- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 10:37 am
Would it make sense to all a Basic flat screen TV and anchor it to the interior back window on the builds what are 100% covered with solar?
Imagine: a lot of people wanting the Daily 40 Miles free option… they order it and as soon as they reverse they look at a black wall (as they twist their body and use their right arm to hold them steady.)
But none of them even thought about not being able to see out the (non-)window!
Have 3 cameras in the back. Right angled, center, Left angled …. stitch and display the images to create a 225 degree viewing angle in addition to both rear view “mirror” simultaneously on each side of the bumper camera footages
Automatically activate (display) when the vehicle is in neutral, park, and reverse.
I believe this should only be a default feature for vehicles with all of the back window covered by solar cells.
What do you all think?
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 10:37 am
Am I seeing this correctly- If you choose the rear panel solar option, you lose visibility from the rear of the car? Please let me know if I am misunderstanding. Thank you.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 10:45 am
As far as I know, that’s correct. However, the ‘rear view mirror’ is actually a camera view of what’s behind you.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 11:04 am
Thanks…I’m not sure if I’m going to go forward with the full solar panel on the back of mine or not, at this point. Got a little time to think about it though.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 7:59 pm
If you’d like to see a “rear camera mirror” IRL, here’s a list of the Chevy models in which it’s included: If you’re in North America there’s probably a Chevy dealer nearby! https://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/general-motors-technology/gm-safety-technology/gm-active-safety-technology/gm-rear-camera-mirror/
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 10:46 am
Indeed, with rear solar, the rear window is obscured. the vehicle is planned with a rear view camera, IIRC for all variations, I’m not sure I recall if they plan a standard interior mirror at all
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 11:05 am
Thanks, Dennis…what are your thoughts on not having a rear window?
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 11:20 am
I’m in for a Paradigm Plus which has the full solar. I’ve had several vehicles with back up cameras. Some were so so. My current 2016 MPV camera and display are amazing, and I can see better with it when reversing than I can by looking back physically, where the pillars block portions of the view. I expect Aptera to be using top quality items, so I’m not worried at this time. I would hope that no one would make a final decision on a purchase without actually sitting in and test driving one, because you never really know it it’s right for you until you’ve done that. (I mean you can have a fairly good idea, but as they say, “The proof is in the pudding.”) Additionally it has been mentioned that with the aerodynamic shape of the vehicle, during poor weather, you would likely not have a problem with lens blockage. (Something that will come out with the testing.)
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 2:46 pm
I’ll chime in with my two bits as well. I’ve ordered full solar. I initially had the same qualms, but then had two thoughts that convinced me to do it. I’d like whatever I have in the back to not be visible, and not having glass there will help to keep the interior cooler. Done deal for me.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 3:45 pm
Both good points. There is some uncertainty as to whether the solar will be placed directly on the glass, or if a lighter stronger material will replace that.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 7:55 pm
No uncertainty about it – in one of the webinars they stated that the rear hatch solar cells would be mounted beneath the glass: The same hatch would be used for all models.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 8:37 pm
Thank you Ryan, I stand corrected. (I will still wait for them to get to the Gamma models before I’m sure of how anything will be finalized though.)
- MemberJanuary 16, 2022 at 1:02 pm
If the rear hatch solar cells are, indeed, mounted beneath the glass, it will be interesting to see what is added behind the cells. Whatever it is, perhaps obviously, it needs to provide for enough electrical “isolation” and physical protection. That could be tough to do while keeping the weight down.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 11:18 am
The Aptera setup includes at least three rear-view cameras and at least one forward view camera for the level 2 autonomous operation.
Personally, the majority of the time I’m fast enough on my takeoff from a stoplight that there is plenty of room to change lanes as the next fastest car is far behind. And at present I’m driving Spark EV which featured the top acceleration among the compliance cars.
The Aptera is a supercar by comparison and I expect it will be easier to set the pace on any bit of highway.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 12:55 pm
I too am concerned about this visibility issue and will not make any decision on this until I have put my butt in the seat of both with and without full solar. I have mentioned before that if they would install a port for alternative charging in or near the rear deck then I would prefer to see out the back and have a small roll-up solar panel sitting on the deck. There are other things I have not made up my mind about too. I will delay many decisions until we have more answers and can view all models in person.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 2:02 pm
I have driven commercial vehicles, campers, and conversion vans with no direct visibility out the back without any problem for decades. These vehicles also did no have the tech available with the Aptera for visibility around and behind the vehicle. Only my opinion of course, but what is provided with the Aptera is an order of magnitude safer and more convenient than legacy approaches to viewing behind the vehicle. Remember, the Federal Government now requires backup cameras on all new vehicles because of the improved safety they provide.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 6:28 pm
To John Malcom
For me it is not so much a safety issue, just personal preference. I totally trust the mirrors and want them, but I also like seeing outside and letting the sun shine in (when it isn’t 100 degrees). I drove a VW camper and the visibility out the back was nil. Didn’t feel unsafe just a little claustrophobic. By the same token I kind of like the idea that with full solar people can’t see what I am hauling around as easily, so I just don’t know which way I might go.
- MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 9:05 pm
The solar over the rear glass looks much better. That is a huge piece of glass that looks a bit weird with nothing on it. Visibility should be better with cameras, it’s a more direct view behind the car. With mirrors your view is from a further distance, plus with a wide angle lens you get a broad unobstructed viewing angle. Add on to that the 2 side view cameras. Then the increased privacy and additional miles a day of charge. Full solar please!
- MemberAugust 13, 2021 at 12:14 pm
I’m all for the full solar. My wife gets claustrophobic. Also our current vehicle has a pretty massive sunroof. The light gives a wonderful, airy, spacious feel. So we will wait and sit inside to decide. Either way, giddy with anticipation.
- MemberAugust 16, 2021 at 1:03 am
Got your ‘giddy’ about the Aptera. I didn’t choose the solar option because I’ve got a L2 EVSE on the old pump house. Got some canopy carports, not because I’m trying to protect the cars, I just don’t like getting in and out of a car in the rain.
- MemberAugust 13, 2021 at 11:38 pm
I suggest clicking on “Reserve Now” at the top of the page as if you are going to reserve a vehicle and look at the solar cell options. The rear hatch solar cell lay out appears to be much larger than the window. I was always under the impression the rear hatch would be solid composite and no glass would be present. Neither the Noir nor Sol have solar hatch option. Perhaps the Luna model will have the hatch solar option and we can see an example.
Also, the solar cell chevrons on the tail are shown as being part of the solar hatch option. However the Sol model they have built has these chevrons although it does not have the solar hatch option.
- MemberJanuary 6, 2022 at 11:12 pm
“Neither the Noir nor Sol have solar hatch option.” Wrong Pistonboy Delux. Full solar is available on all models. I reserved a Noir and I have full solar.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2022 at 12:29 am
Yes. You are correct. I wrote my response incorrectly. I meant only the current two current Alpha models Noir and Sol do not have the solar hatch option.
It would be good if Apter Motors had a display model incorporating this.
- MemberAugust 16, 2021 at 9:04 pm
So, I’m conflicted about having a clear hatch or a solar hatch. There are pros and cons to each. I’m interested to know what other people are planning and why.
- MemberAugust 16, 2021 at 9:36 pm
I keep my vehicles garaged when not in use so will have only basic solar – good for an extra 16 miles of range if I should happen to leave it outdoors on a sunny day.
I will most likely have an IR-reflective film applied to the hatch and the fixed upper windows in the doors. https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/d/b00016683/
- ModeratorAugust 17, 2021 at 8:34 am
I am in Solar zone 8 ( AZ ) do full solar for me! Even though I have a net + home thanks to PV solar roof panels….
Garaged at night.
The fact that the Aptera 700w Solar array will charge anytime it is under the AZ sun ( Except possibly on a rapid DC charger) ????speaks to me..
I drive a vehicle now with an obscured rear window so only use the vehicle’s side view mirrors and back up camera… So Aptera Full solar will be the same deal …except video side viewing and rear viewing. Which could ne brighter for my okd eyes
I rarely drive at night
I even avoid driving in the rain, which is mostly seasonal here.
I will add a window tint, like all our vehicles, to at least the top half of the door windows
Everyone has their own considerations
- MemberAugust 17, 2021 at 9:06 am
I am not as fortunate as Len. I live in FL in area “4” so I want the full solar to get the biggest free bang for the buck. I also want that large window space covered to reduce the IR heating of the vehicle. I could do that with film as well but it would not be as efficient nor would it do double duty (Generate charge)
I leave the cost component out in my case because of utility (For me) of the feature is VERY high. If you include cost as one of your factors, then you need to make sure the extra 900 for full soar is worth it to you (Or the lessor cost of standard + the hatch $600 – perhaps the overall best option)
On the snitty side, I currently have a Tesla Model 3 as does my neighbor. We are pretty competitive on a lot of things in fun of course. I want to be able to rub his nose in it when I don’t have to plug in to charge and he does for our daily commutes????
- MemberAugust 17, 2021 at 4:41 pm
Yes, it is an interesting trade-off, Sean. Although there are certainly benefits to getting the solar hatch (as mentioned by our fellow fans here), I am choosing the roof/dash/hood combination without the solar hatch. Reasons:
1) The car is already incredibly efficient, and getting the roof/dash/hood solar panels will still achieve a good chunk of the “trickle charge” goal.
2) I already have solar panels on my home which significantly exceed 100% of our home’s entire energy needs, with excess power generation intended to be fed to an EV.
3) I do not want to feel like I am driving a darkened coffin down the road. ????
4) I appreciate good field of view in a car. The current lateral/door windows already have unfortunate field of view blockage through the middle of the windows. Personally, I will frequently do a quick reality check head turn to see behind me in my current cars that have backup cameras, in addition to using the cameras (and their specific usage being situation dependent). Direct view is easy, reliable, adaptable, and quicker than some limitations (glare on display, grime on lens covering, preset angle and perspective, etc.) of being 100% reliant upon the display and fixed optics of rear view cameras.
The solar hatch is a good option and just depends on your personal priorities. I prefer a car that optimizes for a great all around experience over just going for the highest specs / numerical results. Have fun deciding!
- MemberAugust 17, 2021 at 6:20 pm
So, I’m still trying to decide what I would prefer on the hatch, even though I reserved a car with full solar, including the hatch. The reason for the choice was that I am a violinist and almost always travel with one or more instruments that need protection from direct sun and excessive heat, The support team suggested my best option would be solar panels on the hatch to shade the interior. I would agree, but I would like to occasionally be able to view to the rear, directly. I wonder if there could be a compromise option, like only half of the hatch obscured with solar cells, but still be able to see a little out the back. I really only need to be able to keep the instrument(s) from the direct sunlight.
- MemberAugust 17, 2021 at 9:13 pm
Coyote, there was an interesting discussion in the old forum about rear louvers, which would address your scenario well. It would provide a direct rear view horizontally while providing shade vertically. The idea of putting louvers on the outside vs. the inside of the glass was discussed, in addition to the idea of putting solar panels on the louver surfaces to get the best of all worlds. However, that solution would have additional structural + wiring complexity, be more difficult to keep everything clean, and if the louvers were external to the glass they would create aerodynamic turbulence.
- MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 1:22 pm
Thanks, Scott. Some good suggestions here. Do you know if I were to opt out on the hatch solar panel if it could be added later?
- MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 1:56 pm
Hi John, anything like that is possible, though I am not aware of specific post-manufacture upgrades like that being directly announced by the Aptera team yet. For instance, there have been similar types of questions regarding the ability to later “tack on” more battery storage, etc. and the initial answers point to there being multiple considerations beyond just plug and play. I would think that perhaps the entire rear hatch could be later swapped out at X cost, or perhaps just the glass section. The bigger issue may be whether or not the wiring, connectors, and components of the charging system may also need to later be changed if the vehicle did not initially come from the factory with the solar hatch pre-installed. This is likely something that will be able to be answered by the Aptera team before you approve your order to move forward in 2022+.
- MemberAugust 25, 2021 at 11:54 pm
Those were my “interesting” ideas for the louvers, so thanks!
- MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 4:31 pm
I reserved a solar hatch in case one of us ends up with a longer daily commute, but I have concerns because I wear reading glasses: when I direct my eyes from looking forward to looking in the rear view display, I will have to focus closer. This is workable with the main display and side displays, as I wear my reading glasses low on my nose when driving, and look over the lenses when looking out the windows. However, I think I’d have to tilt my head pretty far back to glance at the rear view display. I don’t know how workable or safe this head tilting will be. I have an after-market backup camera LCD display on my current mirror, and I can’t see it without my reading glasses.
If I don’t find a good solution, I may have to forgo the solar hatch. This would be a shame. When the sun is lower, I like the idea that i can raise the rear hatch and catch more sun rays at a camp site.
- MemberAugust 25, 2021 at 3:29 am
You can reposition the rear view screen to on top of the main display. May be a bit DIY but it could satisfy all your needs.
- MemberSeptember 4, 2021 at 3:32 pm
That’s a Good idea: Aptera could a software option to mirror the rear view camera onto the top of the big center dash display. Then we can see the rear view in focus without having to touch our granny reading glasses.
- MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 12:11 am
I really want to see how the Aptera feels with the rear window blocked with the solar panels. I pre-ordered the full Never Charge solar package, but I do worry a bit that I will miss having the rear glass window view. Maybe it will be fine. Currently, I do rely mostly on my rear backup camera and side mirrors. Still, I would like the option to choose a flat solar mat in the back storage area instead of the solar covered hatchback panel. No doubt it would not be as good at producing electricity as the full solar rear hatch, but it might be good enough.
- MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 4:44 am
Great discussion here. I don’t know which way to go but I do like your solar mat idea ” Still, I would like the option to choose a flat solar mat in the back
storage area instead of the solar covered hatchback panel. No doubt it
would not be as good at producing electricity as the full solar rear
hatch, but it might be good enough.” And I think someone suggested adding a way to plug in an external solar source…. as it sits in my driveway… until I the day I eventually install home solar.
- MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 9:18 am
This is another facet of the Aptera that I am interested in learning about. If they are going to have V2G (vehicle to grid) capability, which would enable the Aptera’s battery to be able to tie into your home’s electrical system, and maybe home solar, and the grid. Vehicle to load will probably be included, which would output 110V to run lights and appliances off of the traction battery. The question is if it will handle power in and out.
- MemberAugust 25, 2021 at 1:19 am
I’m more concerned whether FMVSS federal safety standards will allow the solar hatch to block a rear view mirror see through. Can you buy a car/vehicle with such a blockage and also without side view mirrors? Even Tesla has complained of those side view mirrors they have to install, so how will Aptera get away from the same FMVSS requirment? Other than that, I’m for the solar hatch because it also gives the privacy as well as shade from sun. I have a hatch back and you always have to have a cover installed otherwise thieves look to see what’s in the trunk.
- ModeratorAugust 25, 2021 at 10:59 am
Aptera may want to meet the regs for marketing purposes, but, as an autocyle, they don’t have to.
- MemberAugust 25, 2021 at 12:28 pm
An auto cycle in some states all with different standards. motor cycle in all other states. Again with many different standards. None of which apply to a “Hatch” or V to anything. Aptera has not committed to V2G or V2H. Engineering is complete for the Beta prototype. Unless they have a surprise for us what we have seen in Apteras to date is what we will get which of course is not bad!
- MemberAugust 31, 2021 at 7:57 pm
as an autocycle, they still have to comply by fed regs NHTSA FMVSS which includes motorcyles and mirrors. https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/fmvss-quickrefguide-hs811439.pdf
Nothings changed for the past decade in regards to side mirror and rearview mirror regulations. Tesla is the most vocal about replacing side mirrors with cameras but still haven’t succeeded.
- MemberAugust 25, 2021 at 1:00 pm
I’ve decided to not get the solar back hatch for the following reasons:
- I have a nice garage, and live in country with snow on the ground for 6 months of the year.
- Visibility improves without the solar hatch. At lease I guess it would improve.
If I really want maximum solar gain in addition to my hood, roof and dash panels, I’m guessing a V2V plug would take a charge from panels mounted on a trailer, with a cost of about the same as the solar hatch. I have the perfect trailer already to haul my canoes and kayaks.
What am I missing here?
If I lived in an apartment without a garage, you bet, I’d pay for the solar hatch.
- MemberAugust 26, 2021 at 11:31 pm
I would guess building your own V2V system for charging from solar would be prohibitively expensive, at least for the foreseeable future, since it would require custom solar regulator and communication electronics to talk to the vehicle. It will probably be quite a while before anything is available off-the-shelf for consumers.
- MemberAugust 27, 2021 at 4:08 am
I park my car outside because the garage is set up as a workshop.
The car will be in full sun all day with no obstructions.
Not having a rear window scares me a little because of backing over stuff in car parks but I probably would not see much out of it anyway because I am short. I will have the solar panels and reversing camera.
- MemberAugust 28, 2021 at 9:57 pm
In my usecase I would park the Aptera in zone 1/2. So I opt for the full solar hatch to harvest as much sun as possible. Plus, my Labrador joins me most of the time and I do not know how quick the car is overheating (can not leave the dog alone in the car for a minute then) – so some shade is welcome if not provided by a blind or divider.
On the other hand I guess I will feel uncomfortable driving without a rear window. I feel like I need that daylight and rear view. It turns out that both options have disadvantages.
So, if Aptera could think of a somewhat different or additional compromise approach for the solar hatch it would be super.
Maybe solar cells could be mounted partly onto the glass, leaving four diamond shaped cells out and let the sun shine past the edges or adding a solar mat as an option.
AnonymousDeleted UserAugust 28, 2021 at 11:31 pm
I was thinking the same thing about your last comment. Why not offer a partial solar hatch option that would yield somewhere between 30 and 35 miles of charging. If they did, I think it might become the most popular charging option. Here’s hoping Aptera’s mindtrust looks at this post.
- MemberAugust 29, 2021 at 12:14 am
I suppose they have to start with some goals and design to them to get started. Later all kinds options may become available.
There are solar powered windows that may be useful as they come to market. These would give full vision AND generate power ….. but they appear to not be on the market quite yet.
- MemberSeptember 29, 2021 at 2:18 pm
I do not understand this concern: Aptera has a wide-angle camera mounted at the top of the hatch that displays on the rear-view “mirror”. Aptera also has a reversing camera mounted below the license plate that displays on the main cabin screen when reversing. In addition, Aptera has side-view cameras that display on their own screens on either side of the dashboard. It will be almost impossible for an Aptera driver to encounter a “blind spot” when reversing.
Ever since May 1, 2018, rear-view cameras that display on a dashboard screen while reversing have been mandated by law in all US passenger vehicles. Most drivers have learned to use this system in lieu of craning their necks around to try to see behind their vehicles. Even my late father became adept at using this system at age 87 – and he learned to drive in a Ford Model T!
- MemberSeptember 29, 2021 at 2:57 pm
I will admit that I had the very same concern when I first saw the full solar package, and the totally obscured rear window. I had suggested that they just put a big flat solar panel on the floor in the back and it would work through the back glass like the dashboard solar panels do up front now.
But after thinking about it, in my current Cadillac PHEV I realized that I no longer look over my shoulder out the back window when I back up now. Between the backup camera, proximity sensors, side entry warnings, and video overlays, it’s pretty convenient, and I feel comfortable relying on the backup screen and monitoring software.
- MemberSeptember 29, 2021 at 7:23 pm
Kenneth’s 87 year old father was comfortable. We can be as well. I am about 10 years behind him. I drive a Tesla Model3 equipped in a similar manner. I quickly adjusted and find it safer with all of the views. I do not look out the back window at all. I have driven commercial vehicles with no views out the back, just those big old mirrors extending on the sides up front. Did OK with that low tech as well
I believe once you have experienced driving with the Aptera design you will wonder how you got along without it.
- MemberSeptember 29, 2021 at 10:12 pm
Same here, John. I’m very dependent on the backup display. Yesterday, I was about to back out of a parking spot but the reverse display was blank which unnerved me a bit. I shifted between park and reverse a couple of times but the screen remained blank so I just shut the car down. On restart, it worked but I don’t think I can attribute that to crossing my fingers or my recitation of many expletives.
- MemberSeptember 29, 2021 at 11:06 pm
To be fair, Dad was most concerned about not remembering that the headlight control was on a stalk and not on the dashboard – even though he NEVER drove after dark or in inclement weather when headlights would be needed… ????
- MemberSeptember 30, 2021 at 12:09 pm
I agree. When I drive my wife’s Nissan Rogue I immediately miss having the backup camera, and especially the side mirror, with blind spot sensors. I have totally gotten used to the modern safety net of all of those cameras and sensors.
- MemberOctober 1, 2021 at 11:57 am
the main thing I’m focusing on is the Scope or lack there of visuals.
have your kid or wife walk really slow from 5 foot out parallel and next to the bumper.. tell the person to stop as soon as you see the persons chest, hip, or leg.
Then get out and see for yourself. if you had reversed … you would have hit the person…
The jerk speeding in the parking lot looking for a quick insurance check.
Those are the problems I’m trying to solve. I don’t care about normal no kid/jerk car/non-emergency reverses. I care about safety. If Aptera adopts what I’m proposing. Aptera will have the best reversing tech on the market. (A fantastic selling point.)
- MemberOctober 1, 2021 at 12:58 pm
Based on the tech in my 5 year old Mazda, the back up camera and blind spot monitor do a better job in the described situations (And many others.) than you or I could ever do.
- MemberJanuary 6, 2022 at 11:34 pm
I will be ordering full solar First, for the extra charging and second,to hide the interior a bit. If you don’t see it you won’t steal it. I’m sure the cameras will provide good visibility.