MemberApril 30, 2022 at 10:22 am
How one takes delivery is a popular topic with folks dreaming of a trip to Aptera’s assembly plant for pickup. That may satisfy a significant percentage of early adopters but as we all know there are few more self-centered than American consumers. If they want it, they want it now.
I was thinking about shipping completed Aptera, which we all know have three wheels arranged in a manner that makes standard car carriers – truck or train – problematic. With Aptera’s length and width, the nominal space used would actually be equal to the shipping volume of what, a F-150?
Then I looked at the Aptera, its dolphin-shaped body sparking an idea. Why not hang-’em high. Would the disorientation compromise the batteries? I don’t know but I wouldn’t think so as these are likely sealed cells and have nothing like the liquid fluid in a lead-acid battery (While some EVs do have lead-acid 12-volt batteries, I don’t imagine Aptera would use one.)
Anyway, there ought to be a way to ship the Aptera ‘vertically’ on a flat-bed train (or truck trailer) The main benefit is you might be able to pack seven or eight more Aptera on a rail car than if you parked them horizontally.
If you put it in the context of a private ‘train’ … i.e. a locomotive of some kind and five or ten rail cars most stocked with Aptera … you could make regional deliveries a “production.”
As I think about it, trucks might even work better than a train.
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 10:34 am
I had a thought for the RV adopters a while ago, creating a winch and folding ramp and mounts for the Aptera so it could hang vertically on the back of, instead of being towed by an RV. Not sure because it might be too tall that way and the weight would likely be problematic, so I never went beyond the thought.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Oz (It's Oz, just Oz).
MemberMay 1, 2022 at 12:13 pm
Having ~2000 lbs hanging vertically on the back of an RV is beyond the capabilities of any RV I have owned or researched. There are vertical mounts for lighter items (kayaks, canoes, bikes).
Usually, tongue weight is about 10-15% of towed trailer (or in this case Aptera) weight. So, for a ~2000lb towed vehicle the tongue weight should be 200-300 lbs. While tongue weight is different from your proposal the small values illustrate the problem with standing/hanging a full vehicle on the back of the RV.
Finally, for those of us who RV camp we all enjoy watching the “trailer back up couple” screaming at each other at the campsites. I can only imagine the fun watching someone trying to lower a vertical Aptera from the back of the RV. I know we would turn our lawn chairs to face that spetacle!
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Paul Schultz.
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 11:09 am
It is my understanding that the Aptera will, in fact, have a 12V Lead Acid battery to run the 12V systems like lights and radio etc. Cool idea, though, about vertical transport. I do hope there will be an easy way to tow it!
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 12:19 pm
I would have thought they’d have gone for a Li-ion battery in a 12v configuration because of weight. I mean, lead acid sucks in terms of density of energy. But there is a simple solution, you don’t install the 12v lead acid battery until it is lowered for delivery.
Think of a couple of haulers, the Aptera arranged in a row like Marlin at a dock, people choosing their color scheme, etc. at an announced ‘stop’ and Aptera fair. (You would hang them by the tail to keep the center of gravity as low as possible.)
Once backlogs evaporate, you could consider them a mobile sales center.
I suspect a bladder of some type specifically designed to fit between the vehicles as they hang vertically would both steady the load and protect the Aptera during transport.
You might be route-restricted in some areas but that kind of impediment can be worked around.
Heck, you might even partner with one of the folks building big rig EVs as they could also be marketed in this kind of rolling demonstration and delivery concept. It also is easily adapted to the regionalized assembly plants which just mean shorter hauls around multiple hubs.
The distribution logistics are a challenge of their own but if you build (or have built) this kind of specialized semi trailer (I’d imagine a low boy and maybe a slight lean to drop the height further maybe by articulation for travel.
The Aptera is light and that makes me wonder, since you could tow ~ 20,000 lbs on a trailer behind a heavy duty pickup, maybe the design play is for that kind of low cost rig. (I figure five or six Aptera on a low-boy trailer.
BTW, I don’t know that this is the ‘best’ idea but rather it does raise some interesting questions/opportunities for marketing and distribution. That said, I’m sure there are other ideas about that part of the equation floating around. I just hope someone finds out-of-the box thinking ‘inspirational’.
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 1:12 pm
I’m thinking hauling 3 cars to a given area might be cost effective. How about a wedge flatbed trailer? Can be towed by a one ton dually.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Gary Greenway.
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 5:06 pm
I’m thinking four, maybe five Aptera could be stacked, rear raised about 45 degrees and shipped without the wheel pants installed.
What would be really cool with this setup is, considering ‘five’ Aptera on a trailer, represent at least 125 kwh of storage if not, with 40kw models, 200 kwh of stored energy.
This idea might convince the powers that be to include at least V2V connection with the idea of powering the frigging trailer, which when coupled with say a Rivian, Lightening or other aspiring electric powered pickup.
Given the success many of us anticipate regarding the brand, the idea of a dozen or so similarly powered truck and trailer combos, I would suspect a pickup from Aptera of vehicles returned under their seven day return policy would actually seem credible. My bet is someone else will consider it their lucky day if anyone returns for any reason.
Such opportunities Aptera is making.
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 7:11 pm
ModeratorMay 1, 2022 at 6:51 am
Nothing new under the sun, eh? I remember lusting after a Cosworth Vega back in the day.
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 7:13 pm
Early-on I proposed two different delivery methods:
1. Covered wagons drawn by teams of unicorns
2. Giant solar-powered electric drones
Surprisingly, Aptera seemed equally disinterested in both options!
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 7:17 pm
Disappointing. They must be preoccupied with trivial things……
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by John Malcom.
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 9:19 pm
MemberMay 1, 2022 at 10:15 am
Not a little impractical, Kerbe … a whole lot impractical. Why?
Because unicorns don’t fly … and that solar powered drone needs to be replaced by a hydrogen-filled dirigible.
My connections to future vision suggests these dirigibles end up looking like massive jelly-fish of the sky as the transport link is a big net over the air craft with transport of the Aptera being ‘hung’ by their tow hook and being transported like a fish out of water.
Preliminary design data suggests because of the comparative lightness of Aptera, a Zeppelin-sized dirigible can carry as many as 60 Apterea in a ‘load.’
The biggest advantage Aptera has over say a Lordstown motor in employing this pie-in-the-sky ground breaking (especially if an Aptera were to fall from a couple of thousand feet) auto transport system is that Aptera is one the west coast and the prevailing winds are from west to east.
Still, as I understand it, MBS was a partner for the dirigible and insisted on using fossil fuels for the turbo-fan engines which was a deal killer for the Aptera management because of its inherent pollution.😉
MemberApril 30, 2022 at 7:16 pm
The 12 volt power supply will be from a lithium ion battery, not a lead acid battery. Chris Anthony answered this question in a video interview with Steve of the Aptera Owner’s Club Youtube channel on April 5. I cued the interview to where the question is answered at 9 minutes in, here’s the link to it….
MemberMay 1, 2022 at 4:42 am
You know, for some of us the prospect of making a four thousand mile trip is more onerous than it is for others. I don’t think it’s accurate to think of us as “self-centered”. The issue is not immediate gratification- I’m willing to wait years. The issues are of logistics, expense, and carbon efficiency.
MemberMay 1, 2022 at 10:43 am
I also considered the idea of a 3000 mile ‘shakedown run’ foolhardy. I’ll do that locally until I gain confidence in the vehicle. Once it proves itself reliable, then it’s roadtrip time.
MemberMay 2, 2022 at 4:21 pm
I’m with you on this. I wouldn’t mind the drive from CA to NJ, but would like to have 100% confidence first.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 4:24 am
I love this thread, as for logistical delivery I like the hanging like a meat truck type and they could alternate, one facing up the other facing down knowing that there’s no need to worry about any form of battery leakage, even if there was a possibility of that scenario the affected batteries could be removed and reinstated after delivery. The RV scenario could look at hanging from the rear downward to keep the weight down low but if is would compromise the front/rear balance then a ramp on top might be feasible. If i had an RV I would be able to afford to implement a hoist setup to accommodate this. 😁
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 9:50 am
My gut is the RV’ers will come up with a custom dolly for the extra-wide front and simply order the FWD model with its free-wheeling rear end.
Alternately, someone will create and/or enable something like a “follow Me” app that will have the Aptera, secured by a light rope behind an RV, follow the RV like a disciplined dog on a leash under its own power but under the direction of the driver of the RV. The advantages are that the Aptera would face no wind resistance and, given its nimbleness, it would be able to go, stop and corner with gobs of safety to spare behind a lumbering RV … The big deal is that the tow doesn’t take power from the RV, allowing mileage (MPG) or EV use to avoid a hit at all from the tow.
ModeratorMay 3, 2022 at 10:33 am
All kidding aside, the Aptera is “the EV for your RV” — light enough to tow behind without a huge MPG hit to the RV fuel mileage. The million-dollar idea is what sort of dolly would let one safely tow the Aptera without undue wear and tear on the single rear wheel.
Aptera charges itself to some extent even while being towed, so once the RV is parked at a campground, an owner can make use of the Aptera for local excursions for sightseeing or shopping. The key would be how easy is it to hitch and unhitch the Aptera from your RV.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 12:03 pm
Well, if the RV has a hitch receiver and the Aptera tow package has a hitch receiver, then you could have a ball mount on one and a coupler on a receiver tube in the other vehicle’s receiver.