Share your Aptera StoryPosted by Sarah on August 9, 2021 at 7:55 pm
Hi! I’m Sarah Hardwick, Aptera’s Chief Marketing Officer. My job is to keep our fans and customers updated on the progress Aptera is making towards creating the most efficient vehicle on the planet. One thing that makes our community so special is that we all have a story about why we believe in Aptera. I wanted to introduce myself, and start this thread to paint a picture of what’s possible and how we can all play a part in a more sustainable future.
So here’s my story. What’s yours?
I founded a marketing agency called Zenzi in 2002. I’ve seen a lot of startups come and go, but never anything like Aptera. Back in 2008, I met Chris and Steve a few years after starting my company. Immediately, I was swept away by the spirit and the vision of what they were trying to accomplish. It was a huge dream but it was incredibly inspiring and I supported it wholeheartedly.
I am proud to say my team did some of our finest work for Aptera during that time, from landing our unique vehicle on the cover of Popular Mechanics, Star Trek The Movie, Jay Leno and countless other high profile media outlets.
Like many others, I was disappointed when events didn’t unfold as we had expected, but I never forgot about Aptera. I always saw the potential and felt there was something unresolved, some spark of magic that had yet to come to life.
When COVID hit in early 2020, I lost 75% of clients at Zenzi in one week. A few days later, I got a call from Steve Fambro. He and Chris had re-started Aptera, and they were inviting me to come back to build upon what had been imagined a decade ago.
Upon rejoining, I realized without a doubt that all our work from the past wasn’t lost, the foundation is still as strong as ever and the critical elements are all present. The one difference? Now, the timing is right and the world is finally ready for Aptera.
Although my story with Aptera started in 2008, I have a feeling it’s only just beginning. I hope you’ll all be a part of it! I look forward to hearing about your stories and how Aptera will impact your life in the comments below.
Thanks for all your suggestions, ideas, and encouragement!
MemberAugust 9, 2021 at 11:04 pm
I look forward to when I can travel and camp in my Aptera at National Forests and BLM campsites across the USA. My first trip will be from San Diego to Florida then up to Maine. From there I will travel across the northern states through the UP of Michigan and then run down the Rockies home to Arizona.
After that, I plan to tow this vehicle while it charges its self behind my small RV.????
MemberAugust 10, 2021 at 6:58 am
Like many, I followed the first iteration of Aptera with interest. I’m an aerospace engineer and the design ticked all the boxes. I’m also bored with the traditional three box design and this car is really pushing the concepts of what is achievable and practical.
I’ve loved cars, planes, spacecraft and basically anything that moves since a young age. I still have my first car, a 68 Mustang that I purchased when I was 16 in 1990. I like fun cars so I have a Mitsubishi Evolution VIII that we’ve had since new and a classic Mini that I work on for stress relief and drive for fun. I think the Aptera will fit right in with that group.
I’m rooting for Aptera’s success. The engineering seems sound. I’m hopeful that it can be refined for reliability and meet its goals. Fingers crossed for a 2022 delivery.
MemberAugust 12, 2021 at 11:11 am
I’m a footwear designer that sees more and more homogeny within the auto design industry in America…and I’m not a fan of small SUVs. I had been looking at/contemplating an electric vehicle for a long time, but the lack of range was the biggest deterrent as I have clients that are around 300 miles away from home, and when I rent electric vehicles, even those with a longer range, my range anxiety was real. It got even worse earlier this summer when I rented an ID4 and decided that AC was essential (on a 90 degree, humid day).
I still am thinking seriously about buying a cyber truck, as I want to encourage auto manufacturers to not fall into the predictable design paths for the American markets…but when I compare these two vehicles, the Aptera seems a lot more logical due to its efficiency…but it will absolutely be a head-turner and will make a statement that I really don’t want to fall into the masses of SUVs and mini vans that surround me in the Midwest.
ModeratorAugust 12, 2021 at 1:16 pm
I followed Aptera back in late 2000, when living in NJ, dreaming then that after Aptera was launched in southern California, I would have to be patient until the production would eventually allow distribution to NJ . ???? Sad, but no hard feelings. I
But then…. a bit of luck…
I did have a memorable test ride in the Aptera 2e in late 2009, when it came through Princeton, NJ on roadshow. I was really hooked !????
But that launch plan did not happen….for reasons we all know.
Fast-forward to Aug 2019…. A decade later, retired now in Arizona… I just happened to search “Aptera” and was excited to read about the reincarnation of Aptera and by the original founders!!!
The icing on the cake now includes the fact that it makes so much more sense for me to have the latest Aptera all electric vehicle with the latest technology, improved aerodynamics, weight, range and the “refresh” to this (even then) futuristic vehicle. I don’t need the Aptera now to commute to the office, instead now for more fun things!”
No other EV offered enough of what I thought I wanted, so I never invested in an EV
Enters “ Aptera “ an sEV!
I joined my local EV club to learn more, from the mix of EV owners.
Aptera still comes to the top, “for my needs”. I am our club’s point person for Aptera questions for members and visitors, as we all watch Aptera evolve to production
I am super excited to do volunteer my help as an Aptera Brand Ambassador too! i.e.,Do More Together. Of course I am still dreaming to have my own Aptera, complementing my Net Zero home/lifestyle. The benefits of PV Solar is not foreign to me, having had them on my past NJ home and present AZ nest. I never saw the Never Charge Aptera and these super range possibilities coming. I am thinking my AZ region (solar zone 8) and my high elevation will help my dream shine and soar, in an Aptera!
Another bit of luck????… In June I got to meet some of the Aptera team, Sol and Noir.
Chris behind “Sol” at June event at headquarters, where Steve, Chris, Sarah and team members Featuring “Sol” presenting and answering questions from their audience
Chris with me at my ICE , which I will retire for my Aptera. Meanwhile it carries my magnetic signs announcing Aptera ????
MemberAugust 13, 2021 at 1:43 pm
I’m using way less gasoline now that I’m retired and maybe from all the news about how our lack of responsibility towards consumption is screwing the planet we live on, I avoid driving as much as possible. I’m 20 miles out of town, no busses, no anything, a woods paradise. You should hear the bugs fornicating at night, sometimes, na, usually beautifully deafening. At first it scared this city boy but after months of exposure you get used to it and you start to admire the mystery of hundreds of things heard all around you but not seen.
But, I do miss traveling and there are a lot of wonderous sights to visit/see.
After I receive one I don’t plan to be home much.
But hopefully see you on the road soon.
MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 6:35 am
I’m a retired librarian, but mostly identify as a climber, skier and kayaker. My son now owns my 2014 Prius plugin, my first foray into EVs. Even with only 14 miles of all-electric range, I could get to the hardware store or or our XC ski area with the Prius on a few pennies of electricity. And here in McCall Idaho, most of that electricity comes from renewable sources.
Our Subaru will continue to occupy the other garage bay, but I look forward to tossing the skis and other outdoor gear in the Aptera and heading out of town. A week at the City of Rocks (300 miles away) would recharge the battery enough to get back home with our 600 mile range Aptera, without a stop. The stock Aptera has about the same ground clearance as the Subaru, so I’m torn about the need for the off road package, even in one of the snowiest towns in the US.
My wife and I also enjoy rowing, sailing, canoeing and kayaking. All our boats except the sailboat should ride happily behind the Aptera on our lightweight Rack and Roll trailer.
Finally, I plan on using Aptera’s V2H capability to provide emergency backup power to my house during our rare power outages. I could power a few essentials for about a week using the Aptera, and something like this.
MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 5:56 pm
Six and a half years ago, with frugality and self sufficiency in mind, I got a PV array installed at my house, only to realize that with all of the other home efficiencies I had adopted about the same time, that the array was actually producing rather more power than I was actually using for the house.
Since I also needed a new vehicle at that point, buying an EV to let me use that excess to push me down the road was a no-brainer. Being dramatically more efficient than an ICE car suited my need for both frugality and reduced impact also. But the Leaf I got had a barely adequate range and I knew it would have a limited life before that range began to degrade especially driving it 20,000 miles a year.
These six years later the Leaf is still doing what I need, but I can tell it is beginning to get long in the tooth. Time to start looking at what’s next. Surely those years of rapid innovation has brought about still more efficient vehicles?
There is a vastly larger selection of EVs on the market today and most sport two, three or more times the range of my current ride. That’s nice. But most of that is achieved by stuffing ever larger batteries in what are usually ever larger vehicles. That’s not efficiency, that’s the cancer of rampant conspicuous consumption permeating the EV market too. Profoundly disappointing.
Then Aptera comes up in my field of view and I think, yeah! Now that’s the next dramatic increment in efficiency, frugality and self sufficiency that I was looking for. The current design suits 90-95% of my needs and that works for me too. I’m in for that.
Can’t hardly wait now to share with all my neighbors and fellow commuters just fantastic a hyper efficient vehicle can be and maybe bend the perception what folks maybe ought to be driving away from the ever larger vehicles.
MemberAugust 15, 2021 at 12:39 pm
Welcome back Sarah. I like your story. Back in the early days, I wasn’t quite ready for an Aptera, and back then the Aptera was only a shadow of what it is evolving into today. Today my mind and spirit is ready for an Aptera, even though there are key family members who seem opposed to it, but I’m digging in in my firm resolve and believe they will come around once hey get to learn more about it and experience it. I also foresee a future for Aptera and I believe the ground is fertile for its vision and capability, so I have also happily become an investor. I believe Aptera is leaps and bounds beyond current concepts and has arrived at an higher maturity level than other enterprises with respect to practical solar vehicle visions.
Interestingly, I told my dad about it and it didn’t take him long to become interested and he now also has a reservation for one of his own. We can’t wait to get our hands on ours. And I’m sure that immediately upon having them we will immediately be ordained as Ambassadors for Aptera by the power vested in us simply via our ownership, the heads ur cars will turn and the questions we will end up fielding and rides we will end up giving. ????
In terms of what we currently drive we are polar opposites. I currently drive an extremely efficient 3-cylinder 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage (I’ve gotten up to 64 mpg, between Ottawa and Delaware). But my dad currently drives a gas guzzling Toyota Prado.
I also work for a company which has been manufacturing rugged electric power-conditioning Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and would absolutely LOVE for our company to be involved in Aptera’s V2G efforts, if possible and if you feel that you too would benefit from such a partnership in that area. If that might be the case, you certainly know how to get an hold of me.????
MemberAugust 27, 2022 at 4:44 am
Dear Ms. Hardwick,
You might think marketing a brand-new product would be difficult. Sometimes it is, but other times not so. This product will sell itself, (because it is that good!) The problem is getting eyeballs on it and explaining why it is the way it is. The internet makes that much easier. Congratulations Sarah, I think your job must be fun. Motor Trend, Car and Drive, and Consumer Reports, are just a few places in the next months I want to read about Aptera, Sarah! CNBC Phil LeBeau, might be an interesting interview.
I have always looked to automotive concepts, and changes. In the early 1970, I had an RX-2 Mazda, Wankel engine, was a thing of beauty, but no mechanic properly knew how to tune it up, as it was so different. I have driven a great deal of interstate over the years. I am 73, and still enjoy road trips, over flying. Currently have a Prius, which is a better car than I thought it might be. On my second one now and am anxious to get into my Aptera.
Some early adopters are just wanting to be the first, others see the idea of efficiency, and lack of impact on the earth’s atmosphere, as the reason to buy. But pricing it within reach, and being the most efficient vehicle ever produced, makes this an outstanding competitor.
About 7 years ago, I was on the waiting list for a car named Elio. a reverse trike also, small gas engine, supposed to get 84 MPG. Looking back, it become obvious, that between these two options, only the Aptera stands a real chance. I am so excited thinking about driving around in this vehicle, and I feel lucky that they never came through with the Elio. Lost a deposit, but ultimately will be getting a far superior vehicle! Not worrying about my catalectic converter being stolen, or when my next oil change is, will be a big step forward. If I knew where Paul Elio lived, I might stop by and offer him a ride, for the price of my reservation of course.
I am a retired stockbroker, who has always looked for the game changing trends Unusually difficult to predict the future, but that is risk, reward. No question in my mind, that Aptera is doing everything it can to become an established player in the automotive world. The journey is not always easy, and the bumps of the first try not working, makes me think, that Steve and Chris learned a great deal, of how to make it work on the second go around.
MemberAugust 27, 2022 at 6:10 am
Hi Sarah and all,
I live in a rural part of Atlantic Canada where the snow is heavy and plentiful in the Winter months. My house is on a hill with a long driveway that gets lots of snow drifts. In the 90’s , I used a Jeep Grand Wagoneer as my daily driver. My commute to work was about 25 miles and athough fuel was cheap then compared to today’s standards, it was costing too much to drive. In 2001, I purchased a Honda Insight, relegating the JGW to bad weather driving, and when extra capacity was needed. I was initially concerned about having only two seats but I have come to realize that is all I need for the majority of the time.
Fast-forward 21 years and the Insight is still my daily driver and a CR-V is the secondary vehicle. Until I discovered Aptera, I did not think I would find a worthy successor to the Insight. I am now hoping that Aptera will succeed both vehicles. I still have people asking about the Insight … wait until they see the Aptera!
MemberAugust 27, 2022 at 8:15 am
I have been interested in EV’s sense my Uncle built me one when I was a child in the mid 1950’s. It looked like a Indy 500 car, and was powered by a car battery and starter, with a floor starter button to make it go. When GE made NiCad batteries available to the public in the early1960″s I bought six of them and powered my cassette player with them and built in a charger for them. I used it during my time in the Army in the early 1970’s and for several years afterword. So I got about 20 years of use from them. In 1978 I got a job in Biomedical Engineering and one of my specialties became the battery expert, got an early low cost battery tester, cycler, that I was able to use to help assure the performance of the batteries in medical equipment. About 1990 I got a job at a larger hospital and was able to get a better battery tester that could also test SLA & Ni-MH batteries. The more I tested, the more I learned. By 2000 we were starting to see equipment with Li-Ion batteries and the battery analyzers had improved to test them as well. My early experiences with Ni-MH were not good, when the Honda Insite first came out I wanted to get one, but it had Ni-MH batteries that made me concerned and at that time they would not guarantee the batteries. In 2011, I purchased a Chevy Volt as it had Li-Ion batteries and a very good BMS system with a warranty on the whole battery system, I am still driving it today with the original batteries. However, it has lost some battery range, so now I am waiting for my Aptera. It that will compliment the solar on my house, with many more features that I will appreciate.
MemberAugust 27, 2022 at 8:35 pm
I was into electric vehicles back in the late 90s, though I never had an electric car. I had been to every electric vehicle car show I could get to. And in 2001 I got one of the early Toyota Priuses. I had an highly modified electric standup scooter and an e-Max electric motor bike to get to the local park-n-ride.
When I first heard of the competition for an efficient vehicle I was intrigued. The Aptera was just awesome looking. I put down my $500 and waited patiently. Sadly I got my money back and not a car. I did try to follow what was happening and even tried contacting the company in China that bought the IP. But was pleasantly surprised when Aptera was revived in the US. And that I could even invest in the company. Sadly the company I was working for was not doing well and I was on a reduced salary. But still put a little down. And waited to order one. I was checking my email every 10-15 minutes on the day they said they would notify us and logged in to order one as fast as I could. And probably would have been one of the first orders, except I got dazzled by all of the options and checking all of the combinations before finally remembering to place an order. Oh well. Someone did a really good job on the order page.
So I have picked up a few more shares since then and do look forward to getting one next year. And then I will be driving it to see the kids and grandkids in an electric car. And hopefully inspire them to go electric also. I will be going to a lot more EV car shows in the future and showing it off. I probably will only need to charge it when I go on a trip.
I’ll be going to the Full Charged Live in San Diego to see it in person. It is a dream come true.
MemberAugust 28, 2022 at 7:58 am
I was close to buying a similar autocycle from a competitor when I came across the Aptera. I live in California. I keep my car outside my house, which faces south. Perfect for Aptera to charge when I am home. I travel for work every week, and make my 80 mile drive one way to Oakland airport. It cost me $40 in gas with my current car for. With the Aptera, I get to the employee parking lot, no electric chargers, but with the Aptera it will charge over 3 days I am gone traveling. so I can make it back with no energy cost for me. Awesome. Yes , not everyday will be sunny in Oakland but every time there will be sun, I would have the feeling of a small win in life. What a great feeling to have. That’s what owning an Aptera would mean for me.
MemberAugust 28, 2022 at 1:38 pm
My story started recently, just this spring, when my spouse came across a story on Aptera. My first thought was “There is NO WAY that vehicle would be practical for here. A lightweight, solar, three-wheeled vehicle in our snowy, windy, mountainous rainforest?”
The more I read and viewed, the more my objections were shot down. Twenty miles of daily solar in the rainiest locales. Aerodynamics cutting down on wind resistance from not just the front, but the sides as well. All-wheel drive with plenty of low-end torque to handle the snowy grades. Now, I’m encouraged that it will work quite well here and am looking forward to being the guinea pig/unofficial recorder for how the Aptera will operate in what I originally suspected would be the worst use case scenario.
Alaska is still one of a few states that requires a motorcycle license to drive an Aptera. I’ll be flying 600 miles to Anchorage next month to train on a Can-Am Spyder and get my road credentials. (Because there are certain to be *so many* transferrable skills between the two, right? Yeah, no.)
I’ve been in touch with my state legislators regarding our poor autocycle laws. I can’t wait to get my Aptera here, offer my state senator a ride, and hand him a motorcycle helmet just to drive the point home that our licensing laws are absurd. 😹
Anyway, I’ve gone from pure sceptic to enthusiastic advocate (and grassroots lobbyist) over a period of just a few months. I didn’t think I could get so passionate about a vehicle’s potential, yet here we are.
MemberAugust 29, 2022 at 4:45 am
My story is simple. I am getting an Aptera (I hope) for my Son and my two Grandchildren. For 5 years my wife and I lived on a Sailboat moving with the seasons up and down the East coast of America. During that time, we watched the weather and water become increasingly more unpredictable and more dangerous. Since moving back shoreside, we have seen the weather get even worse. It is clear to anyone who spends large amounts of time outdoors that our world’s climate is in serious trouble. I can not hand this world over to my Son and my Grandchildren without doing something to help alleviate the inevitable consequences of a word climate under siege. Driving an Aptera is one of many steps I am undertaking to reduce my carbon footprint. It is unlikely that I will be around to see the results of our efforts, but at least I will have tried to help turn things around. For my Son and Grandchildren’s sake, I hope enough people will get their heads out of the sand and turn this crap around.
Fair winds and Smooth sailing,
MemberAugust 31, 2022 at 11:19 pm
Long-time science fiction fan. I was inspired by sf stories that included solar-powered vehicles. I have been waiting quite a while for science & engineering to catch up with fiction, to make a solar-powered vehicle available to Joe Public.
MemberSeptember 1, 2022 at 1:28 pm
In July 1990, there was a solar race car cannonball run (see GM Sunrayce USA) that had one of the stops in my home town. I was 8 then, and I went to see the racers as they charged their batteries and marveled that this was even possible. That experience never left me, and when I saw the Aptera in articles for the first time back in late 2020, I struggle to express how excited I was for the possibility that I too could own something like that. I am a proud reservation holder, and I am rooting for the Aptera team to have all the success in the world.
MemberNovember 27, 2022 at 2:26 pm
Heard of Aptera in highschool, and never thought I’d be able to afford a new one back then. Now that I can assuming inflation isn’t too bad, I’m hoping they live up to the hype. And of course there’s cost effective steering wheels to replace the yokes….
MemberNovember 28, 2022 at 1:39 am
Initially interested in the Audi A2 3L TDi (90 mpg car in Europe, but I had to buy the normal version since the 3L wasn’t released in my country) around 2003 or so. From there I learned about the VW L1 (250mpg concept), and shortly afterwards the original Aptera. Subsequently Aptera failed in the credit crunch, and the VW 1L concept morphed into the XL1, which was ridiculously priced. I was very happy when I discovered that Aptera had been resurrected, and that they were targeting a sane price-point.
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by Michael Marsden.
MemberNovember 28, 2022 at 6:17 am
When I was a kid, my uncle Earle (a self-taught electronics engineer) did a lot of R&D in wind and solar power back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, so seeing and experiencing that first hand made a huge impression on me. On my first house I installed a DSHW system and 525w of PV to experiment with solar electricity, allowing me to make changes to minimize my water and power consumption. When I built my current house, I designed it as a not-quite-tiny passive solar home, and with minimal waste of materials; my contractor said he typically filled a couple of dumpsters during construction, and couldn’t believe that the only waste was some scraps of OSB and a small pile of lumber offcuts! With 6.5 kwh of PV on the roof, I generate a lot more power than I use, making the house net positive, so I have no utility or heating bills to worry about. I had been looking at a Chevy Bolt to replace my Prius at some point, but I have some issues with GM. I was very happy when I read a Road & Track article (“Here Comes The Sun”) some months ago that Aptera is back, and better than ever! Aptera dovetails well into my lifestyle of using materials and energy efficiently and responsibly, and now I’m looking at preordering one before the year is out.
MemberNovember 28, 2022 at 11:48 am
My story is simple – I owned one of the first plug in hybrids that didn’t feel “economy class” – the Cadillac ELR and loved that car. I then went over to pure EV with the Jaguar iPace (better quality than Tesla and better design) but range anxiety is a real thing when I fly fish. I now have a Jeep Wrangler 4xe, and since I very seldom go over 20 mikes / day (maybe once or twice a month) I’m running mostly on electric (and don’t have any range anxiety on longer trips) – but I realize that the Jeep is the opposite of the Aptera in terms of aerodynamics. Love Aptera designing with aero, weight and rolling resistance first and the overall look will be eye catching, reinventing sustainable transportation.
MemberDecember 5, 2022 at 9:59 am
I’m 75 and have owned a number of interesting cars and motorcycles in my life, but I have never been as excited about any of them as I am about my Aptera. As an energy economist, I can’t express how exciting it is to see a company actually create an energy efficient vehicle. Electric motors are way more efficient in the function of acceleration than any ICEs. Cutting out the need to use electricity off the grid is extremely efficient. Obviously, the shape is efficient.
As for what I plan to do with my Aptera, it is going to depend on what time of the year it is delivered. If the timing is right, I may drive it to Sturgis. If the timing doesn’t work for that, I plan to visit family members who are car/bike enthusiasts. That can take me to the far reaches of the lower 48 states, with relatives in New England, Florida, Washington State, California, Wisconsin, Missouri, Louisiana, New Mexico and here in Texas. I’ve got lots of time to think about it, and enjoy the anticipation.
MemberDecember 5, 2022 at 10:18 am
As so many in our community, I also share the anticipation and can’t wait to get mine either. Having worked for one of the Big3 years ago I lived and worked through the engulfing ICE car culture if the early 2000’s, then transitioned to work as an engineer for the Wind Energy market when I felt I had enough. Since I’d always hoped to own a more environmentally conscious and efficient vehicle. I switched to Prius over a decade ago and felt I was making headway towards my goal with that personal paradigm shift. It was so exciting to save so much $ on gas, it felt like I got an automatic pay raise.
However, I’ve not felt more exitement over any other vehicle over the years as when I discovered the Aptera back in January this year. When my turn is due, I plan on flying to Carlsbad to pick mine up (if it is possible) and drive back home to Chicago with many stops along the way to spread the word. So excited!