Outside the Aptera echo chamber?Posted by che-mckittrick on August 20, 2022 at 6:16 am
I recently watched a youtube video criticizing the Gamma interior. I didn’t even finish watching it due to the poor quality of the video and the creator’s personal opinions. Thinking back though I’m wondering if I just didn’t want to hear anything negative about Aptera. I like to think of myself as open minded enough to listen to opposing viewpoints but is it really worth listening to negatives about a vehicle that isn’t in production yet. Then there’s criticism of the company itself. I want Aptera to succeed but I wonder if I’m not seeing any red flags because I only look for positive developments. Anyway, what are your thoughts?
- This discussion was modified 1 year ago by bbelcamino.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 6:22 am
There are always people who will knit pick things. We’re all entitled to our own opinions. The gamma reveal actually had the colors I chose. There is a new video from one of the developers that builds confidence. It is in Aptera Discussions.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 6:42 am
My point is do you feel it’s worthwhile listening to negative opinions about Aptera (the car and the company)?
ModeratorAugust 20, 2022 at 6:50 am
You raise a valuable point, Che. Healthy skepticism and reasonable doubts IMHO are needed when considering any decision. Stepping outside the echo chamber when it comes to Aptera, as you put it, is desirable. It’s by weighing pros and cons that we can arrive at an informed (vs. blind) decision. Whenever my wife and I have a disagreement, I can affirm the value of “taking the other viewpoint” — if I want to stay married! LOL. Nevertheless, there are rabid haters out there on the internet that seem to delight in trashing any new idea or product. I don’t give them TOO much of my consideration.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 7:01 am
Wise words. Nothing is all good or all bad. Taking either viewpoint on any subject demonstrates a lack of rational thinking. In the current economic environment it is important to consider all perspectives on something that may impact our finances and the way we allocate our resources.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 6:48 am
I try to watch every video on YouTube that mentions aptera and all of the ones that have negative viewpoints are backed by weak arguments or false information.
Theres my reverberation from the aptera echo chamber.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 8:08 am
Take in all information — positive and negative. Use your critical thinking skills and the power of discernment to determine what’s best for you. Blindly believing only one side of any issue can be detrimental. Having said that, it’s obvious that there are those that absolutely do not want Aptera to succeed. This was true a decade ago, and it is still true today. Hopefully you will be able to identify trolls when you encounter them on the internet.
All discussion about the viability of Aptera will ultimately be resolved when, and ONLY when, they start delivering vehicles. Once vehicles are in the hands of the public, they will be heavily reviewed by news outlets and customers alike. That will be the true test.
Tesla faced massive amounts of scrutiny and forecasts of doom and gloom in its early years, and look where it is today. But Tesla had to deliver vehicles, and make improvements with each new iteration, to prove its worthiness.
Aptera has an opportunity to be the vanguard of an automotive transportation paradigm (pun intended) shift as did Tesla. I’m sure the vast majority of us in this forum will agree that we would like nothing more than to see this vision come to fruition.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 8:18 am
Aptera has already demonstrated several times, that it recognizes the need for other input, with the inclusion of other vendors and their ideas. On one hand it has slowed down production, but on the other they will have a much better product and better overall success.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 11:04 am
Good faith criticism is always worth considering. If however the video was from a certain Australian, I’d give those “ideas” a pass.
MemberAugust 23, 2022 at 5:15 pm
If I could upvote this, I would. 😛
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 11:17 am
Yes, I started to watch that video also and stopped. It’s poor quality.
Some of the red flags I see right now: lack of funding, and “pie-in-the-sky” future plans.
I’m really worried about funding. One video analysis from the “owner’s club” said that Aptera needs $50 million to start production. I would say they need more than that for financial security and that is going to be hard to get now because the IMF has predicted that the world economy is going to shrink over the next 3 years. A shrinking economy means death to startups. This is what killed Aptera 1.0.
The future plans for all of those vehicles are, to me, an ego-driven fantasy. I suggest Aptera think small: go the opposite direction and make a single-seat vehicle that tilts into corners. Tilting autocycles are popular now for a good reason: excellent corner grip (for safety and performance). Tilting makes more sense for a single-seat vehicle. The vast majority of people commute to work alone in the cars. Most trips are alone as well. A single-seat vehicle would be cheaper and easier to make and would probably perform even better than the current model. Having even higher performance would attract sports-car people, which is a good thing.
So, I suggest Aptera gives up their big plans for 4-wheeled vehicles. It’s just too hard to make those, given the regulations, and they would be far less efficient. The “me too” thing would be screaming out loud also. What makes Aptera unique is the efficient body shape. It’s unlike any vehicle out there. It’s the main reason I want to own one. I don’t care how it’s powered either. You could fuel it with goat blood, and I wouldn’t care. It’s the style and the efficiency that I love about the car.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 12:02 pm
As always, my 2¢ (which is worthless in the current economy)
Answer: “Meh.” I am not a fan eating all info (and seeing what comes out) because life is too short. What I doodoo 😉
First – I listen for NEWS from Aptera.
Then – I have a very short list of “fact” based feeds that I have compiled.
Next – I have a shorter list of people with opinions I consider valuable.
Last – I read the questions of others (avoid the opinions) and will chip in with an answer if someone asks for it and I don’t see it reflected in the replies already.
What I don’t do is:
– Waste time on someone’s list of concerns about an unproven/unproduced/unfinished product or company,
– Consume the “I want Aptera to build me THIS* car” musings,
(*THIS is a list of someone’s personal favorite bells and whistles)
– Or listen to crystal ball gazers trying to see into a bowling ball.
Everything else: I’ll contact Aptera and give voice to any concern I consider serious. But I understand I am just one a 40k customers for an unreleased product, so I don’t do that often. (Just once)
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm
When I was on the Elio forum, I posted a thread entitled “Fail Scenario”. It was quickly taken down. But it had an effect because everyone started talking about the possibility of failure which was not discussed before.
The Aptera forum is far more open.
How much does Ford, GM, or other companies let us in on what is happening when they are developing a vehicle. Aptera may be a first in this arena also.
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 3:59 pm
I believe that so many folks really have indulged all they can about Aptera. The groupies as they used to get called, are all in. The fact that this vehicle hits so many different highs, lowest drag efficiency, most efficient due to design, safety, due to materials and design, and cool factor, super car nature, and yada yada yada.
The echo chamber we are in is the inovatition excitement. Human nature makes us all excited when we sense big changes… This is a big change, but needed, wanted!
MemberAugust 20, 2022 at 4:41 pm
The echo chamber effect ,and absolute “faith in the aptera engineers” definitely worry me. Chris’ more emotional response to the wrap question instead of a practical engineering response was a bit worrying. Most of the other engineers seem to actually be experts in their field so that’s reassuring. Most of the interior decisions worry me. Steering wheels give me much more hand positions for long trips vs the tesla yoke with basically one mediocre hand position being uncomfortable after a while. Will I be able to take a long test drive before buying, or do I have to prepurchase and go through the hassle of returning it if it’s uncomfortable to me? Will I be able to pressure wash the interior fabric, since I can’t wipe it down like a smooth surface?? All in all if they live up to their promises I hope they do well, but they need to be comfortable, and practical enough to go mainstream.
MemberAugust 22, 2022 at 10:35 am
I spent 32 years working for an auto manufacturer that handsomely rewarded ‘yes-men’. During that time, they went bankrupt largely due to that policy. Between that experience, my time in the military, and college, I’ve learned that there are usually many ways to solve most problems.
The best way to find the best ideas is to seek out the people that disagree with you and have the ability to explain their viewpoint. To learn, you must listen to people that do not have the same body of knowledge as yourself. The trick is, to separate the treasure from the trash.
That’s why I am drawn to science. It is so easy to throw out the old ideas when the new ideas prove to be more valid.
The first step to reducing confirmation bias in your life is to recognize what it is and how susceptible humans are to its influence. Once you have that understanding, you’ll have a new filter in your toolbox of BS detectors.
Now, go find a nay-sayer to analyze. Embrace the diversity of ideas.
Except that goofy yoke. You do not have to embrace that.
MemberAugust 22, 2022 at 2:34 pm
I’d say it’s very important to be skeptical.
I took a look at Aptera’s SEC filings a bit ago. While I’m not an expert in finance, a couple of things stood out:
1) They had $19m in cash at the start of this year.
2) They had expenses of $19m last year.
3) Given that they’re trying to expand into production, and have moved to a new location, they’re going to need a lot more than $19m this year.
It’s pretty clear to me that they’re going to need an infusion of cash to move from development to production. The $50m number quoted earlier sounds about right – they need to purchase not only the raw materials for the vehicles they’re selling, but also all of the manufacturing equipment. The delay in the gamma reveal is worrisome – the only way they’re going to get more $$ is to show that they have a product that’s ready-to-go, especially given the number of times that delivery dates have been pushed back.
I’ve also noticed a bit of silence lately from the company. Sure, we’ve got a nice little video an interior mockup… which is really nothing.
They’re going to need to hit it out of the park at the event in September. If they don’t have a nearly fully operational gamma vehicle (including software) to show, I don’t think the future is bright.
MemberAugust 22, 2022 at 6:40 pm
I think this crunch time comes for all startups at some point. Tesla survived it by the skin of their teeth in a more favorable economic climate. Aptera now up to bat. Hope they don’t pull a Yankees on us. (Great team fading). September 10-11 very important. I hope Aptera got everything they needed from the supply chain or somewhere else they needed for the Game at the show
I too have noticed an uncharacteristic “Quite” from them. won’t speculate on the reasons. Could be positive or negative
MemberAugust 23, 2022 at 6:34 pm
I mean in general, the longer it takes for Aptera to get to market the more their competitors can bring the prices of their vehicles down thanks to the magic of economies of scale. Models like the Chevy Bolt EUV are already down to Aptera pricing or significantly lower once you take into account federal subsidies (that Aptera doesn’t qualify for).
Energy efficiency is one thing, but economic efficiency is another. Even after taking into account the possibility of not having to plug in your Aptera, as long as you have a home charging system setup the amount of time it’d take for your Aptera to repay the cost differential of a subsidized Chevy Bolt EUV is way too long to be worth it in terms of time value of money calculations. And that’s comparing it to a vehicle in a format that frankly will be significantly more comfortable and fitting to the tastes of most American consumers. More traditional automotive layout, more car seats for passengers, more cargo capacity, no yoke, etc.
Every departure from that comfortable norm is another roll of the dice to see if someone just opts to get something more conventional.
Fortunately Aptera more or less smokes the competition when it comes to 400 mile+ models and the solar charging is definitely a killer feature, especially considering the degenerating state of American power grid infrastructure. The looming threat of further increases in energy inflation and inability for supply chains/power supplies to actually ramp up as fast as EV demand will is definitely what seals the deal for me, but this is hardly going to be a universal sentiment.
Will demand be broader amongst the general populace than what exists amongst the fanbase who preordered? Hard to say.
MemberAugust 23, 2022 at 10:38 pm
I have read several negative reviews. Some of the arguments aren’t that bad. I appreciate the info. However, even though some of those arguments might be valid, I don’t feel obligated to care. At the end of the day I either just don’t care about some of those things as passionately as some of the critics or I’m confident in my ability to either solve the problems or deal with it.
For example: I don’t like the white head rests and white yoke. My solution is to sign-up to pay for the privilege of customizing the interior colors.
Another example: If I can’t learn to love the shape and utility of the yoke, then I’ll look for an after-market alternative.
Recent example: I am uncomfortable with how many people in the gamma-reveal video had to adjust their feet to fit through the limited gap in the doorway. Frankly, I’m not completely sure how I am going to resolve that one, but I will try to adjust the way I enter or exit the vehicle to minimize the problem.
I don’t feel obligated to care about the criticisms. I’m tired of reading some of the whining. I’m cocky enough to think that I can either fix the bigger issues or deal with them.
MemberAugust 24, 2022 at 12:14 am
The Aptera will come as designed, engineered, and produced. This is the way all cars come from a manufacturer. As with any car from any manufacturer, there will be some features we don’t care for and many that we want. I believe you represent the vast majority of potential Aptera owners. We will figure a way to deal/ compensate for the things we don’t care for rather than whine about them. It is the rational approach that we have applied to the acquisition of every car we have decided to purchase.