I think we’re all trying to do the most sustainable thing and, well, plastic based composites generally just stick around forever. Wouldn’t it be neat to use modified wood instead? Tons of R&D necessary still most likely, but would be cool to see something like that around 2030.
I work with wood a lot both in industry and hobbies so wood is certainly good in my book. From an ecological and industrial standpoint, though, hemp and bamboo are better in many cases. I’d be pleased to see Aptera and others go there to ever increasing degrees.
On the other hand, I can imagine an Aptera, more than any previous vehicle I’ve owned, being the first that I might actually want to gussy up and personalize. The wood interior accents seen in classic European sports and luxury cars seem within my grasp to adapt to a relatively simple Aptera interior. That would be scrap wood from my work and my own craftsmanship too, so this is quite the opposite of ostentatious conspicuous consumption. We will see though.
The inclusion in the composite monocoque of a hemp-based fabric in lieu of fiberglass is a conscious decision I think has already been made to assure eventual bio-degradation of the shell.
Apparently, the composite shell is largely impervious to damage provided with the strength benefiting passenger safety. However, in a serious crash, the composite body will bend and crack and that action allows moisture and other elements to enter the body and ultimately destroy the monocoque. I.e. if you smash your Aptera into a wall at 40 mph and it cracks the shell of monocoque, order a new body and take the parts of the wrecked Aptera and put them in the new shell.
What would be cool is if the next Aptera model is also a three wheeler with the back-seat or kid-seat area engineered into the body.
According to Nathan Armstrong, it would be a relatively simple operation to take the parts off the traditional two-seater and replace them on the expanded monocoque upgrading to the for opulent four-seat composite structure. Heck, you could keep the two-seat in the barn.
I do wonder how much a complete composite monocoque might cost for replacement?