Outdoor vs Garage Parking

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Outdoor vs Garage Parking

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Outdoor vs Garage Parking

  • Outdoor vs Garage Parking

     Jon Arryn updated 5 months ago 13 Members · 17 Posts
  • Ted G

    January 27, 2022 at 11:20 am

    I’m assuming the car is intended to be parked outside to get the full benefit of the solar charging. But storing a car outside is terrible for its lifespan due to the wide range of temperature fluctuations, humidity changes, and sun damage to the paint and interior. Large temperature changes are especially bad for batteries. If the car is supposed to be stored outside, does anyone know if there’s been any special consideration to preventing the extra wear and tear that would result from this?

  • Len Nowak Nowak

    January 27, 2022 at 12:13 pm


    Some regions will not benefit from the solar if they are in low number Solar Zone, so for them… not much of an issue

    But I understand your question now….as I live in a solar 8 zone.

    So VEHICLE CARE ( e.g., clean and protectant) has been my answer “so far”.

    UV inhibitors in my protectant is now important. It wasn’t so important when I lived on the east coast. I garage my vehicle at night ( no solar charging then)

    Aptera Motors websites, FAQ and the like… mentioned use of:

    UV inhibitors on some of their components.

    Solar reflective glass ( I tinted my present vehicles windows because of being in solar zone 8)

    On positive notes..

    1 The rubber tires are pretty well protectant from the sun!

    2 At a minimum, with the std solar array supplied it will also power the venting system to try to keep the interior close to the outside ambient temperature! ( I never had that option with my cars over the decades)

    I am not one to pull out and install reflective panels on the dash, even dash carpets etc…. Many here do.

    I rather stay on top of applying interior cleaner/protectant with UV inhibitor on my dash, seats, etc.

    As sEV becomes more common place, tips will too, “I suppose” But you need to be as efficient as Aptera to really benefit from solar charging

    I hope this helps a little!

  • Llewellyn Evans

    January 27, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    Park it outside when it needs a charge and inside the rest of the time.

    • John Malcom

      January 27, 2022 at 2:39 pm

      Simple, common sense answer.

    • Thomas Bushaw

      January 29, 2022 at 7:18 am

      Our domestic (rooftop) solar panels really do not generate much power unless they are in direct sunlight. I don’t know if the Aptera’s solar cells are more sensitive, but there may not be much value in parking outside overnight or in cloudy/overcast weather. Of course it is the bright sun that causes the most wear and tear… And, of course, if you live in an apartment or have to park on the street, then this whole question is kind of moot.

      • Oz (It’s Oz, just Oz)

        January 29, 2022 at 8:30 am

        Generally you’ll find that the charging rate on solar for overnight, is fairly low.

  • Scott Price

    January 27, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    Ted, since you mentioned “paint”, be aware that the current plan of record from Aptera is that the vehicles will be wrapped in vinyl instead of painted. Vinyl wraps generally have less longevity than paint in the sun. In my opinion, they are a contradictory choice for a cross-generational solar car. Nonetheless, the Aptera is fortunately otherwise a terrific vehicle, so this is just a consideration in answering your question. There is a good forum discussion with both facts & opinions on pros & cons of vinyl wraps & paint at https://aptera.us/community/discussion/is-wrapping-a-viable-option/, if interested to learn more over there about this aspect of your question.

    Is wrapping a viable option?

    • John Malcom

      January 29, 2022 at 11:30 am

      Scott and Ted. The wrap issue has generated quite a lot of discussion. Scott has related only one side of the story.

      Since this issue is of such great interest, I asked Aptera about it. Here are the main points of their repose. I am sure it will be shared in more detail in an update for everyone when there is something substantive to report.

      – Aptera is still researching the best way to finish the exterior

      – A final decision has not been made and will not be until all of the research, engineering evaluations and perhaps some testing if required is complete.

      – The current approach is to wrap Apteras

      – If the final decision is to wrap, the wrap will not be a product on the current market so the research Scott and others have done on durability will not be applicable to what is used on Apterae

      – Wrap, if used, will be a special product manufactured especially for Aptera

      Fiat will market an EV in the European market that will be wrapped. Apparently their extensive market research does not indicate a negative market reaction to Wraps. However, we can watch Fiat and get an idea of how wraps are received in an auto market place to level set our expectations.

      Aptera engineers have done some amazing things. I am confident they will continue that performance with determining the best exterior finish for Apterae. We should not be saying “The sky is falling” for Aptera because they have indicated that they will wrap their vehicles.

      But of course, all are free to expresses their opinions and if really opposed to wrap for the exterior finish, can purchase a different vehicle that is painted

      • Scott Price

        January 29, 2022 at 12:22 pm

        Very glad to hear that there is potentially something better than current wraps, John. I am especially glad to hear that a final decision has not officially been made, giving some hope even if it is just TBD. 🙂

        I am a bit skeptical that a wrap manufacturer would make something with some sort of extra special goodness just for small volume Aptera that they do not offer to the much higher volume general after-market, though great if that is the case. Also, something completely new presumably does not have a reliable real world track record. Understood that the entire Aptera model is new, though the vehicle’s primary efficiency and design advantages are independent of the way its exterior is protected and aesthetically maintained. As discussed in the other thread, this is not a contentious issue for essentially all other vehicle manufacturers of any volume significance throughout the world.

        Nonetheless, I of course remain quite interested in (and want) a solution better than paint, though none have yet been revealed. The wrap’s only tangible advantage so far appears to be that it makes manufacturing easier behind the scenes (and assuming paint is not outsourced), which reduces that portion of the final upfront cost (not lifecycle cost). So far, it appears to be cheaper and you get what you pay for.

        This remains an open issue until it gets properly resolved. Otherwise, potential customers will just have to accept/reject that they may buy something with an exterior surface coating that will have lower longevity and higher owner/vehicle lifecycle cost than the paint that nearly every other vehicle manufacturer offers elsewhere. Looking forward to more specifics than “we’re working on something” and eager to hear in non-marketing-fluff terms how this concern (which is clearly shared by others) will be addressed. I remain hopeful.

        Thank you for sharing your update.

        • John Malcom

          January 29, 2022 at 4:46 pm

          All is speculation at this point since none of us are experts on vehicle finishing, current R&D in that field, the factors and their respective weights Aptera uses to develop their final solution or the market response if wrapping turns out to be the answer. My speculation on the latter is Aptera’s amazing feature set will out way any concerns about a wrap finish for all but a relatively few potential buyers.

          Other than our opinions, there is just no valid or reliable data to show a significant trend either way.

  • Steven G. Bueche

    January 29, 2022 at 3:37 am

    I recently had a paint protection wrap put on the front of my model 3. It covers everything from the wind shield forward to include the mirrors. I asked the owner of the shop what was the best way to keep it in good shape. He said, keep it out of the hottest summer days heat (shade it) and to put a ceramic coating on it. He uses GTechniq on all his wraps. Even then he recommends reapplying it every 6 months and keeping it clean. Hand wash with gentle applications of soap and rubbing.

    I’ll leave mine in the sun to charge and build a shelter for the hottest days as half my garage is for wood working. You can get a good canvas carport from Harbor Freight for a few bucks. I’m not overly concerned about it as most of the surface is below the midline of the car.


    He did say that you want to remove the wrap if it starts fading bad and before you get to the Peeling Stage as it can be a bear to remove to far into that stage. For me, I’ll most likely paint it after the wrap needs replacement. Wrap are too expensive for my taste. With $500 I painted my 96 Cherokee Country in the garage over this past winter. That beats the $1,000-$2,500 for a wrap.

    • kerbe2705

      January 29, 2022 at 4:37 pm

      I’ve read that painting fiberglass cars can be expensive because they require so much additional prep. One source quoted prices of twice what it would cost to paint a metal car of the same size.

      • Steven G. Bueche

        January 30, 2022 at 5:13 am

        I’m sure with a little research you or I could paint it ourselves and save a few bucks. Plus we’d have a skill we could pass down to the children or Grandkids. I’ve found over the years paints have come a long way to where the old and completely pain in the butt methods are gone and this task is not beyond you or I.

        Where’s your sense or adventure? I know you have it or you wouldn’t be buying this car or on this forum.

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    January 29, 2022 at 2:20 pm

    I tried to read through some articles on charging with artificial lights

    You would need about 2000watts of xenon arc lights to charge 200watts of solar batteries.

    I would imagine you could hear your electric meter spinning with that much wattage going in your garage.

    It would probably be best to just plug it in.

    Or install a skylight over your aptera

    • Alain Chuzel

      January 30, 2022 at 4:50 am

      I’m not sure what “…charge 200watts of solar batteries.” means but your overall point is valid. Many moons ago I built a small “solar cell tester” to test and sort thousands of nominally 30 cm^2 triple junction GaAs-based (nominally 1 watt each) ( like these: http://www.azurspace.com/images/pdfs/0003568-02-00_DB_3T34C.pdf ) solar cells. It took 4 tightly packed nominally 50 watt “daylight” halogen bulbs at a distance of about 8 to 10 inches to uniformly illuminate the cell at approximately “1 sun”. Four x 50 watts = 200 watts to deliver 1 watt isn’t exactly an efficient ratio! Of course these days one can likely do something similar with appropriate high intensity LEDs but I’d bet it’s still quite “energy intensive”….

  • Jesse Spears

    January 31, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    Mine will be garaged 100% while it’s at home.

    Solar charging will only happen while on trips (long or short).

    I have a 2018 Leaf now, and I go weeks (months?) without plugging it in (because I just don’t drive that much anymore).

  • Jon Arryn

    February 1, 2022 at 7:41 am

    I’m in the desert southwest. For me, given vinyl wraps, solar charging is ironically not a great feature for daily use. With the ability for 110 charging, I’ll most likely just charge in the garage, supplemented primarily with home roof solar. I retired early with the Great Resignation, and don’t drive that much as it is. In fact, I’ve been vehicle-less the past couple of years, but looking to get on the open road, away from the desert, for travel eventually.

    Perhaps a good product designer can fabricate a UV-reflecting car cover that shields the body from Mr. Sun, but leaves the solar cells open. Might offset some damage direct sunlight does to vinyl in the unforgiving desert.

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