Appreciate your question, Christine. If the Aptera body were just fiberglas, any shop that does Corvette, boat hull, or motorcycle fairing repairs could do it. However, Aptera is a composite body that, as I understand it, is some sort of sandwich construction. That might be a stumbling block for a typical body shop. Hopefully, someone from the Aptera team can weigh in on your question.
Not to be pedantic but “composite” effectively means 2 or more materials. Very generally, Corvettes, boat hulls, or motorcycle fairing are composites too (fiber reinforced resins). Some of Aptera’s parts are likely just as simple but much of them are most certainly not. They have on the order of 4 materials (fiber, resin, foam and honeycomb core). Rather sophisticated.
A repair would typically consist of sanding/grinding out damaged material and replacing it with new material. This type of repair is common on boats and can be done at home with nothing more than an orbital sander, some nitrile gloves, and fiberglass. A good repair is stronger than the original structure in that area, but will add weight. This type of construction is very resistant to damage and won’t dent like your normal stamped steel or aluminum car. Front end body panels could be just replaced but irreparable damage to the vehicle safety shell would total the Aptera. In general it should survive crashes with less body damage than pretty much anything else on the road.
Hi, Peter. Just viewed the video posted on YouTube by Kristen Dirksen. During the sequence of her tour inside Aptera headquarters she was shown a sample of the body panel sandwich material. Looks like repairing it would involve a slightly different process than repairing a standard fiberglas fender panel. Probably still manageable though.
Came across this old Corvette in my supermarket’s parking lot. Clearly in need of some TLC . I noted how much thinner the fiberglass fender was in comparison to the sandwich construction of the Aptera’s body panels. I think it was a 70’s vintage Corvette.