MemberJune 23, 2022 at 7:25 pm
Hello Aptera world. 🙂
I’ve been emailing product development over the past few months about a new version and they recommend I post on here to see what everyone here thinks.
Basically in a gluten free nutshell. Keep the base Aptera as is with the different battery sizes and solar configurations but come out with one more version. The HALO edition. It would be called the Aptera 1000r.
1000 watts of battery
1000 watts of solar
1000 pounds of towing ability
A new modular truck bed design
and built for adventuRe (insert vomit here but it’s catchy and works well with motorcycle engine size and shopping)
What does this mean and why?
Currently gas is $5-$7/gallon and I can’t afford to fill up the diesel truck at $200+/fillup and the Subaru gets 29mpg but still. $80 adds up. But what if we could tweak the Aptera a little and make it the worlds most capable EUT. (Electric Utility Vehicle)
So with the idea of bridging the gap of hyper efficiency mixed with truck carrying ability. Here are my suggestions:
1) Make the storage area in the back bigger. Ideally the bed section would measure 6’6″*40″ in size. Yes this would increase the overall length of the car but it can still be super aerodynamic.
This will allow for actual sleeping in the back of the car and storage plus hauling of sports gear. (Part of the big shift you’ll notice in this email). Also at the end of the “truck bed’ section. Make sure it is tall enough that a size 12 foot can clear if someone’s foot was against the bottom of the bed and not hitting the top glass. Currently you need to have a “yet to be designed” shelf to sleep and the bed is a foot too short. With the idea of sleeping with your head at the tail of the vehicle. By making it a 1′ longer. You get a much easier time getting into sleep mode as well as having access to climate control while you’re sleeping and have the added abilty to be able to sit up while in the ‘bed’.
2) Speaking of the truck bed. Instead of the current curved back glass. Make the sides curved and smooth but make the glass flat and here’s the big change. Removable.
I’d love to be able to remove the back glass in 2 or 3 sections. Store them in a hidden compartment under the truck bed and then be able to put 2 mountain bikes in the bed. This is part of who you’re catering to. The affluence tech outdoors person. They’re going to have expensive toys and if you can advertise that this vehicle can haul 2 mountain bikes upright, or kayaks or even a dirt motorcycle. That would be a huge deal. I understand I would be giving up MPG. But with commuting Monday-Friday and getting unbelievable mpg and then on the weekend, remove the glass and still get great mpg but be able to carry 2 mountain bikes up to the hills would be a dream come true. (Currently designed, you can take apart 1 bike and lay it flat in the back on the trunk.) Not ideal when my bikes is covered in mud from ridding.
3) In addition to having a removable rear glass to open above the truck bed. Have the front of the bed flip open and create a partition against the front seats and essentially create a waterproof area in the front that’s locked and secured.
One. This makes it so you can hose out the back or deal with rain without worrying about the front getting wet. But two. Once the partition lifts up. You can hide a cross bar under where the partition used to be and mount a bike rack or kayak rack to that cross bar. This would be huge! Companies like Yakima and Thule already make a plethora of accessories so just make a bar similar to theirs that would be a cross brace that you can attach roof raft things too.
Also with making a water resistance partition and a removable top glass top. This would open up the bed to be able to haul all sorts of items. Got a smelly dog from the beach you don’t want in your lap? Put up the partition. Want to haul 2 8′ tall ficus as a house warming gift. Done. Remove the glass at the plant nursery and presto. Who needs a truck.
4) Have full charging station hookups in both the truck bed and the front “engine bay”. (The ability to charge 2 usb, 2 110v, 220v and a Rapid charger) This way you can charge 2 ebikes or motorcycle while at camp on either hookup on an overnight or give a Ecar a bit of a charge if they run out of battery. Like the new Rivian RT1 can do. (Not referring to how the Aptera can charge but rather using the car to charge other devices.)
I would love to take two Zero FX dirt bikes up to the mountains for the weekend and charge them overnight once I’m at the riding destination. Plus charge my phone and run the climate control with either ac or heat on an auto setting all night. (But also be able to program in a minimum battery percentage while on auxiliary mode that it won’t go below to make sure you can still drive home)
5) Speaking of battery. This model would only get sold as a 1000 watt battery version. With 1000 watts of solar. I live in the north west and the winter. The sun is really low on the horizon. Making most of the current solar unusable. Solar on the doors would be a big help.
6) Make this RV towable. Have 2 connection points on the front of this to where you can easily trailer this behind a bus/rv. Also include a spot for a 4/7 pin wiring harness on the front of the vehicle.
And make this the first Smart trailable vehicle ever. What I mean. Trailers currently can be towed. Or apply brakes. But what if you had a load that when you were going uphill. Could turn on a motor and help push your 13mpg RV uphill and get better mpg and then on the downhill. Apply Regen braking so the RV doesn’t go through as many brake pads? That would be a huge game changer.
7) Put a small class 1 hitch on the back of this. Hidden normally. But big enough to put a bike rack on the back of. Or tow a jet ski. That would help a lot of adventures happen.
8) Make the front trunk space big enough to put a Yeti 65 cooler or Dometic 65 electric off-road fridge while still being able to reach the front electric plug ins.
9) Have the back of the pickup truck have a tail gate. After you remove the glass top. And drop the gate. Have it strong enough to have two dudes sit in it or a ebike ramp up it to get inside the bed. Most newer dirt motorcycles weigh under 350 each so if the bed can be treated for 1000 pounds of cargo. That would be ideal. Plus it’s part of the whole 1000r theme. 🙂
10) Only available in the all wheel drive version. For obvious reasons.
11) Sell it with readily available tires. Something that every Les Schwab will carry anywhere in the USA. Like what’s on the Prius or similar. A lot of times with really fancy cars is if you get a flat. You’re stuck and waiting for a special order. And nothing’s worse than being stuck on route 66 for 3 days waiting a new tire to be shipped in. (I think this is already the plan?)
12) Have the motors be able to work independent in limp mode. So if you have a motor or a wheel problem. Be able to either disconnect a motor to allow free spin regardless of the issue or remove the entire wheel assembly (including motor) and put on a not smart spare that’s in the truck and be in 1 or 2 wheel drive mode all the way home.
13) Have the wheel covers be retractable. Not that it’s designed for off-road use. But there are times you found yourself on a bumpy road and need more wheel clearance. Currently you have the width of a sheet of paper but it would be ideal if you could fit a switch and have 5-7″ under each wheel. (I know there is a high clearance version coming available that will probably solve this concern.)
13B) This is going down the wrong road of the overland crowd but if possible. Take technology for the new Chevy Colorado zr2 Aev Bison edition with their boran skid plates and put a small skid plate under the front in case of accidental rock impacts. Not designed for offroad but just to protect the batteries from accidental bumps. Have it removeable just for bumpy trailheads adventures.
14) Put the ability to add roof racks on the car. Once people start buying these. They will love the 1000 mile range and if you could put the Yakima Jetstream aluminum bars with the fixed point mounts. With minimal mpg loss. It will be a great addition. And if they don’t want the bars. There’s a cover that flips down the bolt holes so no mpg loss. Similar to the BMW M3. If you had both the removeable rear glass with a cross bar in the truck bed where you could mount two bikes and than a roof rack where you could mount two play kayaks and a cooler in the front. That would be the perfect weekend vehicle. 🙂
That was a lot of details. But the simplified version. This will be a badass electric utility vehicle. The ability to go 1000 miles. Charge via the sun. Be the ultimate commuter during the week and camping utility vehicle on the weekends.
Van life is here to stay and people are looking for options to get out doors. See all the amazing things but without spending $6/gallon on a vehicle that gets 15mpg. #vanlife lol
This could be just that. The next step in adventure vehicles.
I’d love to hear everyone’s feedback and if this gets made. Be the first in line for the new 1000r model.
Bryan from Seattle.
MemberJune 24, 2022 at 5:02 am
Phew…Bryan…tons to unpack here:
I like the vast majority of your ideas. Larger storage, Removable rear glass, additional plugs, frunk, roof racks…all awesome ideas. The majority of those however at this point in development add so much complexity. Lets get the initial launch vehicle going, then Aptera can offer their next platform.
MemberJune 24, 2022 at 5:28 am
I will be very happy to get the offering that Steve Fambro, and Chris Anthony are about to produce. The “redesign,” of which you write is maybe what your needs are, but most of us want the efficiency, safety and design as is. A Cadillac Eldorado can be chopped into a pick-up truck, so you can customize your car anyway you wish, with enough money it can be done. Please just give me my solar vehicle!
ModeratorJune 24, 2022 at 5:41 am
Hi, Bryan. You have certainly given this a lot of thought. I hope that, once the initial production model has hit it’s stride, Aptera gives your ideas serious consideration. I especially like:
“3) In addition to having a removable rear glass to open above the truck bed. Have the front of the bed flip open and create a partition against the front seats and essentially create a waterproof area in the front that’s locked and secured.”
I am not an outdoorsy adventurous type, so mountain bikes are not in my present or future plans, but having the option of fitting something bulky into the rear hatch area would be a welcome feature.
MemberJune 24, 2022 at 8:41 am
Hey, could you also work up a vehicle exactly opposite of this?
I’m looking for a city Aptera. We have a Fiat 500 or the Cinquecento now and live in a congested city. It’s imperative to be able to park in the smallest of spaces. We call them “Cinque” spots.
Shrink the wheelbase, shorten the vehicle. Make it small and nimble. Carry some stuff, doesn’t need to be much.
MemberJune 24, 2022 at 9:05 am
I think this “Euro Edition” will be coming sooner or later. Here is leisurely North America I can live with the width, but I could see something with the width of a FIAT 500 being an absolute necessity in cramped European cities. They may give up some stability (and not ace the moose test) but being able to park your car is also a nice feature…
PS I still have nightmares of trying to park a small SUV in France. I had to crawl out of the back doors, as the front doors were basically pinned by concrete on each side…
MemberJune 24, 2022 at 9:32 am
Before I post my opinion on the features list, It is important to recognize and acknowledge the remarkable and amazing job Aptera engineering has done to produce this vehicle in a short time, with small staff, shoestring budget, and in the worst possible business enviroment possible for a start up. It is truly REMARKABLE. Suggesting new or different features in no way detracts from this remarkable accomplishment. Those of us enthusiasts from the engineering community understand and admire what you have done.
I believe that Aptera has a product roadmap they are following (Future follow on vehicles) which they have published and which will leverage their remarkable engineering for efficiency and performance to date. I feel they should follow their product road map until it has been successfully achieved.
The road map vehicles are in line with their stated goal, to make the most efficient transportation vehicles on earth. The engineering changes (Those that increase weight or change the exterior form factor) to incorporate some of the described features would result in a vehicle far from the efficiency goal and with performance specs that would be very disappointing. The three things that make Aptera efficient are a very carefully crafted and tuned aero shape and size, engineering obsession with reducing weight (500 lb max internal load) and selecting the smallest and lightest weight components. This engineering allows for the small battery size for stated ranges and performance. Any change in the form factor or adding weight or the provision for carrying heavier loads would result in significantly degraded range and performance.
The Aptera ethos appeals to a more general market than the described vehicle. If produced, the vehicle would appeal to a smaller niche market who’s volume of sales may not recoup the R&D invested to produce such a vehicle.
In the end, the market will determine the next version of the Aptera. The management, engineering, production, and financial staff will jointly make the decisions on next vehicle features in concert with marketing. Some of the listed feature ideas may be incorporated into a new version.
Currently, the Tesla Cyber Truck will come close (Except for the battery size, range, and solar) and may fill the gap you envision and may be available about the same time as Aptera in 2023. Canoo (If they ever come to fruition) has a variant that is part SUV/part pickup truck that has some of these features. Again not the range, battery size, or solar) which may be in the market as well.
In my opinion, the next version of the Aptera to expend R&D/Production funds on should be the projected multi passenger, four wheel variant that will be available in the US and EU compliant as this variant will address the largest segment of potential EV buyers.
My list of additional features for development and production of the next variant would include:
At least four seats
Range and performance as close to the current version as possible given additional weight and change of form factor
Migration to the next economically feasible battery technology
Next gen driver assistance
A robust, lasting exterior finish
Continued emphasis on low price
Quick turnaround into a very competitive emerging market
MemberJune 24, 2022 at 10:46 am
I mostly agree with two exceptions, I don’t think V2H or V2G are particularly useful. Adding a fourth wheel should be a primary objective of the next variant, everything else falls under the nice to have but not necessary. The lack of a 4th wheel is a problem from a regulatory and subsidy standpoint. States without Autocycle laws, mine for example, treats the Aptera a motorcycle which requires a class M drivers license, that’s a potential show stopper for me if they don’t manage to pass the law that’s been bouncing around committees for the past two years. In Europe it violates the width limit for three wheel vehicles, add a fourth wheel and problem solved. As for rebates and credits, it’s not eligible. Cars get a $7500 Federal credit, autocycles don’t. In my state the EV credit of $2500 doesn’t apply to motorcycles, just cars, so together that’s a $10,000 liability. A fourth wheel would fix that.
As for the OPs desire for it to be able to tow, that’s a non-starter. The Aptera’s unique feature is it’s extreme efficiency which on the highway is entirely due to it’s extreme aerodynamics. Hang anything on the back and that all goes out the window. You can increase it’s payload without effecting the highway mileage much. Out of Spec Motoring just tested the effects of maximum payload on the Rivian and the F150 Lightning and it had a minimal effect on the highway, about 5%. But when anyone has hooked a trailer to an EV the range plummets by at least 50% and probably more. That’s for ordinary EVs with ordinary CoDs, the effect on the Aptera has to be much worse. The F150 Lightning starts out with a CoD of .463, hanging a trailer on it makes it worse but as a percentage it won’t nearly as bad as hanging a trailer on an Aptera with a CoD of .13.