be able to book very many Aptera jobs on the same trip anyway. A handful of traveling techs per continent should be sufficient until the first service is due, unless they run into some issue that requires an urgent preventive modification.
I could be wrong tough, since I have no professional experience when it comes to automotive maintenance and repair.
MemberDecember 29, 2021 at 11:09 am
A toss up for all of us at this point. Hopefully, Aptera will have some detailed news/plans early in 2022. Yours and some other suggestions on this thread may work.
My experience with EV vehicle maintenance is with GM at this point. They have a mature structure of staffed maintenance facilities. However, finding sufficient maintenance staff to do EV maintenance on their vehicles, training them, and retaining them is a real issue. Some dealerships have no EV service people while others have only one or two. This is a concern as they move forward to transition to Electric Vehicles.
Aptera, without the existing infrastructure and resources of a GM will have a steep uphill climb.
MemberMay 2, 2022 at 3:35 pm
MemberMay 2, 2022 at 4:05 pm
My son in law just bought a major automotive repair center in Marin County, CA. Major being it’s been in business for 40+ years. He tells me he’ll offer services if they turn out to be legitimately putting out a quantity of vehicles.
MemberMay 2, 2022 at 7:09 pm
The first of m any I hope. Thank him for his gracious offer
MemberMay 2, 2022 at 11:27 pm
Paul, that’s really cool.
I have concerns about the right to repair. The Aptera Roadster on paper looks like extremely low maintenance will be required. Most things like brakes, wheel removal, washer fluid, brake fluid, and shocks just take basic tool sets. No specialty tools will be required. The maintenance things like alignments and changing coolant will take special equipment and special talent in order to do correctly. I’m retired automotive technician that I’m not sure I really want to work on my own car anymore. Getting information out to the shops and parts houses about this wonderful vehicle it’s something I have been contributing to. But in a year or two from, now when the cars are actually on the road I can see technicians or low trained people (oil & fluid changes or tire shops) being terrified to even look at the car. There are some very high quality fluid changers and tire changers out there but they are few and far between. With aptera being a specialty vehicle maybe working on a deal with some companies that have electric cars already or some regional independent shops would be a real boost to knowing and feeling confident in the vehicle. Simple way would be to work out and deal with a regional Parts House like Napa Auto Parts as an example that could in turn suggest to their customers a local shop or dealership I would be interested in working on the Apteras.
Note; 10 years ago I would have just thrown the tools into the car that I needed for the job and driven out to my friends or customers and done the work out at their own homes. The Aptera looks to be one of the easiest vehicles to work on that I have seen. If I choose to come out of retirement or work at a deal with a local shop I will post it for everyone to use.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Vernon Michael Gardner.
ModeratorMay 3, 2022 at 6:45 am
The nature of the vehicle and the type of repairs that may be required seem well suited to a mobile technician. A reasonably equipped van should be able to do 80% or more of the repairs or component replacements we might need. Of course, some certification would be desirable for such a person and it would require an upfront investment.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 6:11 pm
I’m not certain that Aptera qualifies as a roadster as it has a non-removeable roof. Roadsters are usually open vehicles, although some have cloth or hard roofs that can be attached or removed as required…
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 6:33 pm
Yeah, it’s not a roadster. A few people picked it up from original references in the WeFunder offering papers, and something in the old SEC filings. CA answered my question in a webinar verifying that it is not an Aptera “Roadster” but an “Aptera” the SEC filings for today clarify their intent with the term fairly clearly, that the use of the term roadster was meant to identify the target buyers market. IE “If they like a sporty roadster, they’ll love this.”
From the Filing…
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 6:56 am
Have they hired anyone to run service and support? That’s step one, having someone who’s job it is to come up with a service strategy and then to implement that strategy.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 7:34 am
@joshua rosen I hope they announce something soon – I plan to submit my company as the No VA regional provider.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 9:39 am
Have you contacted them directly? You are in a position to act as a pilot for a support partners program. Talking to your company will help them create a template for that sort of relationship and for you it will secure your spot as a service provider.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 7:08 am
Brand new to the forum – just a thought. It may be prudent for Aptera to approach technical colleges that train automotive mechanics and offer either on-line or in-person course(s) that result in some sort of certification. I would imagine most of the younger people considering a career in automotive repair may be looking for EV training.
ModeratorMay 3, 2022 at 10:40 am
Hi, Brent. That is a good idea. Ohio Technical College here in Cleveland OH trains BMW, Ford, and GM mechanics. I know they have included tracks on repairing hybrids. Not sure about pure EV’s.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 2:54 pm
Yes – it could even turn into a revenue stream for Aptera — by creating Aptera Certified Technician course(s). These courses could be delivered on-line or in partnership via technical colleges. Different levels of accreditation could be given – for example, an on-line course vs. an in-class course would result in different accreditations.
Here in Canada, most mechanics are trained via a 2-year program in our technical colleges. I suspect most other countries have similar set-ups. Again, it would be prudent to set-up partnerships with these technical colleges — provide training for instructors, who in turn could train hundreds or thousands. I can’t think of any tech college that would reject the idea of an EV-type mechanic program – or at least add one or two EV-related courses to their syllabus. It will likely happen regardless.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by Brent D..
ModeratorMay 3, 2022 at 5:23 pm
Brent, I will relay your ideas to Will Reynolds who is the new Brand Ambassador Program Manager. He can put it in front of the proper folks at Aptera HQ.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 7:40 pm
I’d check out a Technician course if it became available. I really want to learn how to maintain and repair EVs, and I feel like the Aptera might be a great vehicle to start off with.
MemberMay 4, 2022 at 5:00 pm
I don’t mean to oversimplify the challenges of service but consider, for a moment, that your Aptera is quite similar to a desktop computer. Both have electric motors, computer logic and do specific tasks with the aid of hardware.
First and foremost, the Aptera is designed in modules. Some of those modules are designed with service and maintenance in mind – think the Elaphe wheels which may require a gasket replacement somewhere under 100,000 miles or possibly km. It also includes shocks, brakes, and controllers.
EV batteries are typically and hopefully not a service issue and current design calls for a long life with eventual, possibly 20 years off, recycling.
The Aptera, under the tutelage of Monro and Associates has designed parts from the door hinges to the window lifts and solar cells to be as few and reliable as possible. The idea that the Aptera, coming to market with as few individual parts in a specific set of components, will be able to be replaced by simply a new module in a unplug/plug, bolt/unbolt operation. The module could then be replaced by another, the original presumably under warranty, returned for study as to why it failed.
Because of the logic of how they’re built, specifically with this module replacement strategy, will give those performing services on the vehicle a variety of options.
This may not be the most welcome thought, but consider Chevrolet with their Bolt batteries … the point is that replacement of entire components kind of comes with the territory of EVs … so simplify the design and components and go with the flow.
In the PC context, if the video card conks out you replace the bloody video card with a new one that is better, cheaper and probably more reliable … but what you typically don’t do is go through the card resistor by resistor, trying to find the component that failed.
The point is reliability is vastly enhanced by the simplicity and ultimately the significantly reduced part count (allowing fewer opportunities for failure.) and repair is speeded by the wholesale replacement of modules under warranty allowing for in-depth troubleshooting of the failed parts and in so doing improve future reliability either by a change in supplier or a total redesign of the part.
In regard the community colleges, the online repository of repair/replacement information presumed as part of the release of the Aptera, will give owners and students, alike, critical information.
Given that resource, why not engage folks like the ambassadors to make visits and present a program about right to repair, a general explanation of EVs and a discussion of the ‘componentized’ lean design concepts and the ease with which elements can be serviced.
I suspect there will be some kind of OBDII connection that would allow more access to the guts of the software controls and what kinds of problems can be addressed through this connection or other wi-fi or Bluetooth access with service access.
Presumably, if a specific problem starts cropping up, the messages on the boards will reflect the problem area and be the conduit for replacement, repair or workaround. With in days, I would expect a video detailing the problem and a solution to it.
Folks need to remember that if you buy, say an excavator from Harbor Freight or an Electric rider from Home Depot, they drop the sucker off in your drive and you get to put it together ( unless you pay more for them to do it.) The final assembly in these cases is typically handed by instructions but check out what the fan base at youtube posts if you need help.
What Aptera is planning is going to be better than that; at least I hope so.
PS: As a former owner of British sports car that died from mechanical failure at 27,000 miles, I can tell you that I am magnitudes of order less stressed over likely failures with my Aptera.