Your Aptera broke down in the middle of nowhere….Can you tow your Aptera?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Your Aptera broke down in the middle of nowhere….Can you tow your Aptera?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Your Aptera broke down in the middle of nowhere….Can you tow your Aptera?

  • Your Aptera broke down in the middle of nowhere….Can you tow your Aptera?

  • Elzo Stubbe

    Member
    March 30, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    God forbid, your Aptera broke down in a remote location. All you have is a towing cable and a friends car… Would you be able to attach it securely to the front of the vehicle in order to tow it away?

  • Curtis Cibinel

    Member
    March 30, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    My understanding is that flat towing any EV (especially with a permanent magnet motor) is bad for the battery and electrical systems. I suspect it should always be “towed” on a flatbed.

    • John LaRocque

      Member
      March 30, 2022 at 2:56 pm

      I wonder if you could tow the FWD version with a regular wheel lift truck? The single rear wheel might present some complications but you wouldn’t have the motor to worry about.

      • Curtis Cibinel

        Member
        March 30, 2022 at 5:09 pm

        Quite likely you could tow as long as the drive wheels are lifted. Tow companies also have dollies and could perhaps use these and lift the rear (tow is backwards). The tow hardware might not be compatible with the wheel covers however. If they are easy to take off put them in the back of the aptera instead.

        FWD definitely has more tow options.

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    March 30, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    “broke down” is an interesting concept: Could a suspension component snap or shatter? Perhaps, but that would render the vehicle unable to roll. Could a motor fail and lock-up? Perhaps, but that would render the vehicle unable to roll. Could the software fail and render the vehicle unresponsive to controls? Perhaps. I’m guessing that, if you’re able to reach-out to a friend with a towline, you’re probably equally able to contact a professional towing service.

    • Peter Jorgensen

      Member
      April 26, 2022 at 7:47 am

      Good thoughts – Case in point – I had a friend rallying across the Utah Desert in a heavily modified Crosstrek. He ended up jumping it off a hill to avoid hitting an antelope. It landed about 100 feet away. It mashed the control arms up pretty good in all four corners, and drove the front differential and exhaust up through the engine block and transmission.

      Even though the alignment was off, they were able to tow it 20 miles with a strap to a paved road where they put it on a trailer and hauled it to the shop to take off their mods before scrapping the car.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    March 30, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    This is true for almost all EVs, you need a flatbed to tow them. Where you do define as the middle of nowhere that doesn’t have flatbed tow trucks? The Aptera isn’t a Rivian, it’s not really meant to do any extreme off roading.

    • Elzo Stubbe

      Member
      March 31, 2022 at 3:08 am

      A few details need addressing: There are several remote places with no cell phone connectivity while still being on a decent road(what to do then?). Off course I know that in theory a electric vehicle is much more reliable than any other vehicle out there. For me it was the big IF and lets quote Murphy’s law: Anything that could go wrong, will one day go wrong….

      • Elzo Stubbe

        Member
        March 31, 2022 at 3:13 am

        I ask these kind of questions with absolutely zero knowledge. I am so to speak the Dummy end user…..

        • Elzo Stubbe

          Member
          April 1, 2022 at 9:36 am

          in case of emergency the possibility to put the wheels in neutral so the wheels will free roll without damaging the electric motors or when you want to put it through the car wash? Also would come in handy when you have to push the vehicle off the road because it is on a dangerous spot.

          • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Elzo Stubbe. Reason: car wash
          • Peter Jorgensen

            Member
            April 26, 2022 at 7:48 am

            There is no neutral and no way to disable the motors. The controllers have to function to allow/permit/control motion. Best case is to winch it up onto a flatbed. Have the friend drive to town and call flatbed.

        • kerbe2705

          Member
          April 26, 2022 at 8:30 am

          I think we’re assuming that the friend with the car and the towing strap isn’t with you when the Aptera stops functioning – that you’d have to call the friend to come tow you.

          • Elzo Stubbe

            Member
            April 27, 2022 at 5:16 am

            no the friend is with you and his phone is also dead. But he has a towing cable….And off course I understand that he could hop into his car and get some help. But with two gas cars this would not be necessary. He could immediately tow your car….So I would like it very much if this electric vehicle would have the exact same properties and could simply be towed away. It is actually part of my wishlist.

            • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Elzo Stubbe.
            • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Elzo Stubbe.
  • John Teran

    Member
    April 26, 2022 at 7:14 am

    a neutral gear and a hidden towing loop in the front would be perfect.

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      April 26, 2022 at 8:27 am

      Aptera’s in-wheel motors have no gears so “neutral” isn’t an option…

      • Gabriel Kemeny

        Member
        April 26, 2022 at 3:45 pm

        The EV equivalent of removing the driveshaft on ICE vehicles to be towable is the removal of the power lines from the motor – just hope that is easy to do safely.

  • George Hughes

    Member
    April 26, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    Some things make sense to me and some things don’t make any sense at all.

    Tethering an EV with a chain/rope and pulling it an indeterminate distance is universally said to be one of those that would make your EV go up in a puff of smoke.

    There are definitely limits to on-ground towing; the most important being that if you are stupid about it, you can do all the bad things to your EV they say.

    Let’s do a thought experiment. You and your EV have just made the final rise to top Pikes Peak but your EV shows 0 miles remaining range. There is no charger at the top of the peak and you don’t even have just enough to crest a small hill to make the trip down from the Peak using gravity.

    All you need is to pull your car 500 feet to crest the hill and natural regen would solve your discharge problem.

    But the rule is you can’t tow an EV.

    Are you stuck on the peak or do you break the rule?

    The danger of flat towing an EV is that you pull it too far and the resulting regen overwhelms the cooling system of the EV as an unpowered “On” EV will reach exceed its capacity to cool the battery possibly resulting in vehicle self-immolation. The problem arises because the laws of almost all states (if not all) declare it is illegal to pull a vehicle (or trailer) with an occupant.

    I will say I would have no problem whatsoever pulling any EV (capable of rolling and simply discharged, obviously) as long as I was in control of the pulled vehicle and capable of monitoring the state of charge, etc. You can’t do that legally because you can’t tow an occupied vehicle.

    That said, the likelihood of enforcement may depend a lot on where you are.

    • Elzo Stubbe

      Member
      April 27, 2022 at 5:25 am

      I can see all the disadvantages and things you should/can not do with this vehicle. I only described a very possible situation especially when you are offroad in a remote part of your country or Canada. And my question was what to do then. Everybody describes all the things you shouldn’t do but no one describes what the solution could be to really be able to tow the vehicle…Because ordering a flatbed is also impossible if your phone does not work.

      A Garmin or a Satphone then?

    • Joshua Rosen

      Member
      April 27, 2022 at 5:43 am

      Pull charging is a thing. Out of Spec Motoring has done it to a Tesla on their Youtube channel a couple of times. If you have an empty battery then towing it while regening will charge it pretty quickly.

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