Forum Member DiversityPosted by Lou on October 17, 2021 at 5:43 pm
Has anyone else noticed that those actively participating in the various Aptera Discussions are almost exclusively middle-aged to self-identified old white guys (guilty as charged!)? Other than “Riley”, who may or may not be, I am not aware of any female or non-White participants. This is surprising to me and wonder if it known and acknowledged to be an issue of concern to management. I appreciate that management does in fact reflect more generous diversity and Aptera advertising does often show as many women as men. Any insights as to the reason why we are embarrassingly close to an old white boys club would be welcome!
MemberOctober 17, 2021 at 6:02 pm
Lou I’m not sure the planet cares much about diversity. If its the old white guys that are the trailblazers for cleaner transportation I don’t think it should matter. Cleaner air is cleaner air. Besides I know as a OWG I have done my fair share of polluting so I don’t mind putting out a few extra bucks to make a difference. I think women in general are more practical than us guys. Give them wheels that are reliable, safe, and have some character and I think most are happy. Let’s here it ladies.
I have notice that Aptera uses young perky females in their ads. Maybe because they are more attractive to OWGs and they know that is their market.
MemberOctober 17, 2021 at 8:03 pm
im betting its also b/c aptera is aesthetic car more than a drivers car b/c electric power steering and being so wide. abstract appeals appeal more to whamen and guys tend to like spatial stuff like athletics. but i think most guys nowdays would be fine with aptera over lotus elise or some v8 b/c almost noone knows how to drive manual anymore and electric power steering only recently has been much interactive, plus programmable fake engine sound is enough for recent generation, who is almost if not totally more influenced by internet electronics than real life and where almost all cars dont sound the same rather big displacement naturally aspirated or even supercharged anymore. even 90s honda vtec had something to it you dont see anymore. also we’re less athletic and lot lazier than we used to be by a lot. a couple highschool teachers say they can see the difference between even as recent as average 2005 young adults vs todays ones.
AdministratorOctober 17, 2021 at 7:02 pm
Hi Lou, thank you for this post. Diversity and inclusiveness is important to me personally as our CMO and to Aptera’s leadership. Our team and our fans span all ages and walks of life, and that’s something that I’m proud of. While most auto manufacturers focus on marketing to a specific demographic, our goal is to attract people who share our same values and commitment to making the world a better place. I am enthusiastic about bringing more diversity to our forum and our community. We have an Aptera Ambassador who is working on this goal right now. If you are interested in helping out, we’d be grateful for your support! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from you!
MemberOctober 17, 2021 at 8:53 pm
Thanks for the invitation, Sarah…I’ll follow up with you soon!
MemberOctober 17, 2021 at 9:16 pm
So, I guess I am one of the “Identified” old white guys. However, I have a very diverse family. I have three adopted children, A PRC Chinese daughter, A Russian daughter, and an Syrian son. It is OK to be an old white guy as it is OK to be anything else.
Remember, if we are over 40 we are a part of a protected class too ????
MemberOctober 18, 2021 at 4:36 am
John, of course it’s OK to be an OWG. I came into the community as a retired ecologist immediately drawn to Aptera’s obvious ecological benefits but understandably skeptical and leery of its engineering and viability as a very low-budget enterprise. Your contributions, coming from a lifelong career as both an engineer and systems/project manager, have been particularly invaluable in convincing me to become an investor and make my reservation. After a month of enjoying and learning from the many savvy forum contributors, it just hit me that it was disproportionately OWGs sharing their insights. Not a criticism – just an observation in search of an explanation. Perhaps it’s as simple as the fact that we’re the ones with the luxury of having the time to do so! Bottom line is my belief in Aptera’s mission and viability has risen to the point of upping my investment to the $10K level today!
MemberOctober 17, 2021 at 8:34 pm
Personally, I’m proud to be a brown Heinz 57 sauce on here. And I recollect recently having participated in this community forum with two very technical women.
That said, perhaps there should be more.
I believe the barrier might diminish if Aptera were to also offer a Lease program or partner with an enterprise which might facilitate the such.
The minimum base MSRP of $25,900, though it is a step in the proper direction, may still be considered as a barrier to many on the minority side of the spectrum. It is also known that women in general do not get compensated in the same manner as do men for the same amount of work or qualifications. And then there is the matter of obtaining the qualifications in the first place and how advantageous their position is in having the same degree of opportunity. The same goes for minorities, to in include the ability to begin already at an economic position of more privilege and means.
At least at this level we begin to see a bit more welcomed inclusivity.
BTW, both my dad as well as I have each made our reservations.
If all goes well with my campaign a friend of mine who is also brown will be amongst the lucky reservationists.
Lou, you made a keen observation on a touchy subject that many consider to be the third rail.
Now, a bit of this could also be alleviated if Aptera were to focus some of it marketing to people living in apartments without access to a place where they may be able to plug into overnight. That would likely propitiate more diversity given that home-ownership is also a demographic which leans in the direction of your observation as well.
If the appeal were to be monetary as in not having to visit a charging station weekly for everyday commuting purposes simply because there is no place afforded by landlords for apartment-dwellers to plug in, and yet that by the Aptera sitting in the sunny parking lot, it would be plugged into the sun, that is no longer only a matter of convenience but one that helps the pocketbook too! All of these factors would be appealing beyond that of the surfing and camping crowd.
I personally plan to use my Aptera, for business and for pleasure, for daily commutes, for shopping, for going to the beach and the park, for camping and for going in long cross-country business trips! And yes, I did reserve the off-road and camping packages. 😀
MemberOctober 17, 2021 at 9:06 pm
Thanks Fanfare 100! More than happy to be be wrong in my perception and clearly monikers are color blind. That said, I agree with you completely that Aptera’s simplicity of design, solar charging and price point should make it uniquely appealing and accessible to a broad spectrum of urban dwellers of all flavors who might not otherwise have the wherewithal to own/charge an EV. Part of the point I was hoping to make. Aptera can/should be a “people’s car” for our time!
ModeratorOctober 18, 2021 at 5:37 am
Hi, Lou. Thanks for kicking off this thread by posing the question of diversity. To me, even though I’m an OWG, it’s a question of widening the appeal of Aptera. Wider appeal I think benefits everyone as more sales leads to more R&D resources which leads to better future Apteras. Glad we’ve got a bit of racial and gender diversity already.
Nothing wrong with a bunch of OWG buyers. Broadening the appeal and easing the entry into ownership with a lease program would be icing on the cake.
MemberOctober 18, 2021 at 5:45 am
Lou, it has been noticed. I am one of the brand ambassadors and we are starting an initiative to reach out to a number of organizations to see if we can address this diversity question. Just looking at the ambassador ranks, as an example, we are over 90% male.
The groups that will be the initial focus are Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). I have been lucky enough to work with each of these organizations in one form or another throughout my engineering career. They are reputable and long lasting orgs. The intent is to offer to discuss Aptera’s mission with them and to see if we can recruit some student to join the ambassador
Why focus on students and these organizations? I think the Aptera could be a great first car for a college graduate. They can use a reasonably priced, low maintenance, hyper efficient two seater with lots of cargo space. Seems like a great area to build interest. The organizations above cover a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Hopefully that will help us grow interest in a wider spectrum of folks.
MemberOctober 18, 2021 at 7:36 am
Forum demographics isn’t necessarily representative of reservation demographics, it’s more likely just reflects who uses forums vs other kinds of social media. I reluctantly went to forums when Usenet died, I’ve never used Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok or even Facebook and I suspect I’m not alone. Older people like forums, younger people use other platforms. There is also a generational difference in the importance of cars, Boomers are keenly interested in cars, supposedly Millennials couldn’t care less.
MemberOctober 18, 2021 at 7:47 am
hi guys age 36, Puertorican Living in texas here! love Aptera and the mission.Also, love you all guys.XD
MemberOctober 18, 2021 at 9:00 am
Yes, I think there are a quite a few of us here who do not identify as WGs, keep up with forum discussions and interact at times. I purposefully left out the “O” due to not seeing 50ish as old ????.
ModeratorOctober 19, 2021 at 4:58 am
Hi, Morris. Yes, the age thing can divide us quickly. Based on the comments in this thread and others on the Forum, it’s clear Aptera appeals to a wide swath of age groups. Glad it’s a big tent and there’s room for all of us.
I was intrigued with the question of “what does an apartment or condo dweller do?” when it comes to charging. Being a homeowner for many years, I had forgotten about that segment. Some creativity will be needed to come up with a solution for that scenario. I can’t see a 200 ft. extension cord being draped from the 3rd story window of an apartment building. I imagine those buildings with a parking garage have some provision, however limited, to at least plug into a 110V outlet.
MemberAugust 23, 2022 at 7:36 am
117.5vac will give one 150miles overnight, more than enough for even the most liberal usage in a day.
OWM here. I remain concerned that the forum is all OWM. I have tried to get young family members energised over my choice. They view me as the OWCM (Old White Crazy Man) now.
I want my wife to be excited about my reservation, but I expect her to have the same opinion about the Aptera as she had for S2000 and GL1800. Only for the mechanically/engineer inclined gear-head. Gamma at least starts looking like something she can see herself in.
MemberAugust 23, 2022 at 7:55 am
I must be the token young person in my mid 20’s
MemberAugust 23, 2022 at 10:25 pm
I think this car mainly appeals to those that have a strong STEM background, but suspect there will be a greater variety of people here once Aptera’s product hits the streets. As a male OBG (Older Black Geek), I wanted the vehicle initially, but it never became available. Until now I have been lurking and waiting patiently for the finished product, looking forward to the day when I can fly down to San Diego and drive back to San Jose!
I grew up in San Diego, worked for a couple of tech companies in Sorrento Valley long ago (within shouting distance of Aptera’s original location), then left for Silicon Valley to work for a computer company known by their three letter acronym. I am retired now and can afford it, so I became an investor and reservation holder.
MemberOctober 17, 2022 at 10:48 pm
Hey guys and gals,just thought I’d throw my 2 cents worth in. I love the look and features that Aptera has to offer and the fact that with solar option of charging without grid connection is amazing and all evs should have standard! I already have solar on my roof so next thing would be get an electric vehicle but I will wait until I see how they work out. I made 2 reservations with Elio and got nothing. Paul Elio should be sent to prison for collecting $28 million from reservationists and giving them nothing in return.He is a crook and should be prosecuted. Well at least I got 2 t shirts for $200 dollars I think. Back to the Aptera, I hope it does well and becomes a great success. As far as for the environment goes, it cost about the same to charge evs as filling up your gas tank, so you are not saving the climate for you climate activist s out there.
MemberOctober 18, 2022 at 7:26 pm
Hey, Lou, thanks for asking! I can’t speak for other OWLs (old white ladies), but I lurk extensively on the forum and have learned quite a bit in doing so. I have never paid much attention to cars, I see them as functional only, a fact to which my hail-damaged ’99 Honda Accord could attest. But, oh, Aptera. It is the vehicle of dreams!
I have an engineering, biology, and environmental background and Aptera checks all the boxes. Long ago, in elementary school, I wondered why there weren’t solar powered cars and wished to have one someday. It may be partly my STEM mind, but I see Aptera, its fundamental efficiency and design, not only as a very practical car, but as a machine of sublime beauty.
I believe that once production and sales begin, Aptera will sell itself to all types of people for all types of reasons. In fact, my 88-year-old mother is hopeful that she will live long enough to go for a ride in mine!
Women may not be paying attention now, but they will.
MemberOctober 18, 2022 at 7:48 pm
Welcome to APTERA Gretchen, very glad to see a peer from the XX chromosome side. I totally agree with your assertion that all types of people will be drawn to all that APTERA has to offer.
I hope APTERA gets to the point where they can actually advertise to the masses. I remember the 1st time I saw the vehicle, I was so drawn to it that I just spent a few days spending as much time as I could trying to get as much information as possible. After 3 days I ordered one and since my order, I have spent every free moment learning as much as possible from engineers on this forum along with ideas from everyone else that participates.
Hopefully everyone who follows this forum keeps the enthusiasm going to carry this wave of this new vehicle to production and beyond.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by John Voules.
MemberOctober 18, 2022 at 7:57 pm
The forum participation tracks with the viewer demographic of Aptera Owner’s Club
It would be interesting to see the demographic for Aptera’s own YouTube page but I’m going to guess it’s similar. Almost all male and mostly older. YouTube does not give any ethnicity information but I suspect it is mostly older white males.
I think it’s because Aptera is unconventional and appeals to people with a tech or engineering background. People that are more secure in society are more willing to try unconventional things. Also you have to have some level of disposable income to be interested in an novel unusual thing. Also you have to have the time to spend discussing said unusual thing.
MemberOctober 19, 2022 at 3:06 pm
As a mixed race millenial, I’m curious how my heritage, age, or other personal info affects you. Are you going to do something about it like giving someone reparations to add to their aptera savings account?
Also shouldn’t this forum be for talking about the car, and not discussing people’s info?
ModeratorOctober 19, 2022 at 3:36 pm
Hi, Seth. Not sure if your post was in response to Steve or to the whole thread. If you skim over the thread you’ll find this post from Sarah H.
“Diversity and inclusiveness is important to me personally as our CMO and to Aptera’s leadership. Our team and our fans span all ages and walks of life, and that’s something that I’m proud of. While most auto manufacturers focus on marketing to a specific demographic, our goal is to attract people who share our same values and commitment to making the world a better place. I am enthusiastic about bringing more diversity to our forum and our community. We have an Aptera Ambassador who is working on this goal right now. If you are interested in helping out, we’d be grateful for your support! You can email us at email@example.com. Hope to hear from you!”
MemberOctober 19, 2022 at 7:59 pm
I’d like to see more diversity in the vehicle, also. Unfortunately, it sounds like there is more concern by management about the forum being PC than there is about answering the many critical questions posted in the forum.
MemberOctober 19, 2022 at 9:33 pm
My two cents. I believe that it is important for the Aptera to appeal to a broad range of people as potential buyers. The end game is to get more EVs on the streets to contribute to climate change improvements and conserve resources with its efficiency. I FULLY support the effort to improve the diversity of members of the forum for these reasons and because it is the right thing to do. There is NOTHING wrong with an effort to be PC.
Prioritizing answers to questions is only a priority for those that lack patience for Aptera to provide information once it is finalized and on Aptera’s schedule not a forum member’s perceived idea of what the schedule should be.
Aptera’s responsibility is when providing an answer to a question, that it is consistent with other information on the same topic.
MemberOctober 20, 2022 at 11:51 am
I also do not see how heritage, age, or other personal info has anything to do with the Aptera vehicle. Lets just create a vehicle that makes sense to a large number of people.
MemberOctober 20, 2022 at 1:29 pm
Great response James.
ModeratorOctober 20, 2022 at 2:05 pm
Hi, Karen, James, et. al. I’m a pragmatist. I believe that a more diverse Aptera appeal helps all of us because it makes for a bigger audience of potential buyers and that increases the demand and the probability that the vehicle will actually get built. Sounds like we’ve reached the saturation point on the diversity discussion though.
Yes, this forum is for discussing the vehicle. One could argue that raising the question about who buys the vehicle has nothing to do with the vehicle itself and therefore is not something to discuss on this forum. Admittedly, age-income level-gender-race is in a different category from vehicle-specific questions like “How comfortable are the seats?”
So, back to our endless speculation about what features will be included in the final production Aptera;) Go Aptera!
MemberOctober 20, 2022 at 11:15 pm
i find this question odd. i have never meet or seen anyone ask someone who or what they are before or after viewing their hotrod, drag car, race car &/or street car/truck in a car club &/ car show.
For me and many people in car clubs only care about the love of the car culture and spirit customizing ones ride is the only thing that matters.
if i see a car in a car show that i like and want to know more about their history with the car, i will stop and talk to the individual and maybe take a few pictures if they are ok with it, i really do not care what they look like. i was in japan talking to a japanese guy about his car with english and broken japanese and lots of hand gestures that lasted for about 30 minutes (nice RX-7 3 rotor)
MemberOctober 21, 2022 at 3:20 am
Without getting into a pissing contest, I believe the OP was going for more of the appeal of the Aptera than anything else. Since we are new to the market and limited in our brand knowledge to the average person on the street, we have only hit a few markets.
After yelling to the heavens about Aptera, here in the South West I have yet to see another Aptera T-shirt. But everyone I talk to from the shopping cart collector at the big box store to the person who might ask about my shirts loves the idea of Aptera. I’m also a great sales person by the way.
At this day and age I believe lots of us have diverse families and the time has come to drop the agenda that seems to be tearing this country down. It is US who will bring about the change of solar mobility and not those in charge.
I will sing Aptera praises to everyone and anyone as long as it helps the company grow.
Now, make a pledge and tell one new person about Aptera every day until we have saturated the market.
MemberOctober 21, 2022 at 12:43 pm
As a minority male I can say that while I know everybody has a busy life, having the extra time to do meetings and such just isn’t generally in the cards for me. I’m a fan, a reservation holder, an investor an occasional commenter on some of the youtube channels; I even email in my thoughts and suggestions to the Aptera team from time-to-time, but that’s all I have time for. I applaud the folks who have the time to promote and educate others on the merits of the vehicle. Now, if Chris and Steve invent a time machine, then hand me an Ambassador hat. Well, I think I’ve used up my Aptera time for the day. Have at it guys.
ModeratorOctober 21, 2022 at 2:21 pm
Thanks for your perspective, Ronald. Yes, enthusiasm and free time make for more Forum posts. You make an important point that there are untold number of folks with Aptera enthusiasm, but not enough free time to let us know they’re enthusiastic;)
MemberOctober 25, 2022 at 2:43 pm
Who the heck cares what the skin color or gender is of people interested in the car? Besides, who you see on the forum is a very small sampling of those that would actually get an Aptera. This pointless conclusion is made off very little information. Every time I look at this forum I shake my head at the assertions made by Aptera fans. Maybe that’s why you don’t see certain types of people here.
MemberOctober 25, 2022 at 4:21 pm
As far as diversity, all that matters to me is everyone is welcomed to join and post. Has no bearing on who will purchase the vehicle once it is out. Political affiliations, skin color, origin of birth, and what ever else we can think of, all will have a chance to order this vehicle as long as they have the means.
MemberOctober 25, 2022 at 6:31 pm
I for one was gratified by this thread. I came into this Aptera thing thinking I was the only Old White Guy involved. Then, after reading a few other posts here and there, it seems that nearly all of the folks with active orders are OWGs. Now I see this discussion on diversity and my faith is restored. I believe this vehicle is the answer for a very diverse slice of the world’s population. To finally see some ladies step up really made my day. As for the younger folks, you all come, we’ll make room for you.
MemberOctober 25, 2022 at 8:22 pm
Mid 20’s Black man reporting in.
MemberOctober 26, 2022 at 8:21 pm
I’m a woman in her 40s working in Technology with a mind for sustainability. I’ve been following Aptera for many years, even back to the original.
The Aptera and it’s efficiency claims are what caught my eye. I live in rural Alberta, in an oil heavy area with great solar potential for a good chunk of the year. Unfortunately it’s also in area with not very nice winters, and some long drives. The Aptera done correctly would be an amazing fit here.
I just recently put my deposit on a 600 mile AWD version, hoping to see Aptera and vehicles like it, Sono where applicable, succeed.
MemberOctober 26, 2022 at 8:36 pm
I am with you Bro. I found a great artist with a painting of the most luscious lips with seductive car design on the internet. I replied to merch email I received with the link. Pina Ferrari seduced me with his designs. This is the second car design that has done the same. Merch these days has to appeal to wide variety of people. I love their casual, old school designs too. But like most consumers I need to be seduced. Seduction is universal, classic seduction, juicy lips with Kiss gas goodbye, APTERA is hear would catch attention.
MemberOctober 30, 2022 at 10:05 am
I have to claim a seat at the OWG table but not just for the age and color relationship. Raised in the 60s was a cherished experience for me. Raised by military middle class parents who experienced the three mid century wars, we learned respect, god, and country. Life on a military base was a younger set, kids and parents, who had to be responsible.
We learned about cars and how to repair because it was all we could afford. Smaller cars cost less to own, run, maintain, and DIY repair. Why haul 5 empty seats when a two seater leaves more money in your pocket? Cars we have owned include a TR4, Sunbeam Alpine, Spitfire, Civics, Beatle, Accords, CRX, 944, Boxster, Insight gen 1&2, Lotus Europa, Esprit, Westfield Eleven, and Morris Minor Van. There have been family vehicles over the years but those were based on family needs. However an Aptera for me will hopefully fill my final personal car needs. Reliability, drivable, economical, sporty, all weather, and fun is what I want. Quiet, room for some stuff (wife included), Level 2, brisk, and traction control is icing on the cake. Maybe by the end of 2023 I can bring it home.
MemberOctober 31, 2022 at 6:52 pm
100% of the people here are human beings and that is all that matters.
MemberNovember 1, 2022 at 12:46 pm
Hi Lou! That has also been somewhat an aspect of my initial observation, but I will say that I have helped add diversity to the equation and times, they might be a changin’. XD Of the 7 investors I’ve attracted this is their racial/ethnic background:
1) White ((Swiss / Italian) (dad)) in his 80s
2) White ((Anglo-Saxon) (work colleague)) in his 40s
3) 1/2 Indian + 1/2 Panamanian (childhood friend) in his 40s
4) Indian (from India) (long time friend) in his 60s
5) Indian (from India) (friend (son of former high-school classmate & friend)) in his 20s
6) Mix ((Austrian/Polish/Ukranian/Italian/Jewish/Persian/Swiss, African, Native American) (self)) ~60
7 Mongrel “Heinz-57”: ((Austrian/Polish/Ukranian/Italian/Jewish/Persian/Swiss/French/German/British, African, Native American) (son)) in his 20s
I think that initially it is logical that older white men are more inclined to have expendable income, but as the word gets out and traverses racial and ethic and geographic barriers you will see some more sprinklings of diversity.
Also, of many of those who were already poised and posed to invest were, many were already pre-qualified, but once the word got out than unqualified pee-wee investors could participate, the flood gates opened for Joe Schmoes like my friends and me to enter the loop.
IMHO, Aptera will be like the rising tide that will help others who have previously been disenfranchised from investor finance to join the fray as well.
And wait ’till 3 to 5 years once our shares are converted into “stonks” how that valuation will be. To give you an example, imagine having purchased Tesla back when it was $10.50/share? Where would you be today? ;-D
MemberNovember 2, 2022 at 8:11 pm
Imagine purchasing Aptera back in 2007 and where you would be…..
I’m an investor but I do not consider Aptera in the bag in the least. I have a lot of concerns actually, but with the beating the market took this last year if my Aptera investment evaporates well it will have plenty of company…. Probably not going to guy during this offering though.
MemberNovember 3, 2022 at 7:18 pm
I’m a Black gen x woman that’s been waiting patiently since 8/21. Most people my age that like the Aptera don’t have the luxury of waiting a few years for delivery. Also, most need more than 2 seats until all the kids are out of the house or they have their own car. You’ll probably see lots more owner diversity when it’s readily available.
The waiting is the hardest part
Every day they’ll make forty cars
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part