The immense value of Aptera

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions The immense value of Aptera

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions The immense value of Aptera

  • The immense value of Aptera

    Posted by george-hughes on January 26, 2023 at 12:30 am

    When I think of generational vehicles, I think of the classic 1950’s limo driven Rolls only recently retired from service with the British Royal family. Before that some of the Rolls from the 20’s were ultimate surpassed by the massive Packard’s that Ethiopia’s royalty had. Beyond that, I draw a blank. I recognize classic cars and I recognize groundbreaking designs from the ’30’s Cord to the XKE, the 2CV, Mini and beetle but are they ‘generational?’

    So what is it that makes the Aptera generational and what does that mean?

    The first thing that might qualify the Aptera as a generational vehicle is that the motors, battery and CF SMC and aluminum monocoque structure are all a million mile capable from the get go.

    This says that after 20 year’s of typical service where it has covered a quarter-million miles, its expensive components are hardly broken-in. At that mileage you might be looking at brake pads but other than replacing the shocks and tires, possibly a routine $100 maintenance on the motor, only the most used surfaces – seats, dash, door interiors and interior mats – show obvious wear. The Aptera service center would renew these soft areas and the wrap to the ‘latest style’ for $4,388 but you don’t think it would help the used car price enough. Still, it does include ‘new car smell’ additive with the new upholstery as they rebuild and recover recycled seats all the time.

    Lets stipulate the owner is now a old man who upgraded the electronic components and replaced the solar array with newer more efficient units which makes this 20 year old Aptera the technical equal of a brand new model.

    He paid $33500 for his Aptera in 2024 and it is now 2044 and he’s wondering how much it is worth? New one’s now sell for $55,000 in 2044 when configured similarly.

    This is where I don’t know what to do. Is it worth 75% of the original MSRP in 2024 and that’s it? Normally, when you run across any ICE vehicle with those kinds of miles they are rarely are considered valued for more than a source of used parts.

    But at the rate of ‘consumption’ of the life the vehicle, the Aptera at with only 250,000 miles over twenty years suggests this is whole new asset type with a 70-80 year lifetime.

    Vehicles don’t retain this kind of value over time – that is the rule.

    Call me crazy or something but when you think about it; Aptera looks like it does not because some Italian super car designer designed it that way. Without taking anything away from Jason Hill, that Aptera must look like it does to get a 0.13 cd pretty much is the take it or leave it choice he faced. I mean he wasn’t going to give it four wheels.

    The point is that may not change appreciably over the next 100 years. Kind of like with beetles, get used to it.

    I’ll close with one final observation. It is what it is: a transportation appliance that delivers its occupants anywhere you can drive for a penny a mile with minimal maintenance and associated expense. Bottom line, adding the Aptera to a family’s fleet of vehicles saves you money by substituting Aptera miles at near no cost for the ICE tax of 12 to 35+ cents for every mile you drive.

    Bottom line, that is a ‘real life’ carbon tax that we don’t have to pay … at least all the time.

    But if pressed for the meaning of a generational vehicle in this context is it is a vehicle whose value is retained because its full utility is retained for periods of up to 100 years.

    • This discussion was modified 8 months ago by  George Hughes.
    • This discussion was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by  bbelcamino.
    george-hughes replied 7 months ago 11 Members · 16 Replies
  • 16 Replies
  • The immense value of Aptera

    george-hughes updated 7 months ago 11 Members · 16 Replies
  • Pistonboy

    January 26, 2023 at 1:17 am

    It has been put forth that the Aptera can be a generational vehicle, being passed down through the family from parents to children to grandchildren. This is a great idea but I doubt it will happen, because no young person wants to be seen driving their grandparent’s vehicle.

  • Tom

    January 26, 2023 at 5:41 am

    This is a great little essay, George! I sure hope the Aptera is that generational vehicle. It certainly has the potential.

    In September 1990, I bought a new Lexus LS400 (the first year of Lexus production). At the time it raised a lot of eyebrows, but I would not consider it “generational.” In late 2019, I finally sold it to a very excited high school girl (well, her father) for $1,500. It didn’t drive like new at the time, but it was close. Alas, it was 29 years old and had been driven 365,000 miles so, as an old ICE vehicle, it wasn’t worth much (even though it still drove like it was).

    As you eloquently describe, the Aptera could be quite different. The uncertainties come from now unknown technological developments over the coming years. Some, like solar cells and batteries may well be retrofitable into the “old” Aptera, but what else might materialize? Nonetheless, the Aptera could well be one for the ages.

  • joshua-caldwell

    January 26, 2023 at 7:51 am

    I ordered 2 in ’20. One with a low VIN to keep for car shows, use only until the second came out and eventually sell, the other one to actually use. Nothing else looks like it. I’m still considering getting a ’56 Chevy Bel Aire and refitting it, but probably bad to do that to an antique. I haven’t looked into this but given how crypto will peak in a couple years, perhaps some spare change to use for an EV kit version of the Bel Aire if those even exist.

  • craig-merrow

    January 26, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    I have a 1960 VW Bug hot rodded in the “California Look” style. Had it for nearly 40 years, so it’s like family now. My son drives it more than I do these days, and someday it will be his. He’s a bit on the fence about Aptera, but being a gearhead I’m sure he will enjoy that one as well.

  • UnidentifiedDrivingObject

    January 26, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    I think Aptera is actually a generation ahead of its time, versus it’s common “contemporaries” (if not slightly). It is futuristic, no doubt. It will be a timeless vehicle.

  • george-hughes

    January 26, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    I think we’re all still missing the point here and that is, if a vehicle, after 20 years and 250,000 miles retains 75% of its new value and has 99 percent of its utility for another sixty-plus years, it is not a car because cars – even great cars like Tom’s Lexus – are mostly used up after 30 years, requiring expensive restoration to have anything other than marginal value.

    If there is a vehicle designed to be periodically renewed as to things like interiors and possibly electronics and eventually solar cells (the solar probably being the most expensive replacement part that won’t last 100 years.) but if you could renew those panels for $1500 … that is not prohibitive to move from 70 percent solar production (due to breakage, age, etc.) after 20 years to what may be 200 percent solar production (compared to the 2023 solar outputs) giving you 80 miles of daily solar range.

    The point is the Aptera is has fooled the lot of you into thinking it is a stylish, quick, three-wheeled car that is or could be a the poor man’s solar powered supercar.

    That is a great disguise for what Aptera is – you know like putting on a theatrical mustache and beard – but the character you’re viewing is not Abraham Lincoln, that character is someone else (an actor).

    I think the way to look at Aptera being a generational vehicle is to consider the opportunities such dramatic break with the past it represents.

    Consider Tom’s Lexus again. It sold for $1,500 which is suggests that it, with its 365,000 miles and 30 years, had a residual value at the point of sale of between 5-10 percent of the vehicles initial value. At 5% of 365,000 miles, this suggests this vehicle will last maybe another 18,000 miles before it goes teats up.

    I mean this is magnificent engineering to corral over 4 billion individual explosions precisely timed and executed to drive a vehicle that distance is amazing. But the toll from heat and the drip-by-drip degradation of the engine’s chemistry and lubrication, not to mention the addition of about 70 percent of waste-heat means this scheme to attain mobility is so grossly inefficient and otherwise compromising (climate impacts) that it ought to be summarily rejected.

    But it has worked well enough to spawn the construction of somewhere approaching 2 billion vehicles world wide and is poisoning us in the process. That expression of mass incompetence is measured daily in the rise of global temperatures.

    So rather than get too nostalgic for our gloriously slimy oil-bath past, we need – especially us boomers – need to grasp our collective roles in this unfolding story.

    Let me direct you to a Newsweek article about the cultural impacts of the automobile written in 2007. It will reveal our collective influence on automobility. Link

    I contend that what we boomers and GENX’ers can bequeath the world is the first rational vehicle designed to provide personal mobility for decades at a cost no greater than a penny a mile – and sometimes nearly nothing.

    Know that if any family had a new Aptera, free and clear, in addition to their current vehicles, they could shift 50-70-90 percent of their travel to the zero-emission, potentially free transportation for what, substantially less than $1000 a year out of pocket maximum including insurance, tires and all other maintenance.

    This is important because of this info from the USDOT on the expenditures for vehicles in 2021:

    2021 Year-in-Review (DOT)

    • Households spent an average of $10,961 on transportation in 2021—the second largest household expenditure category after housing when spending on behalf of households, such as healthcare benefits, is excluded. Transportation expenditures grew by the third largest amount (11.6 percent) from 2020 to 2021, behind apparel and services (22.3 percent) and food (13.4 percent).

    • Households in the lowest income quintile spent the least on transportation ($4,273 vs $19,204 by households in the highest income quintile) but faced a larger transportation cost burden, spending 26.9 percent of their after-tax income on transportation compared to 10.4 percent by the highest income quintile in 2021.

    • Rural households spent more on transportation ($13,665) and experienced a higher transportation cost burden (17.3 percent) than urban households ($10,362 and 13.2 percent, respectively) in 2021.

    Consider, in your thinking about this, that the VW produced over 20,000,000 bugs and their savings in doing so were at most 20-30 percent over the ‘average’ cost of a vehicle.

    Because of the snail pace of depreciation, the long-life expectancy of the expensive parts like the battery and motors, and the fact that a significant portion of the cost of operations come FREE FROM THE SUN and because of overall efficiency, can be operated with chargers netting, at current rates, less than a penny a mile, makes Aptera’s promise extremely exciting.

    So, not wanting to leave anything good on the table, what will it take to eclipse the VW in production?

    A world-wide market to begin.

    Our task as boomers, is to leave the world with a vehicle that rationalizes and makes sense of all the BS we’ve endured from longer-lower – wider to turbo-diesels to the fins of the ’58 Plymouth Fury. But the main message is this ain’t just another throw-away car.

    It is a transportation appliance that has a practical, useful, productive lifetime of 100 years. That is not something you market by emphasizing motor-revving sounds and Corinthian leather.

    • Greek

      January 26, 2023 at 2:04 pm

      George Hughes, always lovely to read what you put into such flowing words and thoughts. It makes it almost intimidating to follow behind one of your posts.

      I do believe that APTERA will be the new VW bug. Also hearing it from Sandy Munro confirmed it to me that this will be a legacy vehicle. 30 years from now, kids will be calling it old school…I can’t even fathom the amount of new technology that will be available then. But one thing for sure, the APTERA’s built will have that longevity for people to drive/ride in what will more than likely still be an efficient mode of transportation.

      • george-hughes

        January 26, 2023 at 4:29 pm

        John, you’re too kind but I must ‘fess up’ … I’ve had a bit of experience with forum posts going all the way back to compuserve (pre-internet) days where I conned moderator status because it turned off the online money meter.

        I’ve been a major poster in the online auction arena and literally adopted the format to a successful hyperlocal news media from 2003-2016 when a host of issues, including reaching retirement age, said it was time to call it quits.

        I offered the community a much more personal communication tool long before Facebook even emerged. In its heyday, it was a marvel 🙂 Hell, I won a grant, a PBS blog and some long green as one of the first 25 Knight Foundation “21st Century Newschallenge” winners in 2007.

        But please don’t be intimidated. I’m literally looking for pushback or support for the ideas because I have the gut feeling that Aptera – because of its exceptional efficiency – is a key element of making the future of humanity something other than a totally urban experience.

        You could almost say to rural and suburban America, “They’re not coming after your guns, they’re coming after your money and will impoverish you to the degree you will have no choice but to retreat to your assigned cubicle on the 43rd floor of high-rise A4NW to live out your existence. And that is if the general society is ‘caring.’

        But walkable cities, ICE car bans and limiting vehicular traffic in urban areas is definitely a trend and one with real justifications in terms of efficiency and livability. No one is defending the strict zoning, minimum lot size suburban expression of mcmansions in today’s suburban setting.

        Driving the uneasiness for change is the climate threat and the fact we’re in the midst of a mass extinction as result. We can no longer sit on our butts.

        Finally, I think Steve, Chris and, for that matter, the folks from Roush to Monro to CPC are all full partners in this world changing venture and they’re doing a great job.

        It is a big battle and the enemy for damn sure isn’t Chris or Steve or Aptera. Hell, they’re forging the spear to pierce the heart of the oil rackets, but we need more allies.

        A key, essential and literally stupendous and unique difference between Aptera and ALL OTHER VEHICLES is its longevity.

        No one has ever had this “Jewel” of a feature to offer. You can come close, say with really fine china which, like other items, appreciate over time but a long useful product life is new to the toss-away culture we seem to have built.

        I’m frankly unsure how others associated with Aptera feel about this ‘card’ we’ve got sitting in the hole in this poker game.

        I hope to explore more of how this hole card may win us all the jackpot … so please bear with me.

      • george-hughes

        January 27, 2023 at 12:03 am

        That’s why I think the suburban and rural markets are the target. And I think each of these selected markets gets a copy of the Carlsbad plant, the wide dispersion of assembly facilities ties in with the environmental imperative that extends responsibility for the manufacturer for recycling.

        The proliferation of these ‘assembly plants’ will, by definition open the door to more experimentation that can be explored in this locations. You could almost consider these factories a focal point for practical environmental action. And frankly, that kind of exposure will grow Aptera’s green bona fides and increase the value of others in that geographic/demographic space for association. I’m seeing 100+ such plants by 2026.

        I also don’t think that the company that makes the production platforms that are programmed to usher the vehicle through assembly would be too tough to fulfill. Considering they serve the lean manufacturing approach, I suspect their processes are pretty cool and capable. I suspect in this time frame ’23-26 there is going to be some pain in the auto parts business and the prospect of building 2 million Aptera in 100 plants in 2026 would be inspiring to existing parts suppliers.

        But as I pointed out on the disrupting investing video post, Aptera Motors, though a central and key player, is not the lead player in these grand plans.

        What Aptera needs is what Walmart got with their association with Canoo or Rivian with Amazon.

        Let me paint a picture of a exurban use case in which we ‘grant’ an Aptera to a family with one adult doing a daily dash to the office. They’ve got a 50 mile daily round trip to and from and either drive their F-150 4wd or the Aptera. The truck gets 10mpg and gasoline is $4.00/gal so each day this driver pays $20 in gasoline to get to work. That’s $100/wk and $400/mo. Alternately, if he drives the Aptera it would have a cost of a fraction of a cent per mile as over half that energy used is zero cost energy. That trip costs the driver a quarter meaning at $1.25/wk, their monthly cost to get to work is now only $5.00 a month. That’s $395.00/mo. now available for other things.

        In this scenario, the homeowner could keep his beloved F-150 4WD using it on those forays into the woods during deer season for fifteen more seasons because he didn’t wear it out driving it to and from.

        Now this thing we call Aptera is more like a modern appliance. In fact there is less mechanical stress (save a collision) on the Aptera than a Maytag washing machine.

        The plain fact is given the Canoo and Rivian deals with big retailers should suggest that other large players in the retail space might be wondering how to get into this product segment.

        It is not like retail and cars have not been tried. There will be more discussion of this topic later.

        But this topic is about the hidden gifts of generational value and its possible implications. There is one really hard to deal with fact for me.

        That is if after 20 years and 250,000 miles, with fixed costs for renewal and that fact it is only one-quarter used, would it be worth 75% of the retail because it has another 60 years of service. Does that mean it will still be treated the same as other vehicles and depreciate 40 percent over the first three years when it comes to calculating leases.

        What do warranties have to do with building this perception?

        Don’t forget the associated recycling. I understand used parts are often used by the big boys on warranty work when possible. The subsystems are removable, repairable and replaceable as well as presumably being largely interchangeable.

        Derivative products such as powered electric trailers could also be produced using remanufactured in-wheel motors … which you get by aggressively collecting those unfortunate Aptera that are wrecked. Again, recycling.

        What I want the bottom line to be is that because of the retained value, a stated 20-year 500,000 mile warranty, an energy cost of operations of a penny a mile or less, and a 20 year lease at $100/mo with an easy ($500) out.

        For only a $100 a month (the customer now has a $295 in his pocket and a new carbon killer in his drive way that he can drive anywhere he wants for damn near nothing. Not only does he get to keep his 4×4 in top condition because he’s no longer paying the oil company tax.

        If it is perceived but as a household appliance bought for its utility and societal benefit, Then add the fact it gives you about $3 grand in found money a year and it is a fun little runaround. I think it would take many millions to satisfy the demand.

        • JRWiley

          January 27, 2023 at 6:00 am

          George – I wish I could reply with such eloquence. My best response is – wow. Excellent arguments and a very persuasive thesis. If I weren’t so old I would get into the car rental business.

          On the long shot that Aptera has somehow missed this and/or other such posts from you, I do hope you are sending them copies. If they haven’t already thought of these marketing opportunities, at some point, like when they have a vehicle to sell, they certainly would be worth considering.

          I tend to oscillate between holding on to my money and then reading one of your posts and then substantially increasing my investment.

          P.S. Do you work for Aptera. If not maybe Aptera should give you a call.

  • WesMan

    January 27, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Great comments George 👍. I cannot wait for the creativity spawned from the average person seeing Aptera in the wild.

    I’m super impressed with Aptera’s creation and their careful stewardship of their associates and finances.

    I look forward to they day when we start designing things focused on efficiency, durability and upgradability.

    Remembering a scene from Grumpy Old Men, “I could fix that for you,” in response to the fishbowl TV situation. I really wish we would build more things we could fix instead of just throw away.

    • george-hughes

      January 28, 2023 at 10:58 am

      Wes Man: I do think you nailed it. I’m a grumpy old man who says “I can fix that for you :)” … I love it 😉

      But really, how do you fix it?

      First off, start with patience.

      They’ve got it together – Steve and Chris – and they’re going to get us to production.

      They’ve got a variety of suitors in the VC, institutional and sovereign funds sources.

      Those folks are shrewd, cutthroat business people who are literally dangling a carrot but have sticks of various sizes they intend to use to their advantage when they can.

      Their negotiations are intense and complex and, as Steve said, ‘take time to negotiate.’

      Just like the competition that will come from competing to be among the 2000, there will be competition among the suitors.

      And the suitors are loving the current circumstance because for all intents and purposes, the overall climate of the world economy is chaos and disruption … and decidedly expanded risk. The circumstances give them a better negotiating position.

      The real question is, at this point, is there anything we as disrupters of an automotive market that is headed toward the chaos that comes when the financial basis of the car business is under stress from the rapid rise in prices caused by supply shortages only to be followed by easing of demand, price/valuation drops of the existing inventory and a ballooning of inventory by dealers nationwide.

      It is more than the boom/bust cycle because this bust cycle coincides with the avoidance of ICE vehicles because of their comparative inefficiencies with EVs because of their now obvious obsolescence.

      Of course the general malaise in the auto markets has most regular folks just plain freaking. I mean the doomsday clock is now at 90 seconds.

      But there are, as Spock used to say, “always an alternative.”

      This Aptera supporter is coming from it from the centralized manufacturing … in the author’s language, “and allow them to initiate a global distribution from one location.”

      As Bruce Nelson pointed out in his reply to this video, Aptera has plans for their mini-assembly plants.

      I find the ‘localization’ and distribution of facilities a real advantage as it gives real people real jobs in real places which is totally different than the the long lines of gantry-fed, binary, robotic welders that do the grunt work in a 5 million sq.ft. highly automated factory.

      Foxconn could be useful in producing some of the subsystems and ought to be considered for expanded production, say of the Elaphe motors to Aptera’s spec. But Foxconn bought an old Chevy plant in Lordstown OH that is designed to make steel-bodied or other sheet metal bodied vehicles that are, in my opinion, obsoleted the first day a vehicle capable of mass adoption using CF and SMC is completed. You just can’t get the combination of light-weight strength and precision from any other material.

      But “m xux” is absolutely correct in his assertion that Aptera could use not just Foxcon, but other sources of other peoples money, to capitalize their production.

      I’ve said it on more than one occasion that a local development board with the ability to raise money through public bonding could more than finance 100 of the mini-factories quicker than you might imagine – if the impacts on the velocity of local funds is of any import to local businesses and communities. This would rank, given the crisis we face if we don’t dramatically reduce Co2 quickly, somewhere ahead of the $1.6 billion, a large portion of which was publicly provided funding, for Alliance Stadium in Las Vegas.

      BTW, while such ‘opportunities’ can be discussed, the decision typically falls to the county chair and the bankers and community leaders appointed to such a board. It can happen a lot quicker than you think if folks are on-board.

      That said, there is one thing that would grease the wheels and that is an association with, I’m going to say, a business institution that has broad clout over the rural/suburban terrain.

      Certainly, Amazon and Walmart lead that list although Amazon, mainly a catalogue retailer, is limited geographically to its whole foods operation, which would be considered an environmentally more aware group.

      Walmart, frankly, has the best set of locations and size as it is ubiquitous and probably has enough headaches with its Canoo connection to place is down a bit on our list of who NEEDS to jump in here.

      That puts Home Depot and Lowes near the top of my list of retailers that could do what retailers often do, which is expand the product line by adding this ‘transportation appliance that is needed most in the burbs and rural America – NOT AS A REPLACEMENT OF AN EXISTING VEHICLE BUT AS AN ADDITION TO THE RETAILERS OFFERINGS OF HOME APPLIANCES.

      Whom else belongs on the list. Seriously, I’m asking. (For instance, there are lots of ‘auto parts’ stores around, not to mention grocery stores that are rapidly adding free level 2 charging to lure EV buyers. Do any of them have unique advantages or a corporate culture capable of embracing Aptera as a retail item?

      Still, and this could evolve, these ‘retailers’ would be limited to servicing the low cost long term lease proposed and would use their ‘sponsoring’ of that lease (which would require a capital investment of ????) which gives them the opportunity to have their customers send them the first $100-200/mo they save on gas from using Aptera for commuting for 10 years.

      I’m going to start a new topic on the terms of what I call the no-brainer lease.

  • bryan-hendricks

    February 17, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    I share your hope that Aptera’s design will be low maintenance and generally trouble free. I hope it will ultimately earn your title “generational”. Some aspects of the Aptera appear to be on track to make that happen. Two aspects of the Aptera are on a conspicuously different path: the body wrap, and the white interior. Those aspects of the Aptera are likely to require much more maintenance and expense than painted vehicles with practical interiors.

    I haven’t cancelled my order due to these design decisions. I’m trying to be pragmatic about the pros and cons. I reserve the right to roll my eyes at the baffling, high maintenance decision to incorporate white headrests, white seats, and a white steering wheel.

    • george-hughes

      February 18, 2023 at 12:50 am

      I understand your skepticism on this topic.

      I think we’re confronted with that old down east joke where a local yokel at a crossroads, when asked how to get to the next town tells the lost motorist to go first in one direction only to reject the path for a bridge being out or some other calamity only to conclude you can’t get there from here.

      What we’re dealing with here is the known and the unknown. The known is nitty-gritty of the production plan which will ramp to produce the first 5,000 launch vehicles. The immediate task is getting the money. That is happening.

      The plain fact is no one entity has ever bootstrapped a vehicle to full success since WWII. Rather the industry has continuously consolidated, so much so the industry became vulnerable to foreign competition.

      It is obvious to me the subsystem assembly process to final vehicle suggests ‘standards’ in terms of dimensions and methods of integration. These ‘assembly plants’ obviously can be sited in former commercial retail space of which there are numerous opportunities in many areas. What percentage of the final cost of the Aptera is in the long-lasting components.

      The point is seats, dash, entertainment system and even the control/communication/navigation to self-driving improvements – those things that can become soiled, torn or made obsolete – are what will drive depreciation of the Aptera.

      Take the seat/interior/dash subsystem (I’m not privy to the actual process but I imagine it being a ‘package that may be installed at one of those assembly stations. Now just imagine that one of the viking lifts delivers an eight year old Aptera first to a removal station that clears the way for the renewals. The seats and dash are removed and presumably the existing wiring harness is good to go and this older model has a new set of seats and an upgraded central control that includes the addition of a few other parts to install sensors for full self driving. With a spiffy new set of seats and dash with the latest hardware/software, the $5,500 price tag for the hardware and installation – including a core credit as the items removed from the older vehicle will be renewed, upgraded, and ultimately reinstalled to renew another older Aptera.

      As far as the wrap, the real question is whether folks wont change, potentially with the seasons. See, I’m betting that in the spring and fall different advertisers may want to hire that slab on the side and after six months required use of the message, the advertiser would give you a new basic non-advertising wrap replacement. Or forgo the parade and choose your own color and you’ll probably get it installed for $500-600. Consider it penance for not needing oil changes, gasoline or in many cases, even a plug.

      The scope of the renewal covers the basics from cosmetics to tires, shocks and bushings to control tools (FSD) and sensors. It may have slightly reduced range – maybe 375 mi for the 400 mile model but basically is good for another 200,000 miles just like a brand-spanking new one. With core credits, the total cost of the renewal is less than $10,000.

      So what is the ‘value’ of this remanufactured ten year old Aptera? I’m betting it would be between 75-85% of the current value of a new unit or probably about its present MSRP assuming normal price increases over a decade. This will lower the cost of the lease.

      I sense if Aptera can carve its niche to take advantage of the lease exception for a $7,500 rebate, that may be enough to jump start this kind of virtuous circle that literally anticipates the remanufacture in the same mini-assembly plants they were originally built. It just makes sense if the body is going to have that kind of lifetime.

      <font face=”inherit”>Those plants could/would be there if one market grasps this lease approach and shows broad micro economic </font>improvements<font face=”inherit”> in the ‘jurisdiction’ the pilot is run. The plant would dedicate like 80 percent of its production to a lease special: likely to be the 250 mile </font>FWD variant to meet the demand for a $100/mo unlimited mileage terms.

      The reason for the unlimited miles is the notion that this transportation appliance will become the go-to vehicle as, with the solar discount, provide transportation for about a half-cent a mile. This compares to the 10 cent per mile cost imposed by the most efficient 2-seat ICE vehicle, the 4-cyl Mazda Miata, and a cost of over 20 cents a mile for a typical SUV.

      The secondary benefit of unlimited mile leasing is tells consumers if they use these vehicles instead of their existing ICE vehicle, they can pocket a $100 or more a month. Keeping the miles off their SUV will increase its value over time. But it is not just the consumers. The pizza delivery guys, auto parts folks, new delivery services could blossom because the cost of delivery now starts at a penny a mile. A homeless guy could do deliveries and earn enough to lease an Aptera that could double as a heated and cooled mobile shelter.

      A concept like this is not going to reach everyone but this may be the best way to accelerate integration by suggesting they ‘hybridize’ their ICE owning family by adding the Aptera and counting on the fact it doesn’t cost anything to run it, it will more than displace its percent sold with actual carbon free transportation.

      It is just that right now we have the opportunity to roll with the right to repair ethic and suggest the essence of a partnership with hundreds of communities to build mini-assembly plants to feed the need for new and remanufactured Aptera.

      Oh, and there will be other models to build. Aptera may find its self, more a manager of the locally financed min-plants but having the control over the management of these assets may open the door to a renewal of manufacturing, on a human scale that maximizes productivity and employment patterns. Who knows, these facilities – often converted from other uses in a retail/office park setting – may spawn successful eVTOLs, aka flying cars.

      It just seems like a virtuous circle that might start spinning so fast that it turns into a tornado.

      But dirty or out-of-style upholstery or an easy to replace wrap on the sides don’t obsolete or really diminish the value of penny a mile performance.

  • Pragmatic_to_a_Fault

    February 24, 2023 at 10:56 am

    You don’t see people rushing out to spend $50k to restore a 1985 cavalier or Chevy citation.

    Timeless classics will never be replaced by the likes of todays autos.

    Nothing but nothing compares to the shape and elegance of art deco era cars, next your chrome adorned classics Of the 40s and 50s , lastly the muscle cars.

    I would be willing to bet that aptera aside from its futuristic look will never be chopped dropped and modified into a rolling work of art by the likes of Dave Kendig or chip foose.

    Which will eventually make aptera dated and passé.

    • george-hughes

      February 24, 2023 at 9:13 pm

      I wouldn’t disagree with you at all. While Aptera has style that fits with contemporary times, its style is not flair, its physics.

      But you are absolutely right, Aptera is not some toy; it is a transportation appliance which is a fancy way to describe an economy car. If you looked under the sheet metal, that is all that the Mustang was – a Ford Falcon economy car.

      But there is one super-endearing fact and that is in many red states, the adjusted cost of energy for transportation in an Aptera is probably a third of a penny a mile. No ICE vehicle, regardless of the amount of chrome it sports, can touch that efficiency and neither can competing EVs, many of which consume three to five times more kilowatts.

      The Aptera is not a sports car; it is simply the greatest economy car ever built.

      Economy cars, even two-seaters like the Smart 4two but most notably the Miata and other small cars like the Mini, Beetle and 2cv that proliferated around the world have often become icons.

      And as far as the Mustang/Falcon similarity, consider the recent news that Aptera dropped the power of its standard in-wheel motor from 50kw to 43kw meaning the AWD maximum power is down 21kw along with top speed. We’ve been told there is a corresponding increase in efficiency. If this were a sports car, it would be boosting power to increase performance, not restricting it to maximize economy.

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