Ground Clearance

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Ground Clearance

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Ground Clearance

  • Ground Clearance

     GLENN ZAJIC updated 2 days, 3 hours ago 38 Members · 72 Posts
  • Thomas Edmonds

    Member
    September 18, 2022 at 10:11 am

    How much difference in overall efficiency does an inch or two on the pants height make?

    Are we worrying about this too much?

  • Peter Dezendorf

    Member
    September 18, 2022 at 10:18 am

    The wheel and the pant are in a fixed relationship. The question is whether the angle from the tire contact point to the front edge of the pant is a larger angle than the one from the pavement through the rise of the speed bump/hump. If so, then no contact. If not, then contact.

  • Dave Copps

    Member
    November 17, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    I saw this image fro a very recent Aptera video and I was very concerned. At the very least, Aptera should be able to clear average speed bumps . I’m glad to have the replaceable parts on the wheel covers , but let’s not make replacing them a weekly occurrence. Would love to hear from the Aptera team that we can easily clear speed speed bumps. 😊

    • Chris Merriott

      Member
      November 18, 2022 at 4:26 pm

      Steve from Aptera Owner’s Club is saying he was told that the “tips” of the wheel pants will be EVA foam and are intentionally made to grind down to adapt to your driving environment. Meaning, if you consistently drag the rear or front of the wheel pants on your driveway, the EVA foam will slowly erode where the dragging occurs and will eventually stop dragging as long as the environment stays the same. The EVA will be the same color throughout the component so it will not appear as if any damage has occurred and will still look finished.

  • Craig Merrow

    Member
    November 17, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    Been thinking about that with Maine roads and speed bumps. Most shouldn’t be a problem, but if the standard Aptera had a good 6″+ for the underside it should be ok. I was also thinking about driving in snowy conditions; wonder if the pants would act like a plow to clear a path for the tires? Also, with the shape of the underbelly, there is probably a much reduced risk of getting stuck as there isn’t as much area for snow to pack underneath unlike a normal vehicle.

    • Bob Kirchner

      Member
      November 17, 2022 at 2:30 pm

      I suspect the pants WILL act as a plow for the tires, at least in undisturbed snow. The problem will be when they encounter the berm of compressed snow left behind by a snowplow at an intersection.

      I just can’t shake my concern that maybe a bunch of engineers based in southern California don’t fully understand the realities of driving in the blizzard belt.

      • Skully –

        Member
        November 18, 2022 at 2:29 pm

        Bob, if it eases your concern at all, Chris Anthony has a few years at Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff is not without snow. Also, roads in California aren’t exactly anything to brag about. Sort of the opposite unfortunately.

        I’m sure there are other engineers who have traveled a bit too.

        Still though, I agree that it may not be the best vehicle design for heavy snow (or maybe for any snow), but aside from removing the aero covers for the wheels, and maybe giving it a track on the back, I’m not sure there are a lot of options for making it a ‘good’ vehicle for areas with a lot of snow.

        https://www.moneygeek.com/living/states-worst-road-infrastructure/

        • Pistonboy Delux

          Member
          November 18, 2022 at 8:10 pm

          Not all gas tax is used to maintain roads. A good portion of gas tax is used to subsidize mass transit.

    • Joel Smith

      Member
      November 18, 2022 at 9:14 am

      Seems that folks keep fretting about driving their Aptera in snow clad road conditions that any DOT spokesperson would plead with the public not to drive in with any vehicle! Come on folks! Take a snow day! I, and an increasingly large number of other folks will just work from home that day. If you really need an ATV, Aptera (at least a stock build) probably isn’t going to work well in that capacity. Accept the limitation and move on.

      • John Voules

        Member
        November 18, 2022 at 10:26 am

        👍 👍 👍

        • John Voules

          Member
          November 18, 2022 at 10:36 am

          I have yet to find a vehicle that can do everything when you include extreme efficiency. For those who want to increase usability beyond the vehicles specs, you will be able to experiment on your own or with others to increase your usability for your personal needs and or wants.

  • Craig Merrow

    Member
    November 18, 2022 at 2:21 am

    I measured my 2012 Prius C and found it has about 6″ of ground clearance. It also has a 101″ +/- wheelbase, so it does well with speed bumps and potholes. It looks like the Aptera has a slightly shorter wheelbase, and with the lowest part of the body near the axis of the front wheels, it should be ok if it has 6″+ of ground clearance.

    • Dennis Swaney

      Member
      November 18, 2022 at 7:35 am

      While the body may have at least 6″ (15.25 cm), the wheel pants on the base car only have about 1 – 2 inches (2.54 – 5.08 cm) from that video. I’d like to see the Off-Road option wheel pants as they will require more clearance.

      • Jonathan Jansson

        Member
        November 18, 2022 at 2:07 pm

        The wire tray that the gamma traversed was likely 3″ tall, not 1″. Steve misspoke when he recorded the video. I’m not aware of any reduction in wheel pants clearance. The Aptera FAQ states, “We are looking for at least 5″ on both the wheel covers and the belly of the vehicle.” Also note that the wire tray has a very sharp approach angle, rather like a reverse pothole. A lower approach angle speed bump should be much better tolerated by the Aptera wheel pants.

  • Krzysztof Rudzinski

    Member
    November 18, 2022 at 8:19 am

    Important to remember that the approach and departure angles of the front wheels change based on how tight you’re turning. So the intended ride height clearance isn’t very accurate without context. Based on the gamma pictures/footage the pants don’t seem to be able to clear anything more than inch or two.

  • Joel Smith

    Member
    November 18, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    The wheel pants that rock forward and back during a turn are easily the most distressing new feature (defect?) that I see on the new gamma vehicle. Far more so than the yoke, solar panel defects, dubious cup holder, etc.

    Sure the rocking is a consequence of the angle of the pin around which the wheel turns. Every car employs that feature to make the vehicle “want” to recover from a turn to go straight again as we all expect it to. That makes it seem that much more an intractable problem on the Aptera.

    With every other car that effect is concealed from view within the wheel well and only manifests on the wheel which is symmetrically round and may already be spinning so you don’t really notice it. With the Aptera it’s out there in your face; especially as it takes the wheel pant with it on its seeming crazy weeble-wobble.

    I find myself hoping that the folks at Aptera are doing something clever about that. Maybe there’s a way for one or more mounting points for the wheel pants to be inboard of the pivot pin providing an anchor point to counteract the rotation imparted by turning?

    Something anyway cause that’s damned unsightly now.

    • Bart Cunningham

      Member
      November 24, 2022 at 2:25 am

      I have to agree this wheel cover action is a little concerning. I think it may be a big issue turning into a driveway that goes up or down abruptly after leaving the street as the wheel will be turning fairly sharply at this point. Also lots of driveways including entrances to businesses have a step up or down from the street pavement to the parking lot pavement at this point when the wheel will not be pointed straight ahead. I think this may be a big issue. I am planning on the off-road package as I live in blizzard country in NE Ohio so this may help but still something I am thinking about.

  • Craig Merrow

    Member
    November 18, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    My Prius will slog along reasonably well in the snow, even crashed through some berms and snowbanks (within reason) to get to a plowed section of road, although this sometimes requires a bit of a running start. But I know and respect my limitations with it, too, and I’m sure an Aptera would be no different.

  • Philip Raymond

    Member
    November 19, 2022 at 12:21 am

    Joel, I live in Chicago and I opted for the off road option. Not only to navigate snow better, but any other wheel obstruction as well, like potholes and speed bumps. If it is that important to you (like me), buy the off road option. You’ll sleep better with that piece of mind.

  • Steven Kutoroff Kutoroff

    Member
    November 23, 2022 at 6:44 am

    Driveway and road issues are not a problem for me, even in New Jersey. However, I just added the Off Road Kit to my order out of concern for snow. During snow and before the plows come out, the lane center is snow covered, right where the rear wheel sits. Just hoping the extra clearance with the ORK makes snow less of an issue.

    I suspect driving with the rear wheel in snow will be nasty, even though I have rear drive in my order. We have alternative transportation (EV and gas), but I’d still like to able to drive the Aptera whenever I want and for whatever reason.

    I’ve avoided the ORK until today as I wanted nothing to delay delivery. Decided to order what I need and take a delivery hit if it has too.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    November 24, 2022 at 7:00 am

    I’m going to wait and see about the off road option before I add it to my order. They haven’t given any details about it yet. Is it just higher wheel pants or are they changing the suspension? If the ride and handling is the same then I’ll probably go for it but if they sacrificed the ride or handling so that it can really go off road then I’m not interested. I do occasionally drive on unpaved roads in places like Vermont but those are still roads they aren’t trails. I have zero interest in actually taking the thing off road but I do want to be able to drive over a pothole without destroying the car.

    • GLENN ZAJIC

      Member
      November 24, 2022 at 7:09 am

      Right there with ya Joshua. I wish they would just offer higher wheel pants as an inexpensive option as I won’t be thrashing it either!

      • Dennis Swaney

        Member
        November 24, 2022 at 9:22 am

        Well, supposedly under their DIY/RTR policy you can just order any replacement parts you need, so I plan on ordering replacement OTR wheel pants.

        • GLENN ZAJIC

          Member
          November 27, 2022 at 10:10 am

          Yes I get that Dennis and that is what I would do if I need to. I suspect that wheel pants are going to be one of the most often replaced items due to damage. I don’t really want a spare set to have to store, when a higher set would be all I needed in the first place.

          • Dennis Swaney

            Member
            November 27, 2022 at 11:04 am

            Step 1. Buy replacement OTR wheel pants.

            Step 2. Remove “road” pants and install OTR pants.

            Step 3. Sell removed pants to another Aptera owner who has trashed wheel pants.

            Thus no storage problem AND you’ve recouped some of the cost for the OTR pants! Pretty much a win-win for both of you.

            • GLENN ZAJIC

              Member
              November 27, 2022 at 5:48 pm

              Sure all that is possible Dennis and not an insurmountable task. I just believe a win-win is when they sell me what I want in the first place, a one step process. I am pretty far down the line and I believe Aptera is going to be making some adjustments on their own by the time mine is due. They will not like the image of their vehicles driving around with pants worn down and parts hanging off. I have no issue with the height when the wheels are straight, but they are just a couple inches too low in the turns.

  • Flytosail

    Member
    November 27, 2022 at 8:38 am

    Ordered the off-road version just for this reason.

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 12 hours ago by  Flytosail.
  • Craig Merrow

    Member
    November 27, 2022 at 10:50 am

    It would be nice if the bottom six inches was removable, then you could install or remove that section as conditions warrant.

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