Stability in high winds and passing trucks

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Stability in high winds and passing trucks

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Stability in high winds and passing trucks

  • Stability in high winds and passing trucks

     Lou Verner updated 3 weeks, 6 days ago 11 Members · 17 Posts
  • Randy J

    November 1, 2021 at 11:37 am

    I’m having a conversation on line with someone who believes the Aptera will be unstable on the highway thanks to buffeting winds. I thought I had seen something on this site I could use to change his mind. Multiple search phrases brings up nothing. I may have seen it on FB or youtube. He was happy to send me this little video. Ha, looks like I’d have to buy a Hummer EV to not see that happen to my next vehicle. Can anyone provide a link I can use?

  • Leonard Nowak

    November 1, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    At one tine on their >400 answers in their FAQ spreadsheet the original Aptera could withstand over 80mph to “ I think “100 mph side winds because unlike must everything else the sides are not flat but egg shaped

    Also an old Aptera reply:

    Our advanced aerodynamic shape and the vehicle’s ability to slip through the air has some REAL benefits! You barely feel semi trucks as you just slip through their turbulence; the vehicle does not generate lift at speed. For people concerned about stability at high speeds; Downforce on the rear of the vehicle is about 25 pounds at 65MPH.

    Not bad for this registered motorcycle!

  • George Hughes

    November 1, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    What happened to that car in the video is not nearly as likely to happen to an Aptera for some specific reasons, of which aerodynamics of the design are but one. Another is the center of gravity and another, its ‘stance’.

    First aerodynamics are such that over most of the body from the side, there is nothing for the air to catch. The idea of the design is the car is designed to be literally invisible to the wind… and Aptera delivers. But its stability is more than that.

    If you’re my age, you remember the pitch around Pontiac ‘handling’ because of its ‘wide-track’ design. The track – distance between the wheels – was marginally wider in the Pontiac and each increase in that dimension incrementally lowers the center of gravity. Anyway, Aptera has a ‘wide-track’ …

    But more than that, the center of gravity is even lower and at the outside of the ‘track’ … the in-wheel motors are by definition, suspended at the height of the lowest point of a car – the wheels.

    The remaining ‘large mass’ device is the battery which is at or below centerline of the wheel.

    Each of the wheels are about where you would tether the car if you were tying it to the ground like an parked private airplane parked on an apron … and it is at that point where the weight is concentrated.

    I peg the Aptera at least as resistant to strange and powerful winds as a Porsche 911; actually more.


      November 2, 2021 at 1:41 am

      Agree with all you said, but there is more. I didn’t understand how that small car could get flipped by the wind with the van protecting it in that direction. Then watched closer and you see the van, which I think is already leaning on the car, actually bumps and slightly lifts it allowing the wind coming under the van to catch under the car. The Aptera doesn’t have a flat side, even on the bottom! Either many of those vehicles got blown around or those people don’t know how to park!

  • Jennifer Sensiba

    November 2, 2021 at 1:15 am

    I used to drive a Pontiac Fiero, and people were always asking me about that because it was one of the most aerodynamically efficient vehicles of the time. It had even less problem with that than most cars. The Aptera will be even better, as there’s nothing on the side to catch.

    • Ray Holan

      November 9, 2021 at 5:22 am

      I’ll add my voice to yours, Jennifer. I have owned several Honda Insights. Curb weight was only 1850 lbs., had flat sides and it had something like a 0.21 CD which was class leading at the time. I never had a crosswind blow me into another lane on the freeway.

      As stated in an earlier post in this thread, the 0.13 CD and rounded sides of the Aptera body should make it even LESS prone to dancing with the wind.

      Congrats on your Fiero ownership. The later models of that were especially cool. I’ve seen instances of Fiero owners dropping a small block V8 into them. A mid-engine Corvette before the official GM mid-engine Corvette!

      • Ronster

        November 9, 2021 at 5:26 am

        My former nitrous oxide injected, customized Fiero.

        • Ray Holan

          November 9, 2021 at 5:57 am

          Ronster, you must be my brother from another mother! Did you have a V-6 in that thing or a V-8?

          • Ronster

            November 9, 2021 at 6:18 am

            6cyl, racing cam, Nitros Oxide, plus Pegasus parts ie. scoops on rear deck, swaybar bar, lowering kit. Performance struts and shocks (brain fog on brand at the moment). Centerline wheels with Yokohama rubber. Cherry bomb exhaust. Corvette yellow paint. Thinks that’s it

  • Paul Hackett

    November 2, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Loved the video, I believe that was “shot” on Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan. Love to know if I’m right or for that matter if I’m wrong where it was in fact shot/taped. Saw such views decades ago during the typhoon season.

  • Rick McKnight

    November 8, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    One of the lead engineers (I can’t remember his name, but he’s the one who lives up in Canada), did an hour long Q&A with an EV club in Colorado, and he answered this exact question. He said the Aptera is just as slippery to crosswinds, as it is to Head-on airflow. He said you will barely even notice crosswinds.

    The recording of this zoom meeting should still be on YouTube. (tho I don’t have the link handy)

    • Randy J

      November 9, 2021 at 4:42 am

      Thanks Rick. That’s where I saw it. That was a good interview.

  • Dean McManis

    November 8, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    Yeah, many people think that heavy weight is the one key to crosswind stability, and the lighter the car, the worse that crosswinds affect it. But most big trucks and vans have huge , flat, sail-like surface areas and a relatively high center of gravity. I would feel much safer from crosswinds in an Aptera, which is relatively invisible to the wind compared to those giant sail-sided boxes.

  • Ronster

    November 9, 2021 at 4:59 am

    Aptera should’t be affected with buffering given its excellent aerodynamics.

    Guess we’ll see in due course but I’m not concerned.

    Only thing to “perhaps” be cautiously conscious (or aware) of would be (IMHO) to ensure you load your heavier rear cargo starting from directly behind the seats going towards the back vs. being loaded ALL back heavy; on the front wheel version in particular & moreso on (slippery) wet or icy roads. Certainly not a flaw but moreso a (sensible?) consideration “if” I’m visualizing this properly. It’s likely a good thing that vehicle has a wide track plus ~60/40 in weight distribution favoring the front… for several reasons.

    Thougts anyone?

    • Lou Verner

      November 9, 2021 at 6:10 am

      Ronster, I do agree that Aptera shouldn’t be affected at all by wind buffeting, under any circumstances, but to your point about loading…the sharp decline of the hatch would most likely prevent one from loading any large heavy objects in the back of the cargo area anyway. Only logical place for them would be directly behind seats. This is my one concern about the general design as one would likely struggle to get such objects into the vehicle – either through side doors or by pushing up from the back. But hopefully will not encounter such situations too often!

      • Ronster

        November 9, 2021 at 6:20 am

        BTW, Apparently there is to be additional storage below the carpeted rear deck in the betas and in production.

        I agree the design itself should handle some of weight distribution potential concern mentioned.

        • Lou Verner

          November 9, 2021 at 6:25 am

          True that, but unlikely to be of much help for large, bulky items. We be interested to find out how that space will be accessed…will entire floor be removable or will there be some hinge to provide access to lower area in the rear?

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