Stella Vita News – Solar RVPosted by peter-jorgensen on September 13, 2021 at 2:20 pm
I just found this on Electrek – Thoughts? It looks like a stripped-out shell but I like the idea. Maybe Aptera will actually produce something like this concept – but much more appealing looking – in 10 years.
- This discussion was modified 1 year ago by bbelcamino.
MemberSeptember 13, 2021 at 5:45 pm
Oh Peter, this thing is really ugly! Looks a little like a cockroach with wings when the solar cells are extended. I know, I know, shouldn’t judge by appearances
Seriously, it looks a little spartan inside but that is ok in a European camper. Looks like it will go a little more than 400 miles on a sunny day. In Europe that is L O N G distance. I lived in Germany, England, and Scotland. We didn’t have too many sunny days, especially in Scotland. Italy, Spain a different story.
It is not production ready and as the article states, is not designed with the required safety features. Hats off to the college students for such an accomplishment and hope they do well in the competition.
As for Aptera, they would build it if there was a good business case and market for it. They would engineer it extremely well and it would be built quickly and efficiently. They have a range of vehicles coming out, camping kits for one of them would work. If Aptera decided to do it it would be available long before 10 years passed
MemberSeptember 14, 2021 at 7:34 am
Oh yes it’s horribly ugly! But the concept I like. I think Aptera could do that MUCH better for a small RV or delivery truck size vehicle. I guess a delivery vehicle driving 4-6 hours a day would be a better market for land-based solar and multiple charges a day but the solar would be perfect for an RV.
I think I’m going to do a photoshop concept art of an aptera version. While I’m at it, I should do the truck and van too… Hmm…
MemberOctober 19, 2021 at 11:46 am
But you have to remember what Stella is meant to be. This is a project from students at TU/e. Usually they build an EV to participate in the World Solar Challange for the cruiser class which requires cars that seat 4 and look at more practical applications for the future compared to the challanger class that is going for straight up speed.
TU/e has won the WSC in the cruiser class multiple times. And I’m glad that this team has been able to build something different due to the cancellation of the WSC and I wish those students good luck in whatever career choice they make. Sometimes they do end up building cars. The Lightyear One in the end is being built by one of the teams that participated in the challange.
MemberOctober 19, 2021 at 3:15 pm
Thank you for your comment. I’ve been watching the many Aptera videos on YouTube and see comments from people calling it ugly and it always makes my blood boil. I feel the same way when folks here call Stella Vita ugly.
ModeratorOctober 19, 2021 at 12:56 pm
Strangely, I like the Electrek design. Looks a bit like a 2nd gen. Prius. It is reminiscent of a non-solar travel trailer called the Cricket that I almost bought about 6 years ago. Now THAT is a very polarizing design. It was designed by a guy who worked at NASA designing part of the living quarters on the space station.
Check out this “beauty”: https://taxaoutdoors.com/habitats/cricket-overland/
MemberSeptember 14, 2021 at 5:58 pm
this should be a trailer not a car b/c whole RV home doesnt need to be transported when going to work or getting food and stuff, the home part of things will mostly never need to move even if its not for long term trailer living. even stuff like refilling freshwater tank can be done by having teh tank be a bag that can sit in the aptera, and car is used to fetch teh water, possibly by trailer, and trailer wedge itself under the home module and lock in when moving the home. that way, trailer can be used to carry other stuff too, and maybe a fold out tarp/flatbed/cross bars so carried stuff doesnt fall in between the bars of the trailer chassis
“trailers” can be added to 2 seater, the 2 seater can be cut in half and hitch is kept, for heavier load it may be worth adding semi truck style rear hitch like those pick up trucks do. the 2 seater is designed for normal use, but a bigger drive train can take up storage and passenger space with more power dense energy storage/engine swap for heavy moving or as sports car. electric motor driven drivetrains allow more packaging flexibility than normal combustion drivetrain, and its likely that electric is the future, weather it be new electric tech, hydrogen, combustion free piston to electric/air pressure drivetrain, etc.
wheel motors brakes maybe sold to be added onto whatever trailer customer uses, such could also have built in torque vectoring computer and battery/capacitor if its to be used for normal car too.
cars as trailers instead of bigger car:
multiple cars computer can be programmed to follow each other as if they were connected like train box cars, and they could be physically connected if that helps efficiency. motors make trailer driving quicker by motor and brakes torque vectoring, so vs normal trailer driving, there’s no being slow to stop, quicker speed around turns before losing traction etc. app and self driving software encourages similar behavior with whatever car on the road for areodynamics. it can have stuff like building momentum slowly especially on downhills, then maintaining it even around turns to avoid braking, all for battery life, within safety. 2 two seaters would be cheaper than 2 four seaters, ahile allowing 2 parts of family go to different places at once (which is becoming more common as both husband wife are working at different places everyday as cost of living increases.). this still allows 1 driver for 4 passenger. there mayeb demand for 1 four seater and 2 two seater, to imitate minivans but also to have the more sporty light weight car.
aftermarket rental to help pay costs:
trailer and maybe car itself maybe rented to customer assuming people will keep the car for logn enough, and such maybe done by owners where aptera gets some of profits. drivetrain swap, trailer hitch, semitruck style hitch, maybe another class of maybe modular car/truck, maybe RV, can all be rented. aptera can connect owners and rental customers needs and offers and aftermarket collaborations on the forum, which maybe advertise through that aptera app concept to replace built in infotainment with users device from that big thread about the car interior in old forum.
extra stuff like aesthetics, speakers, aftermarket stuff, could also be rented/brought to be plugged in after car brought, 3rd party uses forum to find customer, create demands for their stuff, and aptera can advertise quality verified products on the order configurator and profit from advertising.
aesthetics can be stuff like wood/stone trims etc, the standard car can be clean slate with places to screw in aftermarket pieces as such. no other luxry car can do that, maybe unless your a billionare that can re construct the interior of “one off” programs for you rolls roryce bently mclaren aston martin many times over
MemberOctober 20, 2021 at 5:47 pm
What the trucking industry is looking at is the notion you can ‘power’ a trailer with its own set of batteries and drive train but you save the cost of the accoutrements for driving like seats, heaters, steering wheels, etc.
So, IMO, you’re right; it is a clever idea for a powered trailer.
I suspect that sooner or later, the trucking industry will come up with a follow me technology that controls a drone platform. Fact is, when in another post you suggested a car train – clever but not without precedent as it was an idea I had back when a did a college level independent study on the automobile in 1970 and it wasn’t new then 🙂 – this is the kind of technology that will find maturation in the coming decade.
In terms of inter-city travel, this car-train concept where you might have 20 vehicles all following in close formation under the direction of the lead vehicle may be the most efficient way to gain adoption of automated coordinated transportation … sort of the marriage between personal transportation like the Aptera and integrated public transportation that might, among other things, include on-the-road charging.
MemberOctober 19, 2021 at 5:49 am
- 60 kWh battery
- 373 mile range
- 81 free miles per day in full sun
- solar surface area: 8.8 sq meters
- solar surface area, parked and extra panels deployed: 17.5 sq meters
MemberOctober 19, 2021 at 6:58 am
It makes no sense to carry around a solar array as complicated as that, that’s a lot to go wrong for very little benefit. The right way to solar power your car is to put solar panels on your house, you can have a lot more of them, they will be oriented in the correct direction and be free from obstructions. On my reservation I’ve selected the minimum number of solar cells and I’d prefer if they would offer a zero solar cell option. I expect that the solar cells are going to provide virtually no electricity for me. I live in New England where we get half as much sunlight as California. I have a big oak that covers my driveway so I’ll get almost nothing in the summer, in the winter I keep a car cover on my car to keep the snow off so 0 Wh in winter. When I commute to my client’s site they have a garage with free Chargepoint chargers so 0 sunlight available but free electricity. Even if I lived in Arizona or Texas, where they have abundant sunlight, I doubt that I would want to park my car in the sun where it will get hot enough to fire ceramics.
MemberOctober 19, 2021 at 3:48 pm
This is a motor home, not a car. The solar is meant to power vehicle and appliances off grid. It’s designed for maximum efficiency just like the Aptera but for a different usage profile. I’ve reserved an Aptera but as a retired person would love one of these too.
MemberOctober 20, 2021 at 1:27 am
The right way to solar power your car is to put solar panels on your house
Campervanning is a thing. People who enjoy that would appreciate solar for all the reasons we do the Aptera. In fact solar makes even more sense when you don’t have a “home”, or aren’t regularly parked at one.
MemberOctober 22, 2021 at 1:35 am
I don’t have a garage and there is no trees in front of my house. We get lots of sun almost all day because we are on the top of a hill.
Having solar panels on the car makes perfect sense for some situations ….. and not for others.
MemberMay 12, 2022 at 6:48 am
I just found this camper prototype that traveled down to the Southern tip of Spain to show off the possibilities of solar powered camping travel. Its made by engineers at Eindhoven University of Technology which according to “Fully Charged” is the team that “always” wins the solar challenge in Australia. They claim 1700 kg gross weight, 600 km range and three days of good sun to fully charge. It looks like they are following in Aptera’s footsteps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vHuldVlpFAhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vHuldVlpFA
MemberMay 12, 2022 at 7:46 am
Minor clarification if you don’t mind. Eindhoven has, when they entered, always won the “Cruiser Class” at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. The more competitive class is called the “Challenger” class and it has been won, most often, by yet another University in The Netherlands called Delft University of Technology. Clearly there’s something in the water in The Netherlands!