MemberOctober 3, 2021 at 7:14 pm
MemberOctober 3, 2021 at 8:17 pm
This was posted in the “Solar EV Industry News” forum a few days ago.
MemberOctober 3, 2021 at 8:25 pm
Familiar theme here “Driven by the sun” 150 miles in a week from solar cells. (21 miles a day if counting 7 days in a week.) About half of Aptera potential) Not in Munich. Weather there is terrible. Affordable price point. Similar to Aptera claims. Potential to do do local daily commute without plugging in to charge, an Aptera claim.
Four wheel, family seating, two way flow of charging current. Different from Aptera but representing some features asked for from a few of our forum posters.
The fly in the ointment for them, no production arrangements close to Aptera’s. As mentioned in other posts, efficient and profitable production is a BIG hurdle. Also European legacy manufacturers all ready in production with simular vehicles and Chinese manufactures coming to EU
And of course the big difference, Sion range 160 miles per charge vs. 1000 miles per charge for Aptera.
A “Copy cat” potentially on life support before they get started in 2023
MemberOctober 3, 2021 at 11:14 pm
Not to hype the Sion, but they do already have a factory to produce it. It’s the former Saab factory in Trollhattan, Sweden.
As a former Saab enthusiast,, I’m happy they are utilizing that factory.
MemberOctober 4, 2021 at 9:02 am
I had a Saab 900! Great car, well engineered. Not the most attractive design by great vehicle. Sorry they left the US market.
Yes, it is contracted production not an owned and operated production facility. Similar to the arrangement Canoo has. Canoo has contracted for European production while their owned factory is being built in OK. More of an issue for Canoo since it is a Dutch company, VDL Nedcar, and shipping and duty will impact price/sales. Also, Sion’s R&D Facility is in Munich a long way from the contracted production in Sweden. On the positive side, Sion will not be in the market until 2023 so they have time to work out the kinks. As mentioned before, this late introduction into the market gives EU legacy manufactures and China a chance to get a hold in the EU market.
Probably the biggest issue with contracted production is the time, cost, and management energy it takes to make changes in the vehicle if needed during the production period since the change has to be spect’d out, costed, scheduled, priced and a contract mod approved by both parties. A pain in the you know what. Contracted production adds addition burden in scheduling, QC, logistics, oversight (Another layer of management and administration) and added cost.
Aptera will incur some of this since their production facility is more an assembly facility with components and subsystems produced by suppliers. This is the case with GM as much of the Bolt is manufactured in Korea and shipped to GM for assembly.
Of course, in the crazy EV market with the existing logistics issues who can predict what will happen in the next week let alone the next year.
MemberOctober 4, 2021 at 11:10 am
I too had a Saab 900 — the turbo model. Saab being an aircraft manufacturer resulted in them paying attention to the aerodynamics of the car; of course, not to the Aptera level. I keep thinking that just as the Aptera vehicle is in an usual niche, their manufacturing, distribution, and repair support will differ from the model we’ve gotten used to from major car manufacturers. Will be interesting to see how it morphs.
MemberOctober 4, 2021 at 8:44 am
I wouldn’t describe them as competition. Aside from the solar panels there is very little in common. The Sono is essentially a city car, the Aptera will have the longest range of any EV by a country mile, actually 80 country miles for the 600 mile version and 480 for the 1000 mile version vs the current champ the Lucid which has 520 miles of range for the low low price of only $139,000.
There is also the issue of availability, the Aptera will come out in the US first, it will be years before it’s available in the EU if ever (there is a separate thread on this concerning it’s width and it’s subsequent legality in Europe). The Sono is coming out in Germany first, it only has 190 miles of WLTP range, considered acceptable in Europe but not by Americans, it’s doubtful that they will try and bring it to the US.
MemberOctober 4, 2021 at 9:33 am
I need to emphasize that Aptera has stated the intent to enter the EU Market. Perhaps with the current two seater, and perhaps with the follow on four seater. The engineering group is looking at efficient ways to meet EU standards while maintaining the many feature advantages of the Aptera. So, until Aptera management says otherwise, we have to believe their intent and plans to enter and be successful in the EU. They have a number of Ambassadors working in EU countries and full time resources working formally with the EU to support market entry. Aptera would not allocate such resources/expenses at this time (Preparing for upcoming production) if they did not intend to move into that market at the right time. I have confidence in senior management at Aptera (They have made great decisions and demonstrated success with shoestring resources in a short time) As outsiders now is not the time to be skeptical of Aptera. Let’s not guess but wait for Aptera to make announcements on the progress of their business.
MemberOctober 4, 2021 at 10:00 am
I know they want to enter the EU market but the practical realities for a company their size is that they won’t be able to do it in less than a couple of years after they’ve released it in the US and this assumes no impediments to the release, if they have to wait for their second model then that’s another couple of years. Even for the major companies they wait a year and a half to two years before they send a new model overseas. We don’t get German or Japanese cars in the US immediately unless that vehicle was built specifically for the American market (Toyota pickup trucks for example which are built in the US and never exported to Japan). Tesla has just started selling Model Ys in the EU, it’s been available in the US since March 2020. Tesla has factories on two continents and they are closing in on a million cars a year and it still took them 18 months before they started selling the Y in Europe.
BTW I think it’s much more likely that Europeans will find the Aptera attractive, assuming the size issues can be addressed, then American’s will find the Sono appealing. The Sono is yet another CUV, a little uglier than most, aside from the solar panels there is nothing to recommend it. The Aptera will be the most distinctive car on the road, people will either love it or hate it there won’t be anything in between. Only the Cybertruck will have a similarly polarizing appearance. The Aptera will also be able to do something no other car will be able to do, go 600 miles and maybe 1000 miles, on a single charge. That’s a game changer and totally unique to Aptera. Nobody is planning on challenging that range.
One more thought. When Aptera does get to Europe it should have a cost advantage over the Sono, assuming that the tariffs aren’t so high as to negate it. The 25KWh Aptera will have 250 EPA miles of range while the 54KWh Sono has only 190 WLTP miles of range. 30KWh of battery is 3-4.5 thousand dollars of cost. EU subsidies could effect this a lot assuming they treat 3 wheelers differently than four wheelers as they are in the US.
MemberOctober 6, 2021 at 5:43 pm
These are all good points and one which stands out to me is that, in order for Aptera to succeed and get traction in the EV market (North America) it needs to begin production asap. I understand it’s easier said than done, however the competition is going to heat up real quick. As a firm believe in efficiency, and a desire to do my bit in saving the planet I’m a strong advocate for Aptera.
I don’t doubt that Aptera will be able to deliver, I Just hope that they are able to deliver in time.
Let me know if I can help.
MemberOctober 6, 2021 at 6:49 pm
I’m still not sure what the competition is – in the US especially. Aptera is a two-seat electric sports car. Arguably, the “$25,000” Tesla might compete on price and, I expect, have decent performance, but their two-seat sports car will be an order of magnitude more expensive – in 2024. Econo eBoxes from China and S. Korea appeal to a different buyer, one who’s primary criteria is purchase price. Am I overlooking someone?
MemberOctober 7, 2021 at 9:35 am
Let’s assume an average American who has used an ICE vehicle all his/her life has decided to switch to electric. What factors will he/she consider?
3. Charging infrastructure
4. Industry leading tech (4680 cells)
5. # of passengers vehicle can carry.
These are just a few from among the many factors involved in the decision making process. My point is, in order for Aptera to be the choice mode of transport for this average consumer, it has to check most of these boxes. Either that and/or beat Tesla and other legacy automotive to the punch by making production ready vehicles asap.
Yes there is no apples to apples comparison between Aptera and Tesla but at the end of the day, they are EV’s. Thinking purely from an average consumer’s perspective I believe that in order for Aptera to gain traction and grow rapidly we need to do everything possible to get these EV’s in the hands of consumers asap.
MemberOctober 7, 2021 at 1:54 pm
Aptera and others dont need to see Tesla as the enemy. Tesla is and will continue to sell everything they can make for years. Plenty of people will buy alternatives just to not be identical to their neighbor.
Aptera crushes on cost and range. Given efficiency and new tesla policies charging shouldn’t be a problem. As long as batteries are safe and meet the performance/longevity requirements people dont care about the bleeding edge (I personally think aptera is well suited for LFP). As to number of passengers that is only a negative if they market in direct competition; if you compare the Aptera to any sports car two passenger + ample cargo is best in class as is the acceleration; its a Tesla roadster for 1/3rd the price.
A common comparison is the ICE vs EV carbon footprint in dirty grids. For aptera being crazy efficient, light and having integrated panels it is probably lower carbon to produce than an ICE econobox and better to run than anything else; initial carbon footprint should be very good especially in low range models.