A plague which can infest a project or design is the desires of the many to expand the design to take all design features from the onset. This will usually cause a grossly expanding budget (if you have the money), a timeline which will expand into the distant future, or ultimately the untimely shutdown of the project. Switching focus from the original goals can be a death spiral. Design considerations are important at this stage because you need to see the forest for the trees. Make your suggestions, wants, desires, concerns, and wishes known, because small considerations today may reap huge rewards in design implementations of the future. Don’t expect every input to be implemented now or in the future. If it does not line up with their vision it may only stand a snowball’s chance...
A lot of work has gotten the Aptera crew to where they are now: a plan, a next generation prototype, two in the works preproduction vehicles, and a good view of the road ahead. Their success will be measured by the implementation of their vision (what you can reserve now) in a (2 years by their estimation) timeline that delivers the Aptera vehicles in a sustaining operation.
The Aptera team’s vision sets a high bar. High enough that I could do without a feature (only cruise/speed control) or two (a limited audio system}. However selling points to me are the 100w/mile, 2.5x range of other EVs, two seats, comfort in 20F to 100F climate, all weather, 110V plugin, Never Charge Solar, cameras, nav, and do it in a safe sustainable vehicle that I can register and insure. It would be nice to have SafetyPilot and Enhanced Audio, but I have and can live without the third cup holder, third seat, 1000 mile range, adjustable suspension, more power, wider tires, etc. Now is not the time to put my design expectations into go/no go expectations. After the Aptera is on the road in quantity you don’t want to find your customers are the quality control. I’ve been there with a vehicle or two and it is not fun.
I feel for the Europeans and their width constraints which may be a showstopper for European sales. Roads in Europe are generally narrower than here in the states, but it is a wide vehicle. Regulations are tough, just try to get a homebuilt car past the MOT in the UK. How much are you willing to give up on efficiency to have a narrower Aptera? I have made two suggestions I hope the design team may consider (less need for big brakes up front with regenerative braking and a sway bar capability (added stability and potential narrower width) to address the body roll, both are based on personal experience).
IMHO the bar has been set high. Let the design team produce. I think Chris and Steve are astute enough to realize that an informed market will be the final word on their success. Let the design suggestions/concerns flow but subdue some of the “outside the box” expectations and expanded features.