MemberAugust 31, 2021 at 1:53 pm
MemberAugust 31, 2021 at 2:29 pm
It’s the same idea but my God those things are ugly.
MemberAugust 31, 2021 at 7:44 pm
Thanks for this Iowsa. based on the previous forum and this new one you seem to be the person that most closely tracks EV technology.
I think Joshua was being very gracious with his comment on the appearance. 😒
They have two claims to fame, one technology, and one business. The technology of course is their robotic wheel with built in propulsion (Using the same tech and provider as Aptera) and electric active suspension. The business claim to fame is their target market which is fleet sales for commercial enterprises (Delivery, services, etc.) and instead of purchase, rent with no contract. Rental at a rate 25% less than the cost per mile for a used gas car. (They don’t state what this is) Insurance, charging and parking with a claim of 50% less for insurance.
The max range is 130 to 200+ miles, max speed is 80MPH. Not at all competitive with Aptera. They are cheap if you buy, between 20 and 24K. Battery packs are small, 20kWh to 30 kWh.
Both Project Alpha and Project Bravo are driven from the center and both have a removable rear bench seat with sliding doors. Curb weight of the Alpha is 1210 pounds with a max gross weight of 1800 lbs. For the Bravo the figures are 1650/2450.
They won’t be around until 2023.
Certainly no competition for the Aptera in its current primary market in the near future but should be watched when Aptera develops four wheel and commercial vehicles.
MemberSeptember 1, 2021 at 3:07 pm
It’s an interesting business plan, build a dedicated cab or delivery vehicle. There hasn’t been a purpose built cab in the US since the demise of the Checker Marathon. Cabs have different requirements than personal cars. They operate almost exclusively in cities where the speeds are very low, 20MPH typically, stop frequently and put on huge numbers of miles a year, the typical NY cab does 70,000 miles a year. Unlike personal cars quick acceleration is undesirable because it uncomfortable for the passengers. They need easy access to luggage space and roomy backseats. Having all of the logistics and billing built into the infotainment system is also a huge plus. I like that they use a center driver’s seat, that makes it much easier for the cab driver to get out and help the passengers with their bags or with a wheel chair. BTW one of the fatal flaws of robotaxies is that the passenger is on their own when it comes to luggage and more importantly wheel chairs and walkers. Unless Tesla intends to include a Teslabot in their robotaxi’s they’ve got a problem with the ADA.
That said the Canoo looks like it would be a much better cab, it has much more passenger room and the luggage is with the passenger instead of a trunk.
MemberSeptember 2, 2021 at 12:23 am
These folks approached the market logically and came to many of the same conclusions as the management at Aptera. Their effort is really nicely designed for those generally northeastern cities. Not as wide a track and much shorter than the Aptera the indigo concept is aimed at performing in pot-hole riddled city streets at such modest speeds wind resistance is an after thought.
What is really terrific technologically is the active suspension; particularly on a three wheeler over city streets that are at best a work in progress.
It is amazing the improvements in ride quality come with an active suspension including the cloud-like ride that can be programmed in an all-wheel system.
Given the wonders of this technology, I wonder if there might also be a benefit to using such technology on the rear suspension of the Aptera. Hydraulic power requirements might be less than most suspect if the process were operating only on the single rear wheel. It would by definition mitigate the giant center of the road pothole jolt that folks fear.
This type of suspension can be used for handling as well as comfort and I suspect that tech will find its way to future versions of Aptera as it will give smaller, lighter, more-efficient vehicles measurably better ride quality that transcend vehicle class and size.
MemberSeptember 2, 2021 at 5:52 am
Sandy Munro did make a mention of active suspension with regards to the Aptera as a means of dealing with any instability. It sounded more like a suggestion rather than an existing design goal. It’s highly unlikely that they would attempt it right out the chute, they need to get a car out the door as soon as possible and that mean using a conventional suspension.
Decades ago Bose developed an electronic suspension for cars, it could drive over a log without you feeling it. They got no interest from any auto maker so they dropped it. I expect the costs at the time would have made it a non-starter. But in an EV it would make sense. With an active suspension you can recover the energy used to absorb bumps in the same way as regenerative braking recovers the energy used to decelerate the car. Shock absorbers are dissipating energy as heat, I wonder if that’s a significant amount of energy that’s lost.
MemberSeptember 2, 2021 at 3:00 pm
The problem with the Bose system is if you put it on, say a Cadillac, yes, it would ride better than any other car but then it probably rides better anyway, given its size and engineering.
Traditional automakers typically introduce innovative tech on high-end luxury models but since. at the high end, ride is already superior, the value of an active suspension is a more marginal improvement.
And manufacturers of big, profitable luxury cars surely don’t want active suspension on a smaller car in their showrooms because it becomes disruptive to the price, size, value, comfort equation.
So Joshua, you’re right. This tech is perfect for the EV industry. I wasn’t suggesting that it be incorporated in the initial Aptera to hit streets but rather the advantage a light-weight three-wheeled vehicle has in cost and implementation.
I mean it may not be the ‘best’ active suspension setup but the single wheel implementation could get you in the active suspension game very quickly and at the lowest cost with only one wheel involved.
That said, I’ve got a relatively high level of expectation of what the final suspension system will do after Rousch worked it magic and this is not a recommendation of change on the introductory model.
MemberSeptember 2, 2021 at 8:29 pm
I call that one fugly …
Any babyboomer who watched “The Jetsons” as a kid will want an aptera once the see it flying thru the streets. Even more so once they learn about it efficiency and range.
Best of all … all those babyboomers are retirees, kids grown up, perfect for a two seater. And most likely have two cars … second one just in case the grandchildren come to visit.
MemberSeptember 4, 2021 at 8:05 am
You’ve described my to a T, the second I saw a picture of the Aptera I thought, that’s George Jetson’s car I want one. The Aptera was actually featured in a Star Trek movies so it’s a twofer. It can’t fly like the Jetson’s car but still it’s a lot closer than a Roomba is to Rosie. Of the things that they promised us in the 60s, we got the Star Trek communicator decades ago and we’ve moved past it. We were supposed to be able to take the Pan Am shuttle to the moon 20 years ago, that didn’t happen but Jeff Besos is selling rides on the Flesh Gordon spaceship so that’s something.