Rushing to market

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Rushing to market

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Rushing to market

  • Rushing to market

     Dan Kerpe updated 10 minutes ago 26 Members · 36 Posts
  • Jon Arryn

    Member
    June 17, 2022 at 7:13 am

    IMHO, it really seems they are rushing to market with a vehicle that’s not fully vetted out and certainly not real-world tested (sure, some desert track testing has been done, but that’s just one environment and wasn’t a production-intent model). Test benches and computer simulations are fine, but no substitute for real-world testing of a production-intent vehicle of all components in a variety of environments/seasons. Going to production this fall, less than six months, yet no crash testing, no production solar testing, divisive interior, exterior finish options (f’ the wrap!)… Remember, they expected to have production last fall. It’s still baking and not ready. Given the current market conditions, the IPO is probably going to underperform. I want them to exceed and be successful, but with a fully vetted product.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    June 17, 2022 at 7:32 am

    It sounds like the first cars shipped won’t be feature complete, they will effectively be public betas. I’m OK with that as long as the people receiving them understand that they are beta testers and they set their expectations accordingly. Real production won’t happen until some time next year, hopefully by this time in 2023.

    As for an IPO, I doubt that there will be very many if any IPOs in the next year. We’ve entered a bear market, not a good time to take a company public. On top of that the bloom is off the EV rose. Rivian and Lucid stocks have tanked and those are both companies with real products and cash in the bank, not frauds like Nikola and Lordstown.

    • Gabriel Kemeny

      Moderator
      June 17, 2022 at 7:54 am

      While the Nikola SUV was a fraud, the company is delivering their Tre trucks to customers, unlike the Tesla semi. Not quite sure where the Lordstown fraud is/was – they seem to still be on track to start delivering the Endurance in the fall.

    • Jon Arryn

      Member
      June 17, 2022 at 7:57 am

      Living in AZ, home of Lucid, Nikola and ElectraMeccanica manufacturing, I respectfully disagree about Nikola. They are producing production trucks since March. They are supply-chain constrained as far as volume, but they are making Class 8 BEV Nikola Tre trucks. Lordstown Endurance hasn’t made one production vehicle yet; hopefully w/ FoxConn the new factory owner. If not the Endurance, hopefully the Fisker PEAR will be rolling out of Lordstown, OH in 2024…

  • Paul Kirchner

    Member
    June 17, 2022 at 8:34 am

    Could just come to the amount of money Aptera has to work with as to when they feel they need to start putting out product.

    I for one think that they will be rapidly refining things in real time each time they build out their first vehicles.

    • Philip Sandiford

      Member
      June 17, 2022 at 7:45 pm

      “Capital burn” is a force that likely keeps these people up at night.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    June 17, 2022 at 9:48 am

    I’m happy with where Aptera is at this point – They’re more well baked than Vanderhall or the Polaris Slingshot. They gotta stand on their own feet and they are taking the simple and quick route with an autocycle.

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    June 17, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    @Jon Arryn Considering Aptera’s quick pace so far, what makes you assume that they WON’T be able to accomplish real-world testing on pre-production vehicles in the timeframe they’ve set for themselves?

    Remember, too, that the design choices they make aren’t “divisive” internally: They are creating the vehicle they want to create and those consumers who accept their engineering and aesthetic sensibilities will become Aptera drivers. After all, there are probably as many people who find Tesla vehicles to be unattractive as there are those who find them beautiful-beyond-words.

    Like the Tesla Model 3 launch, the first Aptera vehicles will probably go to Aptera employees and others closely related to the company: As friend @Joshua Rosen calls them, “beta testers”… If a functional, rolling Gamma prototype will be ready by the end of July as we’ve been told, I think they might just be able to hit their goals.

    • Dan Kerpe

      Member
      June 17, 2022 at 3:51 pm

      Please don’t misunderstand this as naysaying, I’m a happy deposit holder who will understand. I give them virtually no chance of any meaningful production on their current projected timeline. I design assembly lines for a living for a rather large company with far greater resources. We wouldn’t try to hit those timelines. That has nothing to do with any actual engineering of the Aptera product. It is the ultimate case of kitten herding to get an assembly line that size off the ground. Using AGC’s was a smart choice because it saves a lot of time, but also brings its own headaches. (We have just over 190 of them in use at my location). However, they’re maintenance intensive and bring their own headaches. They are pretty much industry standard for new lines though. To put things in perspective, to hit timelines, the assembly line for our newest “engine” has already been built and is being debugged while the design guys are still in what Aptera calls the Gamma phase. We’re usually ready to go around the same time the product is. Very understandably, the Aptera folks have a lot on their plate. I’m expecting delays, but I’m ok with that.

    • Jon Arryn

      Member
      June 18, 2022 at 9:51 am

      What quick pace? It was June 2021 when they indicated 6-12 Betas to be built last summer and production to begin in the Fall of 2021. Regardless of supply issues, it’s currently a vehicle that’s clearly not yet ready for prime time. At this point in development, we should see thousands of miles of production-intent testing in a multitude of environments, i.e. extreme heat, cold, interior/exterior components, crash, etc… Instead, we get a video of a test bench and some video of an ill-conceived bungee cup holder mechanism. C’mon man! Progress, yes, but they are testing in an air-conditioned environment, no extremes. I’ve fried a few Raspberry Pi boards used for outdoor weather monitoring. Honestly, they don’t look much different.

      Being in Phoenix, I want to see those boards tested after being subjected to 160+ degrees for an extended amount of time. Direct sunlight is a lot hotter than taking a temperature in the shade. Just last week, I used a thermal gun pointed at the pavement, 158 degrees, in the shade, 110. Take that belly pan!

      The IPO in the current environment is not going to happen and/or be a bust. They are quickly entering the Lordstown phase. I offered my Phoenix backyard to let an Aptera-wrapped shell to sit in a Phoenix summer to prove/disprove the direction of vinyl wrap. I heard nothing. It’s doo-doo and they know it.

    • Jon Arryn

      Member
      June 22, 2022 at 10:10 am

      They should have already logged thousands of miles of production-intent vehicles in a myriad of environments- Hot as hell Phoenix, Michigan ice, muggy Florida, etc… Not just vehicle handling dynamics, but all aspects; including HVAC, Electronics, Finish (please ditch that wrap idea, I don’t need a vehicle that molts after two years…), multiple iterations of crash testing. They’ve only tested an open-air vehicle in the mild desert. That’s just a few. Doesn’t seem to be any margin for error, allowance for re-engineering for a production vehicle five months from now. I’m not convinced, delivering a few vehicles in the awesome San Diego climate environment is a comprehensive test.

      As far as the “divisive” interior, I’m basing it is based on community comments. Personally, I’m okay with it (other than the bungee cord beverage holder). I don’t like the yoke, but considering the camera monitor placement, I’d rather have an unobstructed, straight-on-view of the monitors. I’ll just have to resist the urge to pull-up and climb!

  • John Trotter

    Moderator
    June 18, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    I would avoid buying the first 1% of ANY tech-heavy product. Bleeding-edge and all that. Others may be perfectly happy, as were most of the original Tesla Roadster buyers. (Watch the recent Elon Musk interview to understand how un-finished THAT design was at launch!) So, I will pass on any three-digit VIN, but hope for #1000.

  • David Linton

    Member
    June 20, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    Expect employees will get models first to test drive. Stated in the webinar last week that they will be going to local So. CA customers first so they can work out any bugs quickly with the first few that come off the line. They will have service people ready to go when they start coming off the line. Then expand out from So. CA after kinks are worked out. The 2-wheel drive will be first. Then the 3-wheel drive. I got the 3-wheel drive, so expecting most of the kinks will be worked out. Remember Jon, the glass is half-full! Even better what because of what is in the glass!

  • David Sowa

    Member
    September 24, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    I’m coming up on a year for my reservation and I’m still very excited about the Aptera and its place in the future of driving. The thing that concerns me the most about the development process is the lack of real on-road testing. Clearly Aptera doesn’t tell us everything going on behind the scenes but as far as I can tell there have been the 3 alpha vehicles, 1 or 2 beta vehicles that weren’t even full prototypes just test mules for specific subsystems, and now there is 1 gamma vehicle. There needs to be 1000’s of hours of real on-road testing which is going to require 10+ gamma vehicles. Testers need to have these cars out and about on the daily commute, going to hardware store, driving in the rain and snow, getting the groceries. We all have opinions on using the yoke but real testing will tell if it is going to work long term. I hope that there is bunch of stuff going on that I don’t know about yet.

    I suppose the good thing is my Aptera wont arrive until 1000’s of others have been on the road for a while.

  • Vernon Sinnott

    Member
    September 24, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    I hope to see real world testing in winter conditions. I want to know if front wheel drive will cut it.

  • Dennis Swaney

    Member
    September 24, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    Maybe the pre-production Delta model(s) will be used for real world testing to include climate, crash, etc.

  • Kevin Bradbury

    Member
    September 24, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    I hope to see an Aptera Owners Club or Transport Evolved drive/ride video in Gamma someday soon.

  • Paul Kirchner

    Member
    September 24, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    I’ve been backpacking in the Sierra now going on near 50 years. And all of it originating out of the East Side (the absolute best side!) and I can’t count how many times I’ve seen manufacturers and their test mules driving out of Bishop on their way to do desert testing.

    I just don’t think Aptera has the giddy up for such million mile testing. Yes, it would be nice but it’s a pipe dream unless you want to wait another three years and 100 million dollars.

  • Paul Kirchner

    Member
    September 24, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    By the way, watch this AOC interview with Sandy Munro on how much it costs to bring a “normal” car to market. He says 5 Billion dollars to bring to market. Let that sink in.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycacot3bJOU

    • Danny Mattijetz

      Member
      September 24, 2022 at 9:15 pm

      18 months to 2 years? 1.5 to 2 YEARS? I don’t think I would like that very much.

      • Russell Fauver

        Member
        September 26, 2022 at 10:17 am

        Yep, I don’t like it either. But Sandy knows what it takes to bring a vehicle to market. He’s worked in the industry for a lot of years. And he doesn’t pull any punches. So, summer 2024 for solid production. Maybe we’ll get some hand built ones before that?

        • BigSky Country

          Member
          September 27, 2022 at 9:13 am

          Agree. I think Sandy is much more realistic. To be concerned about the lack of testing assumes they actually deliver the timing this year, which they won’t. That testing will be done (it has to get done), but don’t think the first cars are coming out this year. That’s the assumption that is the issue.

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    Member
    September 27, 2022 at 1:38 am

    I’ll just putting my overtime money in investments until ( if ) the aptera ever becomes available. Then I’ll either pay cash for it or out a good chunk down. I suggest everyone who has ordered one do the same, the longer they delay the more money you can save toward it.

    Other than that. Yea I said the same thing about crash testing and a massive redesign when it fails miserably , and I was told. Computer models and simulations will be just fine.

    I’m still keeping my awd ice car for bad weather. As I don’t want to risk getting my aptera damaged , repairs will not come cheap on a pure composite body, with all the battery and solar panels. Not to mention the wrap.

  • Michael Jordan

    Member
    September 28, 2022 at 11:40 am

    It does take a long time to bring a conventional car to market. However, remember the Viper project. A brand new car; new chassis, new engine, new transmission, new interior, to be developed and brought to market by about 80 people in 2 years for $70 million. That was the point of the Viper, not a car, but a car development experiment.

  • John Dowell

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Aptera, start building the Apterae now. The first ones don’t have to be perfect. You can exchange the first Apterae sold to customers with the more perfected designed ones later. Customers want to buy them now. Hand build them, whatever to get them to your customers. Aptera won’t have to put a penny into marketing. Once Aptera starts getting them on the street, the billionaires will see them and the country will go wild. Will be so much free advertising. Even if and when you have recalls, the news will be everywhere. It woll get everyone talking about the Aptera and people will reserve them like crazy. Aptera is putting too much money into building each one, that will defeat the whole purpose of saving money on gas. It’s almost as if someone in the company is dragging out the production and pumping up the entire cost of production to Aptera’s breaking point on purpose. Maybe it’s Sandy Munro. $500 million was way more than enough to produce 1,000s of Apterae already. Pay for anything else you need for production with money coming in from the sales of the Apterae. You all are thinking Tesla instead of Henry Ford.

    Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      November 28, 2022 at 1:41 pm

      Aptara would like to do as you suggest, get the vehicles out to customers. They just don’t have the captial to go to production. The delay is not to perfect the vehicle. The final design will be completed by the end of this year.

      They can not sell any version of the vehicle until certification testing is complete to include crash testing. The Deltas that qualify for crash testing must be fully production parts and assembled using the production process.

      Aptera has said that production is capital dependent. When they have sufficient capital to go to production it will be 7-9 months before production vehilces are avaialble to ship. There really are no short cuts they can take.

      • Dennis Swaney

        Member
        November 28, 2022 at 3:46 pm

        If they would just quit trying for perfection before release, they could start assembly and sales of at least the first 1,000 pre-orders. Even if they were all just the basic model, Aptera would gain around $30,000,000.00

        • Jonah Jorgenson

          Member
          November 28, 2022 at 4:03 pm

          Dennis, what don’t you understand about not striving for perfection. The design is finished. There is no more designing anything. The only changes now will be those needed to fix defects from testing, especially safety testing and any clean up of the supply chain for spec’d parts that need to be replaced with a different vendor due to pricing or delivery schedule. If anything, the vehicle is less than orgiginally invisioned as some planned features will not be included in the initial production run. So, far from perfect, but good enough infact great!

          There is no assembly equipoment in the main assembly building. They need capital which they don’t have to buy assembly equipment, install it, and to hire and train assembly staff. The only manufacturing equipment is in the solar manufacturing facility.

          • This reply was modified 20 hours, 42 minutes ago by  Jonah Jorgenson. Reason: corrected spelling
    • Christopher Barrett

      Member
      November 29, 2022 at 7:38 am

      Thus far, Aptera has seeming done the impossible as far as getting to the Gamma phase, on the cusp of Delta. On what, about 60 million dollars? The 500 million or billion Sandy was speaking about might have been to be able to assemble these Apterae in several other locations, not just Carlsbad. What agreements which have been made with various suppliers, and how willing they are to give 60/90 days for turnaround in funds, maybe a lot less money. We know the design is basically done, CPC is making the carbon fiber, and who pays for the molds, is a question. Smart negotiation of the contract with them might have included molds get paid off over the first 35,000 built. Maxeon want to see this on the road, and probably so does CPC. As does Elaphe, so suppliers have some “skin” in this game too. The Department of Energy loan program might give them a fair slug of funds, and not dilute equity, however debt is slippery for the profit margin. Debt paid off with the first 25,000 or so built, makes sense. Then the IPO could come almost debt free, or maybe completely debt free. The equity market will fund this company, as they hit too many high notes. Greenies love it, techy will fall all over themselves. And stockbrokers will enjoy telling this to clients, as it is a story stock. I think it will be a huge success and am anxious as all to get my hands on my own Aptera. Sandy is a guide, but the financial side not as transparent, we can only speculate. As we await our Aptera, we need patience, we need to keep the chatter up to attract those dollars needed. It will happen!

  • David Marlow

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Just because that they are planing for production dose’nt mean thay are rushing to production. They are also planing for testing and that is what the Delta’s will be about.

    While perception of rushing to production in some eyes, it is actualy being restrained by lack of funds to tool up for that.

    I think with their testing, they will find problems that will unfoturnatly delay production.

    The delays we have seen are a result of management decisions to make the Aptera the best they can. Allwhile being under a lot of pressure to get it in production ASAP.

  • John Voules

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    I know that APTERA is waiting for investment money to purchase some of their equipment including robotic arms and what ever is needed for their production. If they do get their funding, doesn’t their equipment specific to their needs take time to manufacture? Or is this equipment off the shelf? I can’t imagine that when the funds do appear that they will get their specialized gear anytime soon.

    • George Hughes

      Member
      November 28, 2022 at 6:09 pm

      It get from their comments that we should expect a six to nine month ramp to full production. Consider it like an existing company going out and building a new factory at the moment they’ve got funding.

      Indeed, the plan in hand by definition anticipates all sorts of issues but among the issues they won’t have to confront – assuming the did due diligence on the leased buildings and they’re move in ready. (They may be making alterations to the facilities as we speak in preparation.)

      One of the key advantages of Aptera’s production plan of mini-assembly plants is they can be replicated QUICKLY.

      One of the points made was that the expense of the new plant was robotics. These things are programmable and my gut is that Monro and Associates production plans really are a work of engineering art.

      I mean we’re all gaga at the swoopy lines and ultra-efficiency of the ‘product’ but the ‘machine’ that makes these seems rather extraordinary in the literal depth of thought into simplification of processes to insure quality with the greatest potential for profit.

      Finally, raising the launch money was probably expected to happen in the post Fully Charged show period. As we all know, concerns about the market were particularly hyped by the election and money dried up. The next likely window will be in January.

      Patience; enjoy your family these holidays.

      • Dan Kerpe

        Member
        November 29, 2022 at 12:37 pm

        In response to the question about how long it takes to buy and commission the robotic portion of the assembly line, at least a year for something of this scope. That’s actually exactly what I do for a living.

  • Bryan Hendricks

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    I wish I had reserved an Aptera early enough to worry about the Aptera rushing to market. Up to 15,000 people might have an opportunity to test it before I have a chance. If anybody is legitimately worried about receiving their Aptera too early, I would be happy to “sacrifice” and swap places in the queue. 😉

  • Patrick Liebknecht

    Member
    November 29, 2022 at 1:16 am

    Rush to market ? What’s going to be 5 years before the first “beta” is delivered ?

    The 30000 preorders will dwindle to 15000 and probably closer to 7500 by the time they rush to market.

    • Dennis Swaney

      Member
      November 29, 2022 at 7:09 am

      Ah, the Betas were “delivered” back in February 2022, the Gamma in September 2022, and the Delta hopefully by/in January 2023. Did you mean your 5 year timeframe started in 2017?

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