Future generation Aptera ideas/designs

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Future generation Aptera ideas/designs

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Future generation Aptera ideas/designs

  • Future generation Aptera ideas/designs

  • Johnathan Ting

    November 6, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    I am very stoked for the Aptera, but I do have some thoughts and concerns and ideas to address them.

    My first concern, as with many of us, is that it’s just too wide. Admittedly it’s about as wide as my car at the mirrors, but mirrors are not at ground level and there are many obstacles my mirrors will clear that a wheel will not. My idea is 1+2 seating arrangement that will A) reduce the necessary width at the nose to have a more manageable 68-76″ front width B) improve passenger capacity without giving up too much passenger comfort C) give a more unique and driver focused seating position.

    The slight angle of the passenger seats will allow for the maximum height of the car to be more focused along the central access, which should reduce the necessary frontal area while also maximizing headroom and legroom for all occupants. It maintains a curvature along the side of the vehicle which can be reinforced for better side impact performance. The sharper shape should also improve front overlap crash performance since more of the energy can go into deflecting the vehicle instead of stopping it. The more arrow like shape should also make ingress into the central driving position not that onerous, especially with good door design. I’m not sure about aerodynamic improvements over the original design, but I think it should be able to be optimized to be as good.

    Downsides, you def can’t car camp 3 people in this comfortably. Folding the seats to have a flat load floor is going to be a design challenge. Cargo space would obviously have to be decreased if maintaining a similar length. Ride height/center of gravity would probably have to be reduced to compensate for the reduced front track width in order to maintain similar cornering stability which might affect aero efficiency, although the odds of a significant number of owners driving this 10/10ths is basically 0, just because I will huck my car around a corner way faster than 99% of people doesn’t mean that a design must be optimized for edge cases.

    Some nice to haves would be rear wheel steering which would improve turning radius and high speed stability.

    A fatter rear wheel with more power would also be cool, but that’s because I’m a hooligan.

    Also a several kW inverter to run various appliances would be nice.

    If the car is generating downforce from design, there are probably vortices forming at the corners of the rear edge that might be better managed with small downward facing winglets which will also look rad.

    Some seat design ideas would be to look at the Koenigsegg Gemera and the segmented foam seat design, if adjustable lumbar support is not feasible, then having a replaceable foam cushion that sticks on with velcro would be an option. This would also allow for adjustment of seat bolstering that can be individualized at relatively low cost. This would also make the seats more breathable and possibly easier to plumb for ventilation.
    UPTIS tires would eliminate flat tire concerns and also probably make mileage more consistent. Improperly pressurized tires are very common and affect handling, efficiency, and safety.

  • Curtis Cibinel

    November 6, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    I must say this is a very interesting concept and not without merit. I personally think the simplest 2nd vehicle is to lengthen the current design, slightly shorten the tail slightly (perhaps 0.15 drag coefficient as a result), stiffen the suspension and add a row of seats. This would allow the current design to share a lot of parts and make a coop to compete with family cars.

    I don’t think a wider rear is a good idea as this adds complexity and airless tires are very inefficient drag coefficient. Rear wheel steering would really make suspension tricky. I’m also ignoring the inverter and seat points since it could go in any base design. The loss of in vehicle camping is negligible as bringing a tent makes more sense worth either vehicle;that vehicle tent is very “designed in California” – bugs and rain won’t go well. Fancy suspension with air or hydraulics could be another way to narrow when parking (expensive).

    Regarding your design the pros in my opinion:

    3rd seat (duh)

    Narrow enough for europe

    No need for switching driver sides for different markets

    Similar or shorter than current Aptera


    Worse stability due to narrower (moose test)

    Worse aerodynamics due to turbulent air from wheels pods into body

    Likely not compatible with kids car seat safety (big reason to have a 3rd seat)

    • Lou Verner

      November 6, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      While this design might have been a consideration as an alternative first generation Aptera, although I still much prefer the version we have, I don’t see it at all as a second generation option. I strongly believe the second generation needs to be a 4-wheel vehicle that incorporates as many of the energy efficient design features as the first, with enough room for 4-5 passengers and a decent-sized boot to bring in a whole new set of buyers. Another 3-wheel definitely not the way to go in my opinion.

      • Lou Verner

        November 6, 2021 at 4:59 pm

        Amend earlier…clearly your version is 4-wheel, but only 3 passenger!

      • Curtis Cibinel

        November 6, 2021 at 6:04 pm

        This is obviosly all theory but why 4 wheel? Is it for optics or do you think they won’t be can’t scale the current design into 2 rows?

        • Lou Verner

          November 6, 2021 at 6:49 pm

          For one, I believe I actually heard Chris say something to that effect, and two, think it would appeal to wider audience. Do think it would be difficult to scale current design to an additional row of seats w/o greatly diminishing capacity of cargo area – one of most desirable features of SUVs.

          • Johnathan Ting

            November 7, 2021 at 3:17 am

            I think the appeal of 3 wheel vehicles is that it avoids very onerous regulations since autocycles are much less regulated than cars. 3 wheels means that Aptera can use wing cameras instead of mirrors, not have bumpers, use adaptive headlights, and so on. The only reason Aptera can have such a short development cycle for their gen 1 vehicle is that they aren’t having to meet every car safety standard, even if the vehicle will exceed crash test requirements and all that. A 4 wheel vehicle would likely have development costs 5-10 times, possibly 100x, what a 3 wheeler would have for these reasons. Most global brands have vehicle platforms that they base most of their vehicles on and the development costs for those are often in $100 million to $1+ billion range.

    • Johnathan Ting

      November 7, 2021 at 3:46 am

      I feel like an F1 or Le Mans team could design front wheel fairings that would not greatly negatively impact aero efficiency, so it’s probably just a matter of time and design to get the wake from the pods to flow over the rest of the vehicle efficiently.

      A fatter rear tire would also allow more weight to be placed towards the rear, increasing the width by 50% on the rear would allow for an 57/43 weight distribution as opposed to a 66/34 and also likely increase payload capacity by ~200lbs. Losing weight off the front axle will likely improve steering response and handling, though in order to maintain cornering ability a lower CoG will be necessary, though that’s typically not a problem with BEVs. The real killer for cornering/turning is roll, if the CoG is at axle level or not too far above it, roll is not that big of a factor. With the lightweight body construction of the Aptera I expect a CoG of lower than 17″ is pretty feasible. I think as specced the tires are around a 24″ diameter, so the car would naturally corner pretty flat.

      In terms of rear wheel steering, it would need at most maybe 5-7 degrees of turning angle. Swingarms with steering are already a well proven design in motorcycles, see BMW and Vyrus. Rear wheel steering would also aid in maneuvering stability at speed, a la the Moose Test.

      • Ken Kobayashi

        January 11, 2022 at 12:48 pm

        F1 people don’t care about air resistance. F1 is all about cornering speed, which means downforce.

        Le Mans have enclosed wheels, because that’s what’s best for air resistance. And that’s why the Aptera should have had it too.

    • BigSky Country

      October 4, 2022 at 6:29 pm

      Agree with Curtis on this one. The best thing Aptera can do is stay on equity and lengthen the vehicle to accommodate another row. I could envision this thing being as long as a sprinter van to accomplish this but it builds on their design platform. I do wonder if that could still be done as a 3 wheel without needing to widen the front wheels or if there are a bunch of regulation challenges to attempt to seat more than 2 individuals in a 3 wheeler.

  • Cosme Tome Melendez

    November 6, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Johnathan, to my point of view, to reduce drag and overall front nose including mirrow side by side extended today position, better option is a tandem seats, it will reduce the cargo space is obvious been reduced but no any other overall dimensions should be affected because designers will reduce with proportionally to the reduction of the passages ‘s seat, the body will be reinforced due less volumen, and wheels width can be reduced to fit any America either European specifications effortless, see the Elio Motor design, and will figure out what I am proposing, I guess even less drag than 0.13

    Thanks for reading!

    • Johnathan Ting

      November 7, 2021 at 3:28 am

      I think the big problem with tandem seating is that the rear passenger is almost always uncomfortable. To maintain a reasonable wheelbase the rear seat has to have very little legroom and so the straddle position is often what happens. Tandem seating also necessarily kills cargo capacity and makes the car less practical, I think making the car both practical and efficient is the balancing act.

  • Philip Raymond

    November 6, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    I thought of one more con to add to this otherwise well thought out idea. I believe air bag deployment would be difficult, if not, impossible for the 2 outboard rear seats.

  • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

    November 6, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    2 seaters can follow each other like train track cars in a train, or replace 4 seater or 6 seater, while allowing multiple drivers go their own way with a passenger and maybe some space, especially given most people drive alone with not much storage space being used most the time and b/c incresing need and want for both husband wife to go to work at different places at similar/same time plus grocery and other acitivty, software allow one car to follow another like traincar in train track, so 1 driver with 3 passenger, b/c both cars are powered,normal trailer driving style of slower braking and turning vs normal driving, is not needed…. all with computer programming. ridesharing is usually done for one customer at a time too given people move alone most the time.

    or front end of f1 car, etc.

    cabin moudle can adapt to rail with adapter or by sitting on rail train pad thats primarily designed for bus modules, detachable areo front. single cars drivetrain may also power bus module and work as freight truck (probably need a dedicated drivetrain chassis for busses and freight, maybe even for amazon delivery van/pickup truck level thing) bus moudle maybe even be economical for flight in drone cargo aircraft, and box shape can work to adap to cargo shipping container for cargo planes and cargo ships. drivetrain and trailer swaps by rent instead of vehicle switch for temporary uses (so people who buy big SUV for 1% of max storage space use times dont do that)

    effiency in running cost payoff such maybe its even less cost over ownership time vs buying minivan or 4 seater, maybe 4 seater and 2 seater replaces minivan, etc.2 cheap two seaters with a app to make one of them auto follow the other like a train. this allows husband wife to goto different places at same time which is unfortunately becoming more common b/c rising cost of living. maybe teh cars can be efficiency optimized for city (lighter weight and more compact but less aerodynamics) except there could be a removable and/or folding front end areo foil similar to what freight trucks use in teh space above truck roof, covering the trailer.

    • Ron Ledohowski

      November 6, 2021 at 8:53 pm

      Out of the Box adaptations and thought.

      Electronically &/or mechanically tethering two or more Aptera together.

      Carpool Crazy. Long haul wonderful. Best of all worlds with ultimate flexibility.

      Family travel & camping expeditions; different households together, with ultimate FREEDOM too!

      Switch drivers as well as share battery life. Break off solo when suitable &/or when camping.

      Innovative thought creates further inspiration.

      QUESTION: Is innovation the art of hiding one’s (initial) inspiration(s)?

      ANSWER: Of course. ALL innovation “starts” somewhere. Modify &/or adapt the seed(s) of inspiration; reap the benefits & outcome.

      There’s something to say about your initial idea (adapted) vs. the necessity of new & larger platforms that may also dillute its overall branding & mojo.

      Drafting (or slipstreaming) explained:


  • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

    November 6, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    in 2 seats next to each other configuration: it would be great if interface and seat could be screwed into/slided toward the center of car with passenger seat folded away, for exceptional sportiness. it should be fairly easy given its all electric power steering, possibly for self driving. (like gordon murray t50). your 3 seater config is like nissan deltawing/speedtail/ScuderiaCameron Glickenhaus 008, but probably not worth it vs other designs i mentioned

    • Johnathan Ting

      November 7, 2021 at 3:22 am

      I think the problem with scooting the driver seat over is that the Aptera does use a central tunnel for some purpose or another, I’m guessing structural rigidity and battery storage. Any central driving position would require a full redesign of structural components.

  • John Belmonte

    November 8, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Scaling the Aptera up to 4 seats and 4 wheels has been discussed a lot, but I haven’t heard much about scaling down. As a follow-on model, advantages would include keeping the 3-wheel classification, identical design, greater urban accessibility, and perhaps lower cost (less batteries if power per mile could be reduced).

    The Aptera has decidedly American proportions for a model with global aspirations. It’s the same width as a modern Lamborghini including side mirrors. People have mentioned European cities, but it would be difficult to manage the Aptera on Tokyo side streets– I find enough challenges with a 70″ wide compact minivan. So I propose a model that is scaled down at least 15% in all dimensions– otherwise same design. That includes wheel width, assuming the wheel motor options allow it.

    I wonder how efficiency would land given the changes: lighter, less rolling resistance, Cd (higher or lower?), reduced solar area, etc.

  • Ray Holan

    November 8, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Wow. That’s an intriguing idea, John. We know that the vast majority of car trips in the USA are done by a single driver, so eliminating the width needed for passenger plus the extra weight would result in some outrageous efficiency. Would there be sufficient demand for something like this is of course the big question. The other option is to design for tandem seating where passenger is in back of the driver. Makes for great packaging but certainly hampers conversation between driver and passenger.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    November 8, 2021 at 10:34 am

    This is very interesting. A 3 wheeled electric tadpole velomobile (Essentially a mini Aptera that’s pedal powered) is 40 times more efficient than a Nissan leaf, but illegal to put too big of a motor in it or make it go over 15 miles an hour. Unless you go all the way and make it a highway legal motorcycle… Very interesting indeed.


  • Curtis Cibinel

    November 8, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    If you want to scale an aptera down and still make it a road legal I’d recommend you lookup the Carver EV or AKO Trike. Very fun little vehicles but compared to the Aptera safety is out the window.

    If short range personal city EVs (single seater or 1+1) take off aptera could definitely make a similar vehicle with a smaller range and drastically smaller size using their existing design competencies.

  • Titus Meusel

    November 8, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    In my own interest it remains a fair point. For Europe the Aptera should remain within 2×4 meters (78.7×157.5”) to qualify as a trike. This is about 10% smaller.

    • Olivier Laroque

      December 4, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      I do agree Titus.10% reduction of the body, we keep the mechanics. Some adjustments (Yes, not that so easy 😉 ). I’m sure Aptera could be certified in Europe.

  • John Reilly

    November 8, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    I think that the market for an even more efficient vehicle is small. Aptera right now is more efficient than every vehicle that gives out efficiency data (battery size and range). It is also more efficient than a Carver and mass transportation options such as rail or bus (based on generalized data). It is more efficient an an Acrimoto. It may be more efficient than e-bikes, but maybe not scooters.

    I think the Aptera argument is that “this is your all-purpose general car replacement.” I think that the biggest next market is “this is your all-purpose SUV (second car) replacement.” They can make the first and second argument based upon crash tests. However, moving to a smaller vehicle would undermine the “crash worthy” argument of their brand. Moving to a bigger vehicle strengthens the “crash worthy” argument of their brand.

    That being said, it would be great for Carver and Indigo Technologies to just recognize that they don’t have a path to success, and just join Aptera to build the type of vehicle that you want. Your vehicle is Aptera + Carver + Indigo. And yes, it is awesome! However, Carver and Indigo need to realize that they are delaying the future by ignoring how Aptera is better than they are in certain respects.

    • John Belmonte

      November 9, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      > the market for an even more efficient vehicle is small

      Efficiency directly relates to battery capacity (the most expensive item on the bill of materials) and solar range. Certainly cars compete on price, and the Aptera will compete with EV’s (solar and not) partially based on its solar range.

      It’s wonderful that Aptera is setting a high water mark at 40 mi / day solar range. It’s only going to get better through competition (and wishfully cooperation) of the industry.

  • John Belmonte

    November 9, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    motivation: a lot of people want or need smaller cars. For example, their urban area has tight streets and parking, they’re more confident driving a smaller vehicle, the riders are physically smaller, etc.

    Aptera can scale down the debut model, while keeping the same seat configuration, and meet this need. The increment is tiny because it’s still 3-wheel class, little if anything about the car would need redesign, and likely all of the work done on safety would apply.

    If it happens to be more efficient and lower cost, great– that increases the demand and reach of the product. But it’s not the primary motivation.

    • Joshua Rosen

      December 5, 2021 at 8:13 am

      There are already a couple of small three wheelers on the market, the FUV and the Solo that are aimed at the city car market, I’m not sure what a small Aptera would bring to the party vs those two. There is also the new Fiat 500E, not in the US yet but maybe, which is tiny but more conventional car.

  • G N

    December 5, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    A single-seater or tandem (like Volkswagen L1) would be great – especially if cheaper. Could still do the monocoque safety cell; that would set it apart from all velomobiles I know of – even Northern Lights (no testing that I’m aware of).

    I do wonder whether the risks from side winds increase significantly if it gets much lighter or the side-area-to-weight ratio changes. I think those considerations went into their decision to seat side-by-side.

    I appreciate the discussion about second cars. I imagine many households are like ours: 1 car gets a single commuter around; the other gets the whole family around. So optimizing for those two conditions would make sense as the two first models.

  • Francis Giroux

    December 10, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    I already drive a vehicle that is more efficient than Aptera. Or should I say I pedal a vehicle more efficient than Aptera. Yes, that’s it in my profile picture, and yes technically it is a velomobile. Actually its a poor man’s velomobile because it is a home-made capsule over a Catrike 700 recumbent racing tadpole tricycle. Most velomobiles are over $10,000 so I modified my trike with a couple hundred dollars of materials and have toured with it for a few years, over ten thousand miles. It can easily be modified to be electric assist but I like the exercise to keep my 71 year old body in shape. I have reached 65 mile per hours downhill and around 30 mph on relatively flat roads. There are a number of electrified trikes and velomobiles like ELF, PEBL, Evovelo, and others, some even having solar panels, and some that can carry two people. They are all too expensive for what they are, so I’m looking forward for my Aptera.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      December 10, 2021 at 10:31 pm

      I really doubt Aptera will make anything substancially less safe than the current design. A narrow one seater is just too weird for most markets. For Europe they can remove the frunk, and center console to narrow the design enough – this would still be substancial enough to be a vehicle model but could share many components. Anything tandem or without the safety systems is a tough sell. Given the need to front load weight (batteries) I was really suprised to see that frunk in the current design.

  • Robert Klasson

    January 13, 2022 at 12:22 am

    I think the next model should just be a stretch to get a second row of seats in and add a fourth wheel. It would probably get pretty long though. I measured my car and there is about 33 inches between the front and the rear seat. That would put a four wheel, 4/5 seat Aptera at 205 inches long, which is right up there with luxury cars like Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 series. That should keep the drag coefficient almost the same since the rear wheels could ride in the wake of the front wheels, though the frontal area would probably increase a bit to retain sufficient headroom for both rows of seats, so the total aerodynamic drag would increase some.

    • George Hughes

      September 30, 2022 at 3:23 pm

      I have no idea what the next model might be. What I do know is that it could well come together a lot faster than any of us might imagine. How?

      Think about it. Each Aptera will be hand assembled using set, vetted, fully normalized components.

      In this ‘universe’ you have four body parts that are glued together and filled with foam to which you attach pre-produced assemblies.

      I’m going to suggest that you’d start the task of a four-wheeled ‘different bodied’ additional model Aptera (think anything – mini-pickup truck/van/sedan) that uses most of the same components. I.e. a four-wheeler might replicate the front suspension on the rear or simply affix a second rear-suspension/motor at different points on the same battery (or a bigger but similar design). Then your changes are in the monocoque. Do you go wild and use six sub-assemblies for the body instead of four?

      But any resulting monocoque whether for mass markets or for specific utility could be engineered to use the same motors, battery, dash, controllers, seats, windshield, possibly even the doors as well as the same production line.

      I sensed this the moment I saw the first assembly station in the plant was where the front and rear suspension was mated to the battery and then the monocoque was attached. That means the motors and battery comprise the proverbial skateboard; except it is a skateboard with a aerodynamic underside with its cooling properties.

      As an investor, this is the moment you grin big.

      See, you realize that Aptera is the revolution and its core competence is in adding solar to lightweight composites to construct a strong, safe, personal transportation device that is designed to provide service for decades by not only being able to survive crap like Ian but help its owner survive those challenges.

      What most miss is the leap to composites for vehicles is the revolution. Steel-bodied vehicles and the tech used to form them is beginning now, an obsolete practice.

      The stroke of genius is the combination of the strength of composites (lightweight, strong, formable in large parts) with aerodynamics in land vehicles. Aptera will express the ‘best’ way to provide safety and performance is with composite-bodied vehicles that eschew iron and steel because vehicles constructed with those materials are ‘weak’.

  • Bryan Thomas

    June 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.

    • George Hughes

      October 3, 2022 at 10:37 am

      Bryan from Seattle:

      You’ve got to take the bad with the good and, while I too think the next variation ought to be a ‘faux pickup truck’ I would be cautious as to the extent of changes made to the Aptera.

      First, lets assume the first effort doesn’t change any structural elements of the Aptera; only the aerodynamic elements so, like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, off with the hatch.

      I would add the divider behind the seats to seal off the cockpit from the ‘bed’.

      Now imagine something like the ‘camper top’ on my long-gone Dodge D-50 – this is an aftermarket solution – that is fitted to the roof and extends to the rear-deck.

      Notably, the new Aptera (2019 and later designs) features a much wider back hatch than the 2007 version with its shower door hatch. I’m assuming the user wants to store the back hatch and so doesn’t take a sawsall to the body to widen the hatch and its utility. There are some other cobbled together elements and the finished aftermarket result resembles a hard-bodied – even streamlined – version of the Aptera camper package with the open hatch being roughly its operational profile.

      The result is more than 50+ cubic feet of cargo space with a bit of hit to the aerodynamics but with utilitarian advantages for small service companies.

      What would really be cool with this kind of design is if the camper top were to be foldable for something that is kind of reminiscent of ‘transformers’ 🙂 but that level of engineering design is at least another decade in the future.

      Speaking of transforming; the reality is that Aptera is based on a variation of the ‘skateboard’ but with the tucked tummy architecture with its benefits in aero. The point is with certified components, it really doesn’t make much difference if you attach one rear trailing arm suspension mount to the center of the battery pack or two identical rear trailing arm suspension mounted on each side of the back of the battery pack. (The fourth wheel is a matter of moving the single suspension mount on the structural battery pack and doubling it closer to the edge.)

      That gives us the prospect of a variation in the monocoque design to ‘four wheels’ … using all the ‘certified,’ vetted, mass produced components for the three-wheeled Aptera. I mean with the component manufacturing approach, by using the same parts with obvious replacements of things like the wiring harness to add the fourth wheel, you could be four-wheel variants on the same line as three-wheelers.

      It would be obvious a full-fledged pickup truck variation including both two and four seat versions could be fashioned in the monocoque with a lowered payload bed and other more substantial modifications to the load-carrying and design.

      But that transformation, while inevitable, won’t occur until after 2025 or 26 and expanding assembly plants and producing to meet the 300,000+ annual demand for Aptera as it is, will require at least ten to 15 assembly plants located around the world.

      In the meantime, the various weather events and Aptera’s unique ability to survive these events – something most modern, sophisticated steel-bodied vehicles are incapable of doing – will mean cobbled together solutions like the aero-camper top and cockpit divider will emerge to help users exploit the value of their Aptera.

      I expect what will happen is this. Folks, concerned about the viability of buying not just a new ICE car but are equally skeptical of the massively heavy EV SUVs and trucks including their cost, will opt to keep what they have (paid off) and instead ‘add’ an Aptera as a stopgap as they decide what they will really get. This is especially true if things are very tight economically and the choice of Aptera comes as a matter of economics for that average 30+ mile daily commute which it can accomplish for little or no ‘fuel costs’ anywhere in the lower 48.

      Aptera’s will be an option for families with teens coming into driving age as these folks will look at it is a ‘range extender’ for the family. I mean, even the most ‘ecological’ person on face of the earth, if presented the option of driving to the quicki mart, would choose an Aptera over a Lightyear One because someone would nick-a-door at the superette at a cost of thousands if they drove the lightyear; ditto the Tesla Model Y or, God forbid, the driver was not ecological, and their choice was the Aptera or the 69 Oldsmobile 98 Luxury Sedan that would cost $3.00 in gas to go the three miles back and forth to the store or the ‘$0.00’ cost of the Aptera.

      All this will happen when the folks holding ICE car titles realize that their vehicles – in fact all steel-bodied light passenger cars – are horribly obsolete and, with the exception of collectibles, their resale and utility value drops precipitously.

      When that happens, the vast majority of people will realize their trusty old rusty will be theirs for the duration and if they want something to get around that won’t cost them an arm and a leg to run, they will either keep their rust bucket for that once a year trip to grandma’s or evolve into the myriad of personal transportation alternatives from electric bicycles to Archimoto’s to Aptera’s with Aptera’s being the best city car/road car option or compromise … especially if you can pop the hatch and give it the practicality of a pickup truck.

      I know we all know no one knows how this is going to playout with any precision but the notion that when the price of used ICE vehicles gets hit by the widespread notion they are obsolete vehicles with diminishing utility, more current owners will opt to keep their five-seat and seven seat SUVs for ‘that family outing’ and trips to soccer games in neighboring towns rather than trade the vehicle in for pennies on the dollar. They’ll just buy an Aptera and use it to go most places and most times even if it means leaving the eighth month old with daddy.

  • Richard Palmisano

    June 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.

  • Christopher Barrett

    June 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!

  • Ray Holan

    June 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.

  • Paul Kirchner

    June 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.


    • M T

      June 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…

  • Jonah Jorgenson

    June 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:



    Four wheels

    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

    • Joshua Rosen

      June 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.

  • Nolan Parsons

    July 13, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    Would it be possible in the future to do a variation that has the tandem 1 front seat/ 1 back seat configuration? I’m not sure how it would impact the aerodynamics but it would at least be narrower as result, a plus for those of us that are a little hesitant about the width of the aptera and don’t necessarily need much in terms of trunk space.

  • Curtis Cibinel

    July 13, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    The result of this would be a narrower vehicle with worse handling and less storage. It would be an entirely different vehicle and I see little reason Aptera would invest designing another niche 2 seater vs making a more mass market family sedan.

  • kerbe2705

    July 13, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    @Nolan Parsons – narrower, but significantly longer…

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