So where are the rest of the betas?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions So where are the rest of the betas?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions So where are the rest of the betas?

  • So where are the rest of the betas?

  • Paul Schultz

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 4:46 am

    Aptera made sure they had one beta vehicle completed at the end of 2021. I believe this was important to show they had moved to the next phase in the development cycle in 2021. This one beta vehicle is the one we have seen used for suspension testing. It is the one and only beta we have seen. But where are the other beta vehicles they hinted at to test other systems? It is now 4 months into 2022. I expected more beta vehicles with each focusing on a specific area of testing. Am I not recalling this correctly?

  • Riley ________________________________

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 5:27 am

    In a recent video there was definitely a new unfinished beta. I remember hearing that their will be a beta for an interior and another for testing full solar. I also remember hearing that aptera was going to limit the number of betas to the absolute minimum number of cars possible to save cost

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      April 30, 2022 at 6:04 am

      Riley, yes I spotted that body shell too. But, that is not a beta test vehicle. And, it certainly doesn’t look as if they are actively building one considering it is wrapped in plastic. There are only 8 months remaining in 2022 and given we have not seen any other actively used beta vehicle I am thinking that the target for initial production at the end of 2022 is starting to look very doubtful.

      But, thanks for posting that pic. At least they have another body shell.

  • Bob Kirchner

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 5:28 am

    I’m pretty sure I saw two other betas in the background in the Aptera Owners’ Club video of his visit to Aptera.

  • Jon Arryn

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 6:34 am

    From the November 2021 update on their YouTube Channel, Chris indicated 6-12 Betas for the beta phase. With tomorrow starting into May, apparently we have one. I understand the desire to keep expenditures low. At the same time, they indicated some units would be going to vendors for validating components, extensive crash testing, solar testing, interior, HVAC, etc… I’m increasingly skeptical of a finished, manufacture-ready product by the end of 2022. Supply chain issues, aside, it doesn’t appear remotely ready engineering-wise and including validation. While normally transparent, it’s not clear from Aptera on if/why they’ve pivoted from their November 2021 beta model plans.

    Personally, I’m okay with extending the timeline for my possible delivery. With a 600-mile model reservation, I wasn’t expecting (natch “hopeful”) delivery until mid-2024 as it is. I’ve been vehicle-free for the past two years; a little longer just means more coin not expended on personal transportation. I don’t want one of the first VINS off the line. Likewise, I’d rather have a more polished representative unit with fewer bugs. More time on the ebike…

    Aptera efficiency-aside, the $30K Chevy Equinox and Fisker PEAR, are also on my radar for the 2023/2024 timeframe. Unlike Aptera, the Fisker PEAR will get the $7500 tax credit under current legislation. Fisker PEAR details are light, other than the sub-$30K starting price point. A big reason I haven’t plunked down a $250 reservation to complement the one with Aptera. Your mileage may vary, these are just my personal considerations.

    Color me concerned, but I hope Aptera can keep on schedule for this year 🙂

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      April 30, 2022 at 7:35 am

      I believe you might be conflating various parts of the narrative: Beta prototypes, for instance, would never be crash-tested as the results would not reflect the attributes of the finished vehicle. Aptera originally talked about sending a Beta to Slovenia for Elaphe to use in fine-tuning the motor design but, instead, they found it more cost-effective to bring Elaphe engineers to CA.

      Nathan mentioned that they’d built a mock-up of the new interior and were currently testing its ergonomics: No need to build an entire vehicle to do this. The same goes for testing the solar system: All they’ll need is a mock-up of the top half of the vehicle. We know that Aptera is working to identify a heat-pump supplier so my guess would be that they’re working on two HVAC designs: One with a heat pump and one without. But, until the parts can be sourced, there’s no reason to build a vehicle into which they can be installed. And each of those vehicles would require a fully-kitted-out interior.

      The only engineering reason to build-out multiple Beta prototypes would be to provide each team with its own test-bed: Perhaps Aptera has not yet found that necessary as all the Beta work is being done in one facility, not spread around multiple international sites (in the manner of established automotive manufacturers). As I recall, even Lucid didn’t build a large number of prototypes until they reached the Gamma phase – I think the number was 42 – which were used for road testing.

      Do I think Aptera’s proposed production schedule is optimistic? Yes. Do I think we can predict future success from the number of test mules they deem necessary? Nah…

      • Paul Schultz

        Member
        April 30, 2022 at 7:47 am

        I don’t disagree with your line of reasoning in principle. But, Aptera has stated they would be open and transparent as much as possible. I would have expected some update on other beta vehicles, partial or function between the 12/31/21 pic of the current suspension beta and 4/30/22. It is reasonable to ask Aptera for more details on the status of beta development.

        • kerbe2705

          Member
          April 30, 2022 at 7:03 pm

          Aptera generally produces an update video once each month – usually during the first week of the month. They’re actually FAR more “transparent” than any other EV startup has been, allowing YouTube EV influencers and their own Ambassadors to visit, record and share whatever they like.

          You can learn a great deal about the current state of things in Aptera development from the videos posted by Aptera Owner’s Club, Transport Evolved and Rich Rebuilds on YouTube.

  • David Marlow

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 10:57 am

    It seems to me that there are a number of decisions that have been on hold pending more info.

    However it is clear that most of these must be made soon, to allow production to start in the 4th quarter. If we do not see a Beta with solar, a 400 mile battery and a charging standard to be used before July, then leave time to adjust them to work together, when will we see the first Gama units?

    As mentioned other Beta units may be required to work out HVAC, interior and exterior issues.

    The Gama units should be for trying out sample parts from suppliers, and Delta for the final testing of the finalized parts.

    Hopefully these important decisions will be able to be made soon with the new suppliers that have been brought together.

  • Gary Greenway

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    So much work can be done in their modeling programs now. Old components must be modified or moved as new components are added. Building betas can actually be detrimental in the early stages of a design. By the time you build it, the design can change.

    The solar panels are not in the way of internal components that are still in flux so they can be made and tested.

    The charge controllers work as good on a test frame as squirreled away in a car body. One thing that gives me hope is that you need a nearly production equivalent battery load to test the charge controllers fully. You can test arrays of cells but that isn’t the same as testing the whole system. This beta can also grow to incorporate the level 2 and DCFC system.

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      April 30, 2022 at 7:07 pm

      @Gary Greenway I agree: Various Aptera engineers and executives have said on numerous occasions how closely real-world testing has matched their simulations – so, in many instances, there’s no real reason for building physical models.

  • Matthew Liddick

    Member
    May 1, 2022 at 8:40 am

    I too am becoming very skeptical of Aptera’s timelines. I am a engineer and what a lot of people seem to be leaving out is the need for design revisions. For example, there have been no crash tests that I know of to date. Regardless of how good computer simulation is there are always things discovered in real world testing. Then that knowledge needs to be incorporated into a new design that design needs to be fabricated and the testing repeated. Most of those changes involve suppliers which further slow things down. At the current rate of test vehicle production of about one every six months… I just don’t see them shipping their first real vehicle until 2024 at the earliest. Think about everything that hasn’t even begun to be tested, cold weather testing, water ingress testing, and for as cutting edge as they purport their belly pan cooling to be, why they have not incorporated it into a test vehicle to date baffles me. They might find out that there is a good reason why a nobody cools vehicles in that way. Oh much does mud and road grime cut the efficiency? No way to tell without real world testing. To draw a parallel how many “world changing” battery breakthrough articles have there been over the last 20 years for you to ultimately never hear about it again? Why was that? Likely because while the upside was highlighted in the article it came with downsides that tanked its marketability. At this point the only reason I can see for this slow walk is they are having cash flow issues, all these teams should be working in parallel, not the serial that seems to be going on. At this point if they do deliver any customer cars by the end of the year they will be very much beta test vehicles themselves that have not had any extensive real world testing. I say this because I have read many articles about the extensive lengths most car companies go to testing prototypes before any customer cars are delivered. Those companies don’t put millions of miles on cars and ship them to the arctic circle because they think it makes for a catchy marketing line, they do it because they know while that is expensive the cost in warranty work of not doing their homework cost more. I have been a fan of Aptera since the original but at this point I just don’t know if this time will go better this time, especially if we have a down turn in the economy.

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