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© 2019 by Aptera Motors Corp.

Oct 15

Bring the costs down

7 comments

I would consider a cheaper version of this concept. I have no doubt you have already considered this list in far greater detail and I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

- Single driven rear wheel with belt drive.

- FRP Body

- Hard coated lexan body Panels only in white

- Hard coated lexan window

- Body Panels easily and cheaply replaced

- 3rd party android tablet, interface for non-safety controls.

- JBL Flip equivalent in the dash for the cars audio.

- Battery good for ~ 100kms

- Use as many parts from existing scooters, motorbikes, quad-bikes as possible.

- Standard 240/110V charging connector.

- 50kW Power

- Regular doors.

- Only the minimum safety features, front airbags and some sort of crumple zone.

- 3d printed or machined metal parts? Steel tubular space frame front crumple zone?

- Car arrives as a kit the user assembles and can self service when parts fail. Electrical connections will need to be IP rated plugs. Open source component designs and let China happen.

- Standard motorbike/scooter tyres.

- Open source the entire car. Aptera can focus on change management, regional standards compliance and base builds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the things on your list would save costs, but others would probably not. The early electric Aptera prototypes had the rear wheel driven by a belt. It was abandoned, I think, because the traction in the center of the lane can be problematic, because of oil leaked from ICE vehicles. Plus developing a completely different drivetrain would be a big cost. They have mentioned on their website a FWD drive version, using 2 in-wheel motors would be possible for a lower priced model.

 

Changing the design and construction of the chassis would require a HUGE cost to develop. So, that would make 3 or 4 of your suggestions cost more to bring to market; not less. Doing a different door hinge design, would also be a big cost, and would probably not have a lower price. Ditto for different tires. The smaller battery would save a fair bit of cost, but I can't think that even 100 miles would be enough; let alone 100 kilometers. The smallest battery they are currently talking about is about 400 miles of range. Let's see what the actual price for that model is, and then discuss? Same goes for the J1772 suggestion - the Bolt EV has the CCS as a $750 option. Which is not nothing - but as a Bolt owner, and having driven multiple EVs for 5+ years, I would always want the CCS plug *especially* with a small battery.

I appreciate that they have significant sunk costs in the composite body and other aspects. I like to imagine that a car concerned with saving the world will be designed at a price point, feature-set and target an niche that maximises its ability to supplant existing petrol vehicles. But then again maybe a halo vehicle is intended to headline like a concept car and find ownership with celebrities with the ends of creating brand awareness and capitol. In any case I love the clean slate approach to efficiency.

My fantasy Aptera design list.

 

- Front windscreen like the Tesla Model X to make the cabin feel bigger

- No visible front/rear light clusters. White and seamless with smart glass layer behind body panels that turns clear when lights are required. http://www.smartglassinternational.com/electric-switchable-glass/

- Ability to raise/lower the vehicle for easier ingress/egress and stability at speed / cross wind.

- hydraulically cross linked front suspension to allow excellent articulation while preventing roll. https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a15123918/the-anti-anti-roll-bar-tennecos-kinetic-suspension-explained-feature/

- Front and rear wheel shrouds that can be lifted a few inches for loose surface driving / curb mounting.

- Standardised cartridge like batteries that can be swapped as technology improves or on failure.

- Full electronics. TPMS, keyless entry, self driving mobeye or other, sim card slot for entertainment unit.

- Ability to remote view car camera footage / security alerts / footage auto backed up on wifi.

- Fun reversing camera that shows the vehicle top down.

- Energy efficient Air conditioning based on desiccant / evaporation / waste heat design. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_g4nT4a28U

- Properly engineered gan-fet based power electronics.

- Country specific socket outlet in car.

- Wireless phone charging nook.

- Google maps and voice assistant integration.

- zero contact windshield wipers that use air cushions.

- windshield wiper in compartment with retracting cover for aero.

- Good passive cabin noise cancelling

- Tasteful interior lighting with configurable colours and fade times.

- Ventilated seats that work as a hvac inlet, not blower.

- Cabin with positive pressurisation and carbon/hepa/UV filter.

- Seats that appear to float off the floor

- Side mirror cabin screens retract and hide seamlessly when in self driving mode.

- Artificial tasteful external electric car sounds for pedestrian safety.

- Cup holders made from silicone that can stretch around my bottle/cup and can be removed for cleaning.

- Soft touch interior.

- Matt finish on centre touch screen.

- knobs and buttons that can be clipped onto the centre console and allocated to functions i.e. climate control.

- Doors that swing upward and keep the rain off me.

- No panel gaps. Some sort of clever gasket.

- Doors that use a clever gasket to become gapless like a solar racing car.

- Illumination around the vehicle on ingress/egress when dark.

- Decent sound quality

- Climate control that initiates on approach to the car

 

 

 

 

And either a battery so large that charging is infrequent, or a system that automatically charges the car when parked in my garage. Maybe using some sort of RF Airfuel system if the standard permits sufficient power https://airfuel.org/use-cases/

Slamstop Doors or equivalent. https://motowey.com/products/soft-close-car-doors

I want the lip of the door to have a sensor that will arrests its outward movement if its going to hit an object / wall / car.

To open the door I want an area of the doors exterior panel to be capacitive touch sensing, and for the door to follow your hand within velocity / acceleration limits and filtering. I want the area around my hands touch to illuminate gently and warmly through the cars panel. This feature will only work when in proximity to the car / rfid card swipe.

Automated door closing would be nice too.

 

The centre console area and dash to be made from a single seamless piece of shaped clear glass/lexan. It will be backed in white apart from areas where a display is located. In these areas electric smart transition glass will be installed through which bright simple indicators from the LCD beneath will shine and appear to be floating controls on the seamless white dash. If video is required or a more complex interface such as navigation that section of transition glass will turn clear as required.

 

There will be one dash haptic control, a rotary dial whose top surface is a contextual LCD as well as an up/down/left/right rocker. Above the dial buttons that change what the dial controls. Chair/HVAC/stereo/and cursor control of the central screen. The central screen will also be touch screen and have all the same functions but its often convenient when driving to have a controls you don't need to look at to articulate, i.e, a knob.

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