MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 11:21 am
I am very concerned about the indication that Aptera will be doing a vinyl wrap on all their cars.
First of all, I was under the impression that they would color the composite materials directly. This would provide a body color that would literally last the life of the body, as it would be integrated into the body materials. This sounded like an admirable approach consistent with Aptera’s mission of efficiency and ecological compatibility.
If they are now planning on providing exterior colors via a vinyl wrap, this significantly impacts the idea of a vehicle that is designed for a lifetime of low-maintenance, environmentally friendly use. Automotive wraps only last a couple of years, even with a ‘sealer’, such as a ceramic coating. The best manufacturers won’t warranty their wraps at all in desert states such as California, and have life estimates as short as two years. There are problems with washing the car without damaging the finish. And keeping the car outdoors in the sun (isn’t this exactly what Aptera is supposed to do best?) can degrade the vinyl coating and shorten the wrap’s lifespan.
If Aptera were to only provide their exterior colors in the form of a wrap, then I would prefer that they offer the option to have no wrap at all, in which case I would have a professional detail shop put a high quality paint and clear coat that would last decades.
This seems to me to be setting up Aptera for a bad reputation as maintaining a beautiful appearance of such a unique and well-engineered vehicle should be a major goal, rather than a cheap afterthought. Think how people view cheap manufacturing from China – it affects how they view all Chinese products and, in a like manner, a high-maintenance exterior appearance will likely have a detrimental effect on how Aptera is viewed as a car and as a company.
This may in fact be a deal breaker for some people. I know that I’m having second thoughts.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 11:41 am
I agree with you. I’d prefer not to have a wrap, if the naked composite is only available in one color then so be it, I’ll take that color. If they want to provide wraps as an extra cost option then that’s fine, wraps seem to be popular in certain parts of the country but not in mine. I want maximum durability and minimum maintenance costs.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 5:37 am
I believe during one of the early sessions that it was mentioned that they were going for a wrap vs painting as it was much more environmentally friendly. I’ll take my Aptera anyway it comes but if an unwrapped, unpainted version was available and the composite can take normal weathering, I too would opt for a non-wrapped version; I though the look of the beta was pretty nifty.
MemberMarch 15, 2022 at 5:00 pm
How about a gel coat as in fiberglass boat hulls etc?
MemberFebruary 16, 2022 at 1:18 pm
Yeah, unwrapped; I’ll let my kids finger paint it. Or maybe park it outside Banksy’s condo in London and cross my fingers for something creative.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 11:42 am
When I saw Elon reveil the cybertruck I was relieved. Finally someone who thought sustainability was far more important than the color. And now Vinyl wrap??? If they do that for real I will cancel the order. It is bad for the environment. It damages real easy.. I see no advantages to vinyl wrap whatsoever. In addition to above I will ask them to not wrap it. That will be sufficient for me.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Elzo Stubbe. Reason: extra info
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 1:16 pm
Sir, it looks like I’m moving up the wait list another place because I don’t care what it looks like, just that it works and is reliable.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 7:43 pm
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 1:18 pm
Mr Stubbe, it looks like I’m moving up the line one place. Thank you.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 10:25 am
Well Mister Johns I have to disappoint you. I must admit I had second thoughts and reacted to fast. I will try to convince Aptera motors not to wrap mine….So I will stay in the line….
MemberJanuary 11, 2022 at 6:32 am
Darn, methinks you choose wisely.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 11:51 am
Agreed, Carl. As you may have read in my similar Facebook group responses, this current approach puts near term manufacturing convenience over making a quality product built for the long term. It increases lifecycle cost and ownership inconvenience, and it greenwashes the supposed upfront environmental advantage by ignoring that the initial process has to be repeated multiple times in the future (each time adding a new environmental cost). I am strongly hoping that Aptera comes up with a better infused option or long-lasting paint option. Otherwise, it is short term, throwaway-part thinking for the owners, brand, and vehicle appeal.
Imagine someone comes up to a few year old Aptera and is interested in it though asks the owner why the “paint” looks the way it does. When the owner says “yeah, you have to “re-paint” (wrap) an Aptera every 3-5 years”, I believe most people are going to say “you have got to be kidding”. Very few vehicles in the world put that burden on their owners. After Aptera burns through us early adopter, new-tech-oriented customers, this kind of thing is going to be an issue for public reaction and company longevity. Or, they have the opportunity to proactively fix the foreseeable problem now.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 11:56 am
I heard 10 year life for the Aptera wraps.
If you don’t like it, ask for an unwrapped aptera discount and get it painted yourself.
Or… Wait until they’re on the road to raise a big stink about all the little “deal breakers.”. If its a problem, there may be a painted option too. I’m going to trust these guys for the time being to make smart choices.
We don’t even know what kind of tire options will be available yet for sure – if the size changes or something.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 1:47 pm
Aptera has said “10 years” but the vendor 3M, indicates 3-7 years average life. Not sure how Aptera can indicate 10 years. If you’re in 3M’s “Desert Southwest” region which is parts of Cali, Texas, Nevada and all of Arizona and New Mexico, no soup for you, as in no warranty for the product. If 3M won’t stand behind their own product in these environments, how can Aptera? Disingenuous at best. Ironic that the best areas in the country for powering by solar are sidelined by the extra expense for re-wraps. Aptera has zero history on long-term performance of the wrap on their vehicle, but their product vendor 3M does.
MemberJanuary 15, 2022 at 9:30 pm
From what I can I imagine I see two possibilities:
1) That 3M has a more robust wrap they will be offering to Aptera
2) That given that most of the portions of the vehicle which will be facing the sun will be covered in solar the wraps won;t be in those areas of maximum exposure making it less of a risk
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Add my name to the list…I’ll take mine unwrapped even w/o discounted price!
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 12:25 pm
Me too! That’s not a bad idea, offering it without a wrap. This wrap thing was a total surprise to me. When the YouTube video came out yesterday from ‘Aptera Owners Club’ I think we were all like “What?!?” None of this makes sense. I wonder if we are just not getting all the right information?
Do we know for sure this car is coming wrapped or was that just a beta thing? I do know in other forums it was stated that the base colors are white black and gray.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 9:12 pm
Me three, no wrap as long as the composite finish will accept paint and I don’t have to pay for the wrap I don’t get
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 10:27 am
ModeratorJanuary 7, 2022 at 12:24 pm
Using paint in their CA facility was never in the cards…
Well their FAQ states:
UV will impact all surfaces over time. But we make all the panels replaceable and upgradable and you can always re-wrap the exterior to any color you’d like later down the road if the weathering is a concern. Our 3M wraps have a 10yr lifespan though.
But I never owned a vinyl wrap vehicle and living in the SW , where only steel and rock seem to survive…I plan to use a protectant on the wrap and resin elements regularly on this manageable size vehicle
I never owned resin ( foam ) filled , sandwich-core ( insulated) body either🤞 that somehow this helps.
(In the SW you can repaint a home ever several years
Five years ago I switched to a colored sprayed on coating, which also has an R value. No color change that I notice to date.The surface is cooler to the touch and people think it was just applied ( not a choice for cars though )
I never use automatic car washes
So not too concerned but I have nothing else to do but take better care of my vehicle
The few people i spoke to at EV events that had their Teslas wrapped used the vinyl coating and love it so far (?)
They went vinyl for the lower cost compared to repainting their Tesla and like the wrap color and finish choices. Their old color is just below the vinyl!
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 12:42 pm
Thanks for the info, Leonard. There appears to be a lot of online evidence of lower lifespans for vinyl wraps, and it is rather telling that 3M itself significantly downgrades their own warranty if their wraps are used in sunny areas. It will be interesting to see under what conditions a “10 year lifespan” actually applies. Is that a theoretical maximum for a generally garage kept car and/or not in sunny areas? If someone leaves the Aptera outside in the sun to utilize one of its key design features, how quickly does the theoretical wrap lifespan maximum start coming down? Does the wrap start fading after 3 years and looking bad after 5 years, though it is still structurally in place and “protecting” the surface underneath it for a few more years after that (i.e., subjective vs. objective measures)? Most of the existing evidence I have seen online from current, real world wrap users points to these potential issues with the vinyl wrap approach.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 1:15 pm
According to the 3M website and warranty information, their warranties are broken down into vertical and non-vertical (faces that deviate more than 15 degrees from vertical). With all of Aptera’s curves, at least half the car would qualify as “non-vertical”, and the nose and tail would nearly qualify as horizontal. For the sake of appearance, any warranty is only as good as it’s weakest aspect. The 3M site indicates that their warranty for non-vertical surfaces on vehicles would be at most 3 years. For the south-west, they indicate that they provide for no warranty of durability at all.
I hope that the Aptera team is taking note of this and can bring as much engineering research and innovation to bear on this issue and find a solution before getting thousands of cars on the road that are degrading in the first five years and acting as a negative ad for their company.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 3:05 pm
No where in 3M warranties does it indicate a “10yr lifespan”. It’s 3-7 years under optimal conditions, and that means not outside. No 3M warranty at all if you live in Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Nevada, Cali and Texas.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 1:13 pm
Is there a good reason for a wrap aside from aesthetics? If the composite material needs to be protected from the sun then I’m fine with a wrap, if it’s just to give you a choice of color then I’d rather not have it.
Paint shops are very very expensive, Sandy Munro said that for a high volume vehicle a paint shop cost’s $500M. On top of that Aptera is in California, meeting California’s environment regulations is very difficult. I’ve read that the reason the paint on a Tesla sucks is that they can’t use good paints in California, don’t know if that’s just an Internet rumor but there is no question that Tesla’s paint doesn’t measure up to mainstream manufacturers. When I brought my new Model 3 home and parked it next to my three year old Volt the paint on the Volt was noticeably better. Tesla’s paint does the job but it didn’t have the luster that you expect on a new car.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 1:19 pm
You make good points, Joshua. And I can’t help but point out that Tesla is not *designed* to be continuously in the sun, recharging using solar panels. If their paint is contributing to negative press, imagine what Aptera – with all these owners leaving the car exposed to maximize charging – will suffer.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 10:29 am
Do they not put UV blocker in the resin of the exterior body parts?
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 2:03 pm
I live in Nevada, have PPF ( a viny product make by XPEL) on all my vehicles, one of them stays outside all year long. I use a ceramic coating on the PPF and it is holding up great. When you use a ceramic coating it is putting a layer of glass on top of the vinyl that has a 9H hardness. Depending on the company that sells the ceramic coating it can last from one year to several years and provide protection to the vinyl as well as a deeper shine, easier to clean and repeals water better.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 4:15 pm
Given the amount of interest/concern about wraps, I’m hoping the issues expressed have been/will be brought to management’s attention. I am not at all familiar with the nature of the composite that comprises Aptera’s body, but I would love for someone in the know to inform us why color can’t be injected directly into the molds as Carl suggested in his first post and is certainly done with any number of other molded products. They could follow Tesla’s lead and only offer one, or perhaps three basic colors (as they currently doing with the wraps) and offer custom colors as a premium. If for some reason, this is not possible, I’d still be happy taking mine without the degradable, environmentally unfriendly wrap and applying a finish of my own at my expense!
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 4:23 pm
Well, nothing lasts forever.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 5:04 pm
Of course…but I’ve never had to re-do the finish on any vehicle I’ve ever owned in 50+ years, including the last I parted with after 20 years! Plus a vinyl (fossil-fuel plastic!) wrap is hardly in keeping with Aptera’s stated goal of being the most environmentally conscientious, sustainable vehicle ever produced!
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 7:41 pm
Production Aptere from the San Diego manufacturing facility produced in 2022 and for any foreseeable future will come with wraps. Those interested in an Aptera for the many, many, reasons the car has value have a decision to make. If a wrapped vehicle is a show stopper, don’t buy an Aptera. If the value proposition of Aptera is appealing, buy a wrapped Aptera and manage the wrap feature. (paint, rewrap when needed, or just let it degrade)
If you trust Aptera engineering, then you have to trust that they put the same amount of thought into the decision to wrap the vehicle that they did for every other feature. That decision based on whatever set of criteria will result in faster manufacturing set up (Quicker to market) and a less expensive vehicle.
If I go into a Chevrolet dealer and want to buy a new corvette but don’t like fiberglass bodies, I either buy it with a fiberglass body or walk out of the dealership without a car. I would buy it with a fiberglass body😊
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 8:08 pm
John, mostly agreed. However, those who are concerned with this short term exterior approach are hoping that Aptera is listening and really thinking/re-thinking about these kinds of things. Considering the incredible technological and conceptual leaps they have made throughout the vehicle, it is disappointing that they are taking a step backwards in something as basic and old school as paint. This is customer feedback before anyone has anything to buy, and it is the kind of thing that will either help propel or help sink the company in the future.
It is not a matter of trust. It is a matter of having healthy disagreement with a few of the decisions they have made among the many thousands of better decisions. I only strongly disagree with two decisions they have made, with this being one of them, and I feel they are both decisions which will reduce the desirability and marketability of the vehicle. I collaboratively provide this kind of feedback to them as both a future owner and as an investor.
We all have opinions and trade-off decisions are not black and white. Perhaps Aptera isn’t listening and perhaps they don’t care. However, this is feedback from the closest thing we have to paying customers and all are the early adopters. I believe that this kind of feedback may be even stronger from potential customers beyond the first wave we are a part of, and that second wave may never become customers unless the vehicle makes enough sense to them. I share this kind of feedback in hopes of Aptera being even stronger and better, and I share this kind of feedback in an effort to help point Aptera to what I feel is a better direction on specific points that will likely be important to customers well beyond us.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 8:20 pm
Bravo, Scott, well stated. I count myself amongst the strongest of Aptera’s advocates, as well as an investor, and I make these remarks in the fervent hope that their development team is indeed listening and taking to heart our concerns. A rush to market with an inferior product – or one that is just perceived to be inferior – will serve no one. Aptera is creating something very special in their stated mission. It would be a shame if they tarnished that dream through careless, poorly thought out decisions.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 8:53 pm
It is feed back from a small group. And of course we all have the right to express our views on this forum and any other social media we frequent. It is my view that the majority of those with reservations for an Aptera either don’t care if the vehicle is wrapped, or if they don’t like wraps, like the features of the vehicle to the point that they will accept the “Wrap” to get the more significant features and get the vehicle as soon as possible. And of course, there are those that ” Wrap” will be a deal breaker.
I work a lot with market statistics. We have a saying “In God we trust, all others bring data”. Neither you nor I, or for that matter, any other posters on this forum, have quantitative data that would indicate the general/majority position on wrapped Aptera among the target market.
In the absence of immediately available actual comprehensive data I trust those that have the most information on all of the factors (Certainly not just one, ” Wrapped” ) to propose the best (Most likely not optimal) plan. For me that is the Aptera team.
A bigger issue affecting potential sales of Aptere is two seats vs. 3, 4, or more. Compared to number of seats ” Wrap” is in the nits.
So my bottom line is I support Aptera’s plan of record to get the vehicle in the market place as soon as possible and oppose any action that would negatively impact that objective in anyway, in this case a last-minute modification to vehicle finishing.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 10:33 pm
Your concepts as to the acceptance of wraps and the importance of relying on hard statistical data is going to be a pretty elusive data point and I don’t see wraps alone being a make or break issue.
See, there is just so much other innovative stuff on the Aptera that the status and nature of the wrap will be glossed over by most.
The one thing about wraps is when they get ragged, you just ‘unwrap’ them. This also opens the door for outlandish customization. If you don’t like that, you could plasti-dip the car with a wild array of pearlescence, gloss and other options.
In any case the cost of replacing a wrap is significantly less than the cost of repainting a spoiled clear coat paint job.
Lots of folks are already exploring the joys of changing their cars colors using these techniques, which are more environmentally safe (they avoid the toxicity associated with automotive paints.) The plasti dip efforts often are DIY.
Further, I suspect that since Aptera is using a wrap for the final finish, I get the idea that they’ll be able to find a vinyl supplier who will produce wraps for the parts bin as well as production. Those factory wraps will be available for purchase at an attractive price and can be delivered to the customer or his designated vinyl shop.
Bottom line the notion that there is a quick and easy way to ‘renew’ the outside of my Aptera and make it look, well different that it did, for $100-$300 is something more akin to a feature than a bug.
And there is nothing wrong with letting the wrap getting ratty as hell although I doubt many Aptera owners won’t keep their cars finish up to snuff as replacements, even enhancements, are so cheap and easy.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 11:38 pm
Perhaps you misunderstood my post. My point was that wraps are not a make or break point and that the many features of the Aptera far out way any negativity associated with “Wrap’ness”
I am neutral on wraps. Don’t feel negative or positive. just don’t care.
But I do believe in “Data”. I am working on a EV marketing big data project for a legacy manufacturer that is now switching to EVs (As are they all) There is a lot of hard data available on almost any topic in the automotive industry which gives some interesting insights when looked at in a rigorous and disciplined manner and objectively.
Much of it says Aptera is on the right track. (Miles per charge and price) Some however says there are some Achilles Heels for Aptera that they can do nothing about. The biggest being the popularity of SUVs and crossovers.
You make some good points about the advantages of Wraps. You may also be interested to know that the current and future target for marketing of any kind (Millennials and Gen Z) are more favorably disposed to wraps that any other population cohort for some of the reasons you state. (Perhaps you ae doing research in this area?) That preference is statistically significant at the traditional 95% level.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 8:12 am
George, thanks for sharing your opinions. Please note that new wraps do not cost $100-300. Perhaps you are referring to just buying some materials, already having all the tools, and doing it all yourself? To have it done professionally and without taking a huge amount of someone’s time to learn how to do it and get it right (and without assuming that most people would even be interested to do this on their own), the costs are generally around $1,500-$2,000 and up every time a vehicle is re-wrapped. Just Internet search car vinyl wrap costs and you will find many, many sources. Here is just an example for quick reference: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/how-much-does-it-cost-to-wrap-a-car.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 10:59 pm
In response to your note about your background, I will correspondingly note that I have a background in engineering, marketing, human factors, and have worked in 2 startup companies plus started a small business myself, among other roles. I also worked extensively with data and with market statistics for a very large tech company.
1) Feedback from a small group is better than no feedback from any group, especially when that small group is primarily reservation holders. It is the closest thing they have to actual customers. It sounds like you have enough business experience to understand that decisions made only within their own echo chamber can be a risky approach to product development.
2) The Aptera team is extremely tech spec led, sometimes at the expense of ignoring what customers may actually want in pursuit of optimizing just the numbers. It is exciting to produce a great science experiment, though that does not by itself make a company that will stand the tests of time. This is not academia.
3) Since you point out that we have no data: When you drive your car tomorrow, do you think that more that 1% of the cars on the road around you are wrapped? That 99+% is data to pay attention to. And if you do not believe that is convincing, then presumably you would at least agree that Aptera is making a non-data-supported guess that customers will suddenly embrace vinyl wraps that essentially no car company in the world with any minimally significant volume uses. Perhaps Aptera has done extensive customer focus groups, surveys, and analysis on this, but I doubt it and have never heard them mention such valuable outreach.
4) I completely agree with you that the 2 seater is a bigger qualifier/disqualifier for customer purchases. However, that in no way changes my point and I disagree that unusual lifecycle / extra cost considerations are “in the nits”. After most buyers have already been selected out because of it being a two seater, the remainder still need to be sold on the rest of the product. They are not just buying a 2 seater. They are buying a vehicle that needs to fit within their life and desires, and the rest of it still needs to make sense for them.
5) You have always been clear that you put all your faith in the Aptera team and do not question anything that they do. I have a more critical eye. I believe that the strongest companies are willing to receive thoughtful, well reasoned feedback and that they actually encourage it. They can learn and adapt now when it is early and easy, or learn later through company-risking sales response and longer term reactions.
6) I also want the Aptera out soon. However, I do not want it out as fast as possible and at all costs, like you do. I would prefer the vehicle make a huge splash with lots of happy owners and take off like a rocketship, compared to getting out a couple months earlier and potentially just being another failed car company in the history books. And if they managed parallel engineering design processes plus serial logistics/transportation/manufacturing processes well, even schedule impact could be minimized. And it does not need to impact initial delivery dates much anyhow since the initial few months will be low volume production and paint options could be developed in parallel. If paint is not available until 6 months (or whatever reasonable time) after initial production starts, that actually affects few customers and the few extremely early reservation holders who might want paint in those first few months could make the decision to just wait a couple months for its availability (or not). Then the vehicle still gets out essentially as fast, some “wrap fans” would move up in line, and it addresses these wrap/paint product longevity concerns for anyone else.
7) Paint is such a standard thing in today’s world of vehicles. They shouldn’t have to set up a huge, expensive painting operation on their own. They could instead outsource it to a company that already has that in place. Then, when Aptera becomes big in a few years, they can bring it in house if the economics start leaning better that way. Perhaps paint is offered as a purchasable option, just like custom colors are already an extra cost option.
To build on your Corvette analogy: Don’t forget that the Chevrolet dealer can then steer that same non-fiberglass-wanting customer over to a Camaro, or mothership GM can perhaps grab that same customer with a sporty model Cadillac. Aptera has no such option. Aptera’s customers are binary: they are either in or out for one model only, and Aptera has only one chance at that customer. Every customer is precious for this unusual car in the beginning, and getting most things right upfront will help propel Aptera into the future.
So, we respectfully disagree on a few things, yet I appreciate your perspective and good discussion. Thanks.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 12:03 pm
A well reasoned response Scott. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said:
The Aptera team is extremely tech spec led, sometimes at the expense of ignoring what customers may actually want in pursuit of optimizing just the numbers. It is exciting to produce a great science experiment, though that does not by itself make a company that will stand the tests of time. This is not academia.
It is not academia, but it is a company based on the principle of efficiency and understanding of the various destructive impacts of automobiles as we know them.
I think Aptera made the decision to avoid all the heat, weight and pollution from making iron and steel cars that you have to paint. You’re probably here because you reject all the accumulated undesirable processes associated with steel-bodied ICE or even EV vehicles. T
What Aptera knows is that painting is an essential process for steel-bodied vehicles protect the bare metal from rusting. That decision to paint by Henry Ford doomed the world to an estimated 1 million auto paint shops world wide, each of which could be the most potent polluter in each town or city. And why do they paint and repaint cars? ‘Cause that is how they make ’em’ what are you going to do? …
The point is that paint has its problems not only at the factory but in the aftermarket and taking the bold step of opting out of the the necessity of painting is an unmitigated victory for the environment.
It is bold and different but considering the massive frigging mess that is the world with painted cars, I’m damn glad Aptera is thinking out of the box.
To John, yes a full custom wrap can cost in the thousands including the creative time designing the wrap, the printing of the colors/etc. for the wrap, its cutting to size and installation. It is obvious if Luna, Noir and Sol are standardized wraps that Aptera will commission the production of on a mass scale (initial order is five thousand of each with those not used in production held in reserve for replacement parts.) The unit cost of those ‘color package wraps’ can’t be more than $2-300 a piece and as far as the labor of applying it, unless they went through a fire tunnel, you’ll only be replacing a few panels at a time as all are not likely to fail simultaneously.
Here are some links to sites regarding plasti-dip and vinyl wraps that give today pricing and information. To summarize, paint pollutes more, lasts longer and is the most expensive. Wraps and Plasti-dip are considerably cheaper with wraps being more than the spray on plasti-dip but will typically last 5+ years. Plasti-dip will last about 3-years and is easy to ‘repair’ the dip by just ‘spraying.’
Wraps are what Aptera is choosing but before you reach final judgement consider this from a recent new-car buyer of an ICE vehicle.
I purchased a 2021 black Kia Sorrento on January 21st, 2021. I barely have 5000 miles on the car. Already the clear coat is bubbling and peeling on the front end and love bug season hasn’t even started. The service manager told me to hand wash the car so that is what I am doing and I still have a paint issue. I have never had a car that I couldn’t use the car wash with.
You know, it is not like “Paint” is perfect, it fails so often there are class action suits seeking to force manufacturers to repaint vehicles for premature failures.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 4:52 pm
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, George.
Since you did not directly address my concerns regarding marketability / broader acceptance, accumulating costs to the owner, lifecycle, and other issues with the vinyl wraps, I will primarily focus on your specific other points.
Regarding the relative environmental benefits of (one) vinyl wrap over paint: Your assertion may be correct and I have never stated otherwise. A cursory Internet search has yet to reveal for me any reliable independent sources comparing the two approaches. If you know of any, that would be helpful to please share it. Most of the search results were paint shops and vendors selling vinyl wraps, which do not qualify as independent sources. I am not saying your assertion is wrong, just that it has not risen above the level of no-reference marketing for what I have seen so far. TBD.
Either way, even if we assume that an application of vinyl wrap is “less bad” than an application of paint, relative environmental benefits of vinyl wrap over paint gets progressively eroded when the vinyl wrap needs to be completely re-manufactured, disposed, and re-applied multiple times in the same overall time period that an initial good paint job should continue to last on its own. Is paint 4 or more times worse than vinyl wrap over the life of the vehicle, even when not factoring in all the extra ongoing cost, time, and aggravation of having to repeatedly replace the vinyl wraps on a recurring basis? In addition to the vinyl wrap’s manufacturing and materials, there is the associated accumulation of negative environmental support for removing and installing those new wraps (transportation, supply chain, labor, infrastructure, etc.).
If the 3M vinyl wrap is made from PVC, that is well known as a highly toxic substance. Just Google search “environmental concerns of PVC” or such and read away. PVC has full lifecycle issues, including both before and after it is put on a vehicle. There are other “less bad” vinyls recently available, though I have not heard Aptera state if those are going to be used (and, if so, the new vinyls have a much shorter track record of known real world longevity). As an additional counterpoint, waterborne car paints eliminate the VOCs which are one of the main environmental concerns of “old school” car paints (example reference: https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/hrdp-1007-painting-with-waterborne-paint).
Regarding the highly anecdotal n=1 story of one owner’s painted Kia Sorento: That is of course highly atypical. No widely sold product has perfect application and results everywhere. It is very likely that you could just as easily find similar anecdotal issues with vinyl wraps. If we are trading anecdotes: The standard original paint on my 14 year old Prius looks great, water still beads up, and it has no rust. I rarely wash it and it has been many years since I waxed it. Assuming that vinyl wraps may get replaced approximately every 5 years to keep a cherished vehicle looking good, I would be saving up now for my 4th purchase of a $2,000 vinyl wrap for my car (initial purchase, 5, 10, and 15 years). You appear to feel that kind of throwaway product is a good choice, both environmentally and financially. I respectfully disagree for the reasons outlined throughout this discussion.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 8:31 am
Let’s see your peer-reviewed statistics and data. If you’re concerned about feedback from a small group, I would be interested to know what the large group is? Where are you coming up with what is and is not a bigger issue?
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 8:53 am
Shawn, not sure if you are directing your question to me or to John. If to me, I am providing inputs and feedback based on what almost the entire car buying world has said they want and buy, including reasons why that would be the case. Almost the entire car buying world is the “large group” you mention. I would pose the same questions back to you. What “peer reviewed statistics and data” does anyone have that says people want wraps instead of paint? I do know from millions and millions of vehicle sales that customers do want paint. Nobody has provided data driven support for the opposite of that obvious sales fact.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 12:28 am
Our backgrounds are well matched! I may have the advantage on age, I am 77!
I was both an aerospace engineer and vehicle engineer. I have partnered in three technology start ups. Two we sold and one we IPO’d. I am now an analytical consultant in the auto industry.
I disagree that feedback from a small group is better than none. Small sample sizes, especially those that are not random and are stratified (Mostly with a single view) generally present inaccurate estimates of the universe being studied. So on this point we will have to disagree.
Aptera is an engineering driven company. I think because of lessons learned from the first go around where people came in and tried to make Aptera everything to everybody. But, Aptera has an excellent CMO. If you have not read up on her do, I think you will be impressed. I think her and her team will do the right research and fashion the right campaign to target the best market for Aptera.
Scott, driving down the road and guessing is not collecting data. If you rode your horse down the road in the early 1900s how many cars would you see? And look what happened.
I don’t know what Aptera is doing regarding data collection especially on wraps. But neither do you. We would both be guessing. Remember, I am a data person, and would not make an unsupported assumption.
Give me a couple of examples of your point 5 and (Here it comes again) the data that shows that that particular characteristic contributed significantly to Business success and I will reconsider my opinion.
Tesla will deliver one million EVs this year. They have terrible reliability, are being investigated for their self driving software, and as documented on this site and personally (I drive a Model 3) their paint is (Explicative deleted) They came from nothing! So it doesn’t look like quality or even being on schedule has anything to do with sales of their vehicles.
Yes I do have (Faith and it is blind) because I don’t know what goes on in Aptera from day to day so have no choice. If you have some special insight into their operations you should share with the rest of us. If you look at the budget Aptera had to work with and what they have done with it, it is astounding. I think they do practice integrated engineering and they will follow Sandy’s Lean Manufacturing process.
And no if I went into a Chevy dealer for a Corvette I would either come out with a corvette or nothing.
<font face=”inherit”>As a dormant Six Sigma Black Belt, I think they will teach the rest of the auto industry to </font>include<font face=”inherit”> Tesla, some surprising things about efficiency in engineering, manufacturing, and financial management.</font>
In the interests for full disclosure, all of the above is just an opinion with no substantive data to substantiate it.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 8:44 am
It doesn’t really matter what Aptera is doing to collect data on the wraps. 3M, the vinyl wrap vendor, has collected the data. It’s 3-7 years lifespan depending on the Zone (1,2,3 and Desert Southwest). For the Desert Southwest, there is no warranty. If Aptera will warranty the wrap for 10 years, regardless of location, then I’m in. Aptera indicates the wrap to last 10 years, then they should stand behind it. 3M does not…
There’s been posts that it’s $300-500 to re-wrap a car. That may be a raw materials cost, but not the related labor. Google search and calls to local services that do wrap cars indicates that it starts about $2K. That doesn’t include removing an existing wrap.
Would love to see your peer-reviewed data/statistics you speak, of and small group vs. large sample sets. In the absence, despite your stated qualifications, it’s just an unqualified opinion.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Jon Arryn.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 8:29 pm
Shawn, I think if you reread the last line of the post you responded to you will see I claimed it only as my opinion.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 8:46 am
Thanks for sharing more of your perspective, even if our viewpoints are respectfully different. I will skip over the points we will continue to disagree on, to not belabor anything.
It is interesting you don’t concede that essentially all major car manufacturers with any volume significance paint their cars. I put it back on you to disprove that. To me, it is inherently obvious that the vast majority of cars that people buy are painted, not wrapped. The wraps industry has primarily been an after-market add-on focused on customizing appearances for a small subset of enthusiast car owners and commercial applications. The “1%/99%” comment is to make a point. Whether it is 1.5/98.5 or 0.1/99.9 doesn’t matter for the point I am making. You are searching for data point trees and not seeing the forest, in my opinion.
Regarding examples of point 5: Not sure what you are asking. This is a management 101 kind of thing. Lots of business books, case studies, etc. point to the benefits of being open to well reasoned feedback and not getting caught in a small closed-group echo chamber. Surprised we would even be debating that.
Tesla started growing when they got past their initial roadster and into the traditional 4+ seater, 4 wheel category. Even if their paint looks bad, it is still paint. Wraps are an add-on option, not the baseline.
I am hoping that Sandy Munro’s Lean Manufacturing Process is not the prime reason for the current wraps decision, though have long suspected that is the case (and this has been implied by general comments from the Aptera CEOs). If so, I believe that Sandy is doing his job to optimize behind the scenes manufacturing, which is what he is paid to do. However, he then has blinders on and is doing so at the expense of making the end product most appealing to more potential paying customers, in my opinion.
Thanks again for sharing your views.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 10:23 pm
The way Aptera has been sourced and the way it is manufactured favors the development of multiple assembly locations based on runs of roughly 10,000 units per year. In one of the discussions with Sandy Monro, it was mentioned that Monro and associates were responsible for the Dodge Viper production approach. The approach was engineered to use a production team of about of dozen artisans who hand assembled the car in modest volumes with a break even on that model at I want to say 2,500 vehicles – which was perfect for the Viper. You add ‘teams’ and you’ve increased production.
One of the big upsides of this ‘hand-built distributed assembly plants is each are relatively small – 100,000 sq.ft. and overall, the savings in transportation is enormous.
If the Aptera is a outrageous success, It also provides the potential to locate assembly facilities in those markets that invite expansion. To meet demand Aptera opens a satellite assembly plant nearby as they’re climbing the learning curve for quick, cheap assembly line replication on the human scale.
As orders come in, when there is significant interest in a market as expressed as pre-orders – that information being made public intentionally as part of a natural market competition as thresholds are met, new assembly facilities are rapidly brought together because 90 percent of the problems have already been solved. Those of us like me would be with our early deliveries kind of out there drumming up interest and getting the word out this region is up for an innovative new auto assembly plant.
The cool thing is that by going micro factory instead of mega factory, your capital investment is dramatically smaller and you have a whole new way to rationalize production and assembly. The ability perform the assembly in a facility about the size of a walmart superstore or possibly closed mall anchor or a warehouse means you can expand rapidly virtually anywhere by following demand.
Meeting demand represents the great challenge to any start up. With this simple but revolutionary production process you can grow incrementally ( 2500-10,000 capacity at a time) and grow rapidly. From an investor standpoint this approach to growth, with its low capital investment and shipping/supply advantage, seems to be much less risky for an automotive startup.
Production can be ramped rapidly with minimal capital investment to meet demand as the hand assembly by small teams using minimal additional equipment beyond a rolling lift will be replicable provided there are no paint lines or robots. Production of key components like batteries and motors, electronic controllers and most probably stacked body molds, wheels, ties and suspension parts. are the could orders.
I actually see the marketing structure coming together rather elegantly. The use of mini-assembly plants with mini capital demands that can be quickly deployed in response to demand is going to turn some heads.
MemberFebruary 9, 2022 at 5:38 pm
“Sandy Monro, it was mentioned that Monro and associates were responsible
for the Dodge Viper production approach. The approach was engineered to
use a production team of about of dozen artisans who hand assembled the
car in modest volumes with a break even on that model at I want to say
2,500 vehicles – which was perfect for the Viper.” I don’t think a break even point of about twice the number of vehicles is what I’d consider perfect.
MemberJanuary 7, 2022 at 10:10 pm
I like the potential to change the color of my vehicle every few years.
It can be solid color, multi color, or maybe I can even add that sinister shark smile at the front!
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 5:48 am
Wondering if clear coating would effect the skin cooling system?
Has anyone rewraped a vehicle? Is that a costly endeavor?
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 9:11 am
Richard, most professionally installed wraps for smaller vehicles cost $1,500-$2,000 and up each time.
MemberJanuary 11, 2022 at 7:05 am
Mr. Marks, I think the skin cooling system is going to be the aluminum belly pan.
MemberJanuary 14, 2022 at 8:52 pm
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 6:37 am
For Most of My Career, I was a “Maintenance Engineer” – Paint is/Was mostly chosen for Protection of the Material Beneath in the Beginning (“Any Color, so long as it is Black”)
Counterpoint: I have worked on Lancair 320 and a Few of Burt Rutan’s designed Aircraft: Their Fuselages are of Composite construction. Painted. Aircraft are a bit less likely to have impact damage than Ground Pounders, but Do get repainted at a rate far below Autos.
My concern is that cumulative damage from Sanding to get a Nice PaintJob will compromise the Structural Integrity of the Composites. Corvettes’ Fiberglass is Not as Structurally Needed/Loaded as I believe the Composite “Fuselage” of the APTERA, I Think. I want the Structure around Me in a Ground Vehicle to remain as Stout as Possible!
Spending Less (as in Near Zero) on Paint Care, along with the Option to Change/Freshen The Appearance of the APTERA using Wraps appeals to Me. $500.00 per Three to Five Years is not too much of a Burden to My Thinking.
I am encouraged to Adopt the “Wrap” method included on My APTERA. (Thinking of Asking RED BULL for permission to Put their Livery on My APTERA -“…Gives You Wings” HAR!)
Every Bride/Groom Comes with Faults – I am certain that there are going to be things that I dislike about the APTERA I Purchase amongst all the Thousands of Decisions/Choices Made by the Team/Designers. I am Hoping that the Wrap is Not one of the “Minuses” of Ownership. Hopefully, I am going to find out, One way or the Other.
Anyway, That is “My Oar in the Waters”
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 9:24 am
The care and maintenance of wraps vs paint is basically the same, if you believe what you read. Having a vehicle wrapped appears to be not quite half of a decent paint job if no body work is involved AND not painting door jambs and under hoods/trunks or removing a lot of trim. I would safely assume that an unwrapped aptera would be ready to paint with very light sanding work. If a good paint job can last the useful life of the car, I think that makes sense. It’s been my experience, living in NY, that paint lasts 10-12 years before rust shows up when leaving my cars outside all the time. By that time the vehicle is past the manufacturer warranty and over 100k miles, basically it’s useful life.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 10:41 am
Care is somewhat different. Not recommend for automatic car washes, unless brushless. If using pressure nozzles, need to use < 2000 PSI pressure. Hand wash is best! From former Shelby GT-500 owner that was partially wrapped. Now car-less the past two years. The paint held up better after three years, as opposed to the professionally installed 3M wrap. The Phoenician sun is unforgiving.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 11:36 am
Nice to see this discussion and I will reply in the hope it becomes “sticky” and gets the attention of the Aptera team, because I too hate the idea of a wrap. I would much prefer whatever the default color of the resin is used to make the panels, sealed in some protective coating. Seems like a much better idea and more consistent with Aptera’s ethic/approach to the vehicle. So add me to “the list” of those who would prefer an unwrapped option when it comes to the final order. Maybe Aptera is listening/reading and will take this into consideration.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 12:22 pm
Leaver – thanks for reiterating my initial vote for going with composite color thereby sidestepping paint vs wrap dichotomy. I believe neither is as durable/ecologically sustainable as “built-in” permanent color of composite itself (either natural or color added at time of molding). Until I hear from someone why this third option isn’t viable, I remain convinced it should be seriously considered by Team Aptera.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 12:54 pm
I think, of course, pigmented resins would be best or natural resin, waxed and buffed would last the longest. There is no escaping the detrimental effects of the sun’s rays when left out. But I could be totally wrong
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 3:05 pm
I just canceled my full solar package and will be parking my Aptera in my garage.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 5:01 pm
Paint is heavy, so are resins. Not sure at this point they can turn back and put something on it other than a wrap.
Before everyone gets a twisty in their undies has anyone actually confirmed they are in fact putting a wrap on the Gamma or Delta? Those are the only models that matter.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 6:29 pm
Aptera has consistently said from the start that production vehicles would be wrapped. This should not be a surprise to anyone following Aptera. Aptera has never claimed there would be any other finish Or un-finish available.
There may be no formal Gamma and Delta builds with the Betas morphing into a production ready configuration. We will know when Aptera provides information on their development and production plans sometime this year.
Rather than discussing on the forum, all are free to ask a question directly to Aptera. That way you will have an official response.You can also send a comment directly to customer care expressing your concerns. None of us on the forum know anything about Aptera’s reasoning on finish. We all just get aggravated with each other for being blind to the views of others.
We do know that Aptera has said that the base colors of the completed vehicles were similar to the wrapped colors. This may indicate some continuing experimentation with finish. Speculation of course. So if the issue of a wrap bothers you ask a direct question.
I would be willing to wager that Aptera would not want a bunch of composit only vehicles in the market as they would give the impression that Aptera does not provide a finish for their vehicles.
For me, I think such great concern about wrap is not seeing the forest (so many great features and low pricing) for one tree (Wrapped finish). But of course each to his own. In 2022/3there will be many EV options available as alternatives.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 7:21 pm
Well put John. I’m sure Aptera has put thought into their approach and has a very good reason.
Vinyl applied at a factory will likely be more durable than a oneoff job so we can reasonably expect a decent life (perhaps 7-10 years) out of the vinyl (probably with ceramic clear). It may be they are planning to change this approach over time and vinyl is the solution to cost effectively delivering at a small scale cost effectively without major infrastructure and it could change over time; we simply don’t know. I really don’t think this should be a deal breaker but if it is the buyer was likely already on the fence. They are starting with their initial vehicle priced aggressively rather than making a boutique first vehicle (ie Lightyear One, Lucid Air or original Tesla Roadster). I estimate that the 40 cars per day would probably require ~50-80 wrappers on staff; this may sound like a lot but paint shops need staff and VERY expensive equipment to get started. Employing Americans is not a bad thing.
I actually intended to ask why Vinyl was chosen at the last ambassador call but simply didn’t get a chance in that meeting. It is possible that unique concepts like clearcoat over color infused resin (like boats) may be something they are working on (complete speculation) but they didn’t need more risks in the product initially.
<font face=”inherit”>I would love to hear from someone that wraps cars how difficult they think the Aptera would be. It is quite possible that the soft curves may be easier to wrap and it will be something that </font>competent<font face=”inherit”> DIY’ers could do themselves (the material cost would only be ~$350-500).</font>
PS: It would be awesome if they give you an extra foot of the factory wrap with the car so you can easily patch any minor damage and color match perfectly – not like you can go to walmart for touchup paint.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Curtis Cibinel. Reason: Added note about extra for patches
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 7:41 pm
Interesting, John. For some reason I have a memory of early Aptera talks speaking about the longevity of the composite shell (“a car your grandchildren will inherit”) and the ability to add colorants directly. But I will readily admit that I could be mistaken.
While I completely agree with you that none of us on this forum know anything about Aptera’s ultimate decisions or reasonings, I will disagree with you on the purpose of this forum. I hope and expect that there are those within Aptera who do monitor these forums and value some of the discussions that result. I am rather puzzled that they don’t have anyone (director of public relations, media marketing, etc.) chiming in with some inside information and/or letting us know that they are taking the discussion to the appropriate person in the company who might contribute. Now, if I had some personal quirk that I wanted to ask about privately, I would certainly look to Customer Care or otherwise address Aptera directly. However, I think that the flurry of responses – from various interesting viewpoints, including yours – indicates some level of concern with this topic that goes beyond my personal preferences; I hope (and assume) that Aptera is taking notice, otherwise this forum is nothing other than a way for the acolytes to congratulate each other on what a perfect thing is being created.
The focus on cheapest / fastest to market is, in my opinion, ultimately self-defeating. I have driven a Prius (and so has my wife and daughter) for over 15 years. When I was considering a hybrid, my concern was battery life, as replacing the hybrid battery costs $2-3K+ (does the price range sound familiar?). Toyota gave me assurance through a 10-year/150k mile warranty that I wouldn’t be spending $3k or more in a handful of years. If they did not do so, I would not have purchased a Prius and neither would my wife or daughter (and we have all had to replace our hybrid batteries after 12+ years). So when I think that owning an Aptera may subject me to a $2-3k expense EVERY 2-7 years, then yes, I am concerned and I believe that there are many like me that may consider the cost of ownership to be too high. Admittedly, if I truly don’t care what the car looks like and don’t mind driving a car with a cruddy finish around because *I* get to charge it from the sun for free, then this subject is mute.
You are also correct that there will be many EV options in 2022 and beyond. One that comes to mind is Lucid, which has already garnered acclaim for their attention to detail where Tesla has not. I would hope that Aptera will likewise come off well in a comparison with other EVs as they make their debut. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and these sort of choices matter.
Sure, Aptera probably wouldn’t want a bunch of composite-only vehicles in the market if they look bad (i.e., unfinished), but neither would they want a lot of bad press in a couple of years when their Never Charge vehicle starts looking tired and worn from being in the sun so much and the owners don’t feel like springing for another couple of thousand dollars every few years to keep it looking nice.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 7:35 pm
I have not read all the posts yet and don’t know if this has been brought up or not, but I have a greater concern than I have read so far about the wraps. I have a full solar package ordered and wonder if the solar panels are glued to the wrap that will need replacing. If that wrap lasts only 3 years, how am I going to save my solar cells when removing the wrap? This needs to be resolved before I get a car covered with solar cells glued to a wrap that needs to be replaced in a few years. I typically buy a used car and drive it until it is over twenty years old (2000 Honda Insight). And I don’t have solar cells I have to worry about. Now I don’t want to have to worry about replacing a wrap under the solar cells. Since the top of all these Alpha models is Black, then at least the composite body pieces that will contain solar cells should be made of colored (black) composite resin (no wrap) and only the rest of the car be wrapped with color.
MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 8:54 pm
Francis, Wrap replacement (If/when needed.) should not affect the solar portions. The wrap appears to be applied to only the non solar portions of the body, the solar looks to be its own individual panels attached directly to the main shell. For a full solar vehicle very little of the wrap will be exposed to the most intense and damaging sun exposure. (When was the last time you saw sun damaged paint that wasn’t on the top surfaces of a vehicle?) So it seems possible that the wraps lifetime will be toward the longer estimates that are out there. I recall someone noting that Aptera had responded to them that the three color schemes will have a composite infused with a similar base color. Also, the solar on Noir and Sol is black, the solar on Luna is midnight blue.
MemberJanuary 9, 2022 at 1:00 am
Suppose someone gets an ugly, long scratch in the side of the vehicle and they want to fix it. Which would be less expensive: to paint the entire vehicle, or to wrap the entire vehicle?
MemberJanuary 9, 2022 at 2:49 am
I don’t think anyone could accurately price the replacement cost of a wrap on an Aptera. There are several reasons including the solar package that have an impact. The shape of the Aptera may make installing the wrap more difficult but, because the lines are so naturally smooth, it may be less difficult.
One thing for sure. Because the Aptera is a ‘native’ wrap there is no ‘paint’ to protect. This simplifies and speeds the removal of the existing wrap, a step when removing an older wrap is a distinct risk to the wrapper. Given the liability of a wrap shop when things go bad and an existing paint job is ruined a prudent shop includes a sum to cover issues in one’s pricing of the service.
Considering wraps are popular among high-end cars like Bentleys, the liability is not trivial.
Now consider that the recommendations of shops at this time is you replace your wraps after three years even though the material could perform well for another couple of years because delaying replacement increases the likelihood that you will damage your factory paint.
That liability vanishes if the base layer is the prepared but not painted composite body and since there is no paint to protect, you can delay replacement until you, the owner is ready.
Then looking about I discovered PPF, which is short for paint protection film. It is similar to a wrap but uses a different plastic designed to self heal. The film also provides additional moisture and UV protection and offers both matte and glossy finishes. It can be applied on an existing wrap and could extend the life of the wrap to maybe 7 or more years. While not as long life as paint, that is still a long time.
What I see as the practical outcome is that before you sell your early model Aptera in order to get a later model, you’ll replace the wrap so you can get top dollar because its finish then will be ‘like new.’
As an idea, because of the performance of the PPF in protecting against scratches, etc. common in off-roading, that ‘option’ might include the tougher surface of the PPF coating because you will encounter brush off-road.
MemberJanuary 9, 2022 at 11:25 am
People seem to be making points with little to no actual data to make decisions!
What is the area to be covered? What is the Cost? Life expectancy?
I would think area and there for cost is less than most other cars. If it is half that of the average car, one would think the cost would be more than half less. So, until we have more information, everyone is just tossing spitballs.
It would be nice if the Aptera personnel, at some point, jump in and give us a “best at this time guess”, some actual feedback and Facts to form opinions. We know the damage Alternate Facts create.
Personally, if I can afford it, paint it or embed the colors, and wrap it. The wrap protects the paint. It may not even have to be a high-quality paint. Maybe just a white base color, so that 500M paint shop not required. Ideally, the color in the composite. My vast experience in this area adds up to Zero + a Google search. Obviously, I am an expert.
If Cal prevents quality paint, paint parts in Detroit and ship it to Cal for assembly. There was already some talk about some such thing.
When those bouncing rocks have chipped the front, and you know they will, it may be time for a new Frunk wrap. Or that long scratch someone mentioned, OK, a couple of hundred to wrap a side.
If … it’s going to cost me 3K every 3 years for a new wrap, that is a different story. I think I would pass on that.
A last word! I do agree. Do NOT deliver a deficient product else you may be producing a new version of the Ford Pinto.
Reputation is earned. Rarely is it repaired.
MemberJanuary 9, 2022 at 1:34 pm
The more research I do into wraps, the less I like the idea. If I’m putting down $48k for a car, I would expect it to look good for more than 3-5 years. We have been saving up for a new car since 2017, when Hurricane Irma destroyed my 2001 Honda CRV (which still had good paint). That left us with a 2002 F150 (which still has good paint). For us, the appeal of Aptera is the ability to go totally solar, which is why we are going for the big battery pack, and reduce our cost of travel; and secondarily to reduce our personal carbon footprint. Having to lay out $2-3k for a new wrap every 3-5 years going forward is not a small expense for us and seriously changes the economics. We were planning to leave it out in the sun all the time for maximum charging. In South Florida, the UV will really eat up a wrap. I’m not sure why a colored resin with UV inhibitors and/or a clear coat is not a possibility. Right now, my husband is thinking it’s a deal breaker for us.
MemberJanuary 9, 2022 at 6:21 pm
Would everyone here be comfortable if their Aptera came with a 10 year vinyl wrap warranty, basically ensuring a free re-wrap for everybody who buys an Aptera?
That way you save money, can change the color for free which incentivizes their wrap over paint, and Aptera gets the chance to upsell you on something extra. That seems the only viable way to sell these cars with wraps, to have a shared contribution down the line instead of their customers having to shoulder the entire weight of all wrap replacements throughout a 20+ year ownership.
Most people get rid of their cars in less than 10 years, some in less than 5 years, but for those Aptera for life people we need that warranty.
Otherwise Aptera needs to change tactics and clear coat the pigmented composite, which is likely the most cost effective option for both them and us.
MemberJanuary 9, 2022 at 8:18 pm
That’s an interesting idea, Henry.
Not to be a stick-in-the-mud, but I don’t think that would do it for me. The Prius had a $2-3k battery that threatened to need replacing after 100k miles, but Toyota helped sell the idea by including a 10-year / 150k mile warranty on it.
The difference is that the expectation of battery life was 10 years, while the expectation of a $2-3k wrap may be as little as 2 years. If I got 8 years of life out of my Prius battery and then a replacement that would be presumably good for another 8-10 years or so, I would be fairly satisfied (the batteries in the 6 Prius cars my family has owned have lasted a minimum of 12 years, and some more than 16 years so far). A wrap that might be expected to last only 5 years (I’m being very generous here) would have me paying out-of-pocket after perhaps 10 years, but maybe after only 4 years, and every 2-3 years after that. It’s hard enough taking a $500 hit for tires every 5 years or so, but that’s what it costs, no matter the car. Taking a $2k hit every couple of years so that I can leave the car in the sun to charge is still hard to swallow, even with a (presumed one-time) 10-year warranty.
Now, if they were confident enough to offer that 10-year warranty on the replacement(s) also, that would be a whole other matter and I could go for that!
MemberJanuary 12, 2022 at 1:06 pm
I agree. Aptera has indicated an expected 10-year lifespan for the wrap, but no actually warranty indicated as of yet. 3M product warranties the wrap for 3-7 years, depending on your Zone. I guess “expected 10 years” makes good copy if you don’t actually warranty for it. 3M certainty isn’t behind it.
For all of Arizona and New Mexico, there is no 3M warranty. Aptera hasn’t indicated how they accommodate that other than repeating the 10-year expectation, despite the vendor. That vendor warranty is under ideal conditions, meaning not outside exposure. For a solar charging vehicle, expected to be outside, the wrap decision in many markets, is an Achilles heel.
GM’s upcoming $30K 2024 Equinox as well as Fisker’s Project PEAR are looking more viable. Time will tell. I’m still on the sidelines, and happy to keep puttering around car-less on my HyperScorpion ebike…
I expect the Fanboys to ignite, LOL!
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Jon Arryn.