Is an Aptera the EV for your RV?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Is an Aptera the EV for your RV?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Is an Aptera the EV for your RV?

  • Is an Aptera the EV for your RV?

     John LaRocque updated 3 months ago 8 Members · 12 Posts
  • Ray Holan

    Moderator
    October 15, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t own an RV and there may not be many prospective Aptera owners that do. However, I notice that many RV owners tow a spare ICE vehicle behind their diesel pusher motorhome. A sub 2,000 lb. Aptera would be a great spare vehicle. The light weight would not noticeably penalize the 8 mpg fuel consumption of a typical motorhome.

    Here’s a trailer for a three-wheeler with a 1,771 lb load capacity:

    https://stingertrailer.com/product/stinger-for-can-am-spyder/

    Unfortunately, it’s too small to fit an Aptera. Regardless, I’m sure someone with welding and engineering skills could come up with a variation of this that would accommodate an Aptera. Then too, a properly designed towbar for the RV to tow the Aptera might be a more elegant solution.

  • Paul Schultz

    Member
    October 15, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve had the same thought and think the Aptera would be an excellent vehicle to tow behind an RV. I could see using a front-wheel tow dolly with a front-wheel-drive Aptera. The rear wheel would be on the road and rolling freely. A tow dolly is a much lighter trailer but still provides protection to the front-wheel-drive motors of the Aptera.

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 16, 2021 at 4:53 am

      Hi, Paul. Thanks for your comments. I wondered about the wear and tear on the single rear wheel of the Aptera if the vehicle were to be towed with a tow bar keeping the two front wheels off the ground. Certainly would not seem to be a problem with the FWD model. Do you think towing an AWD model would do any damage to the hub motor? I’m inclined to think it would be OK.

      • Curtis Cibinel

        Member
        October 16, 2021 at 5:50 pm

        If it’s awd you would need a flatbed trailer. You can’t generally roll drive wheels on an ev when towing. The axial Flux motors might be different but I doubt it

  • Jerry Gustafson

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 12:36 pm

    I have a short Tiffin Allegro Breeze diesel pusher motorhome (30 feet) and currently tow (all four down) a non-electric manual transmission Chevy Spark that only weights 2165 lbs. I would love to tow an Aptera with all three wheels down. I definitely don’t want to mess with a trailer or dolly. Blue Ox tow system is what I currently use and it is fantastic! I’m sure that Blue Ox would be glad to work with Aptera.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      March 29, 2022 at 12:45 pm

      The Elaphe motors are permanent magnet which almost certainly means no way to turn them off and flat tow (like most EVs). A trailer is almost certainly the only option. Aptera with FWD could potentially have a wheel dolly.

  • Francis Giroux

    Member
    March 30, 2022 at 6:31 am

    Curtis, What do you mean, “You can’t generally roll drive wheels on an ev when towing.”? Are you saying that you can’t shut off the Aptera motors and coast with no regen braking? I hope that’s not the case because my favorite hypemiling technique is coasting with no power. I always assumed that like a generator with no power drawn (open circuit), an electric motor/alternator/generator would have no problem spinning freely without causing eddy currents and drag/wear. I coast power off with both my Honda Insight (clutch disengaged or out of gear) and my Toyota Prius (regen braking disengaged, neutral). I expect to do the same with the Aptera if there is a way to “put it in neutral” without damaging something. Does anyone know if the “gear select” has a neutral position? I suppose they might have made the mistake of designing the electronics such that your only choices are: forward, reverse, and park, but no neutral. That would really be disappointing and I might even say, stupid.

    • Joshua Rosen

      Member
      March 30, 2022 at 7:46 am

      Permanent magnet motors always operate as generators when not operating as motors. Tow charging a vehicle using regen does work, I don’t think this does any damage, but supposedly flat towing with no load is damaging. I don’t understand why but all manufacturers with permanent magnet motors forbid towing. Tesla uses a permanent magnet motor in the rear and an induction motor in the front. When cruising in a Tesla only the rear permanent motor is used, the front induction motor isn’t. The front motor is engaged when you need extra power or you need AWD.

      With permanent magnet motors you need to physically disengage the motor. I can’t think of any examples of an EV that has this capability, certainly the Aptera won’t. Putting in a clutch in a hub motor might be impossible but even if it were it would add complexity, weight and an efficiency loss.

    • Peter Jorgensen

      Member
      March 30, 2022 at 8:02 am

      You can’t shut the motors off – they are always turning and thus generating power. Same with any EV unless it has a clutch or a physical neutral like a Wrangler Magneto with a 6 speed manual gearbox.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    March 30, 2022 at 8:00 am

    The aptera IS my RV.

    A whole RV is so inefficient – moving a whole house everywhere you go? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      March 30, 2022 at 8:29 am

      Excellent point, Peter! Similarly, the Aptera is going to be my sports car insofar as handling and acceleration go. Of course, Aptera is not pushing that “Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde” aspect of the vehicle, but the unique combination of energy efficiency and high performance is one of the biggest reasons I want one.

    • John LaRocque

      Member
      March 30, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      Agreed; the fundamental reason I’m interested in Aptera is that I cannot in good conscience drive a regular vehicle (even an electric one) long distances for fun, let alone an RV.

      If I did have an RV for some reason, I would just use a bicycle as my last-mile vehicle. Towing a spare car around never seemed to me to be a good use of resources.

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