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© 2019 by Aptera Motors Corp.

Nov 5

Wheel skirt (cover) / fender option ?

6 comments

 

 

Although the planned wheel skirt is practical from a design standpoint (style and aerodynamics), many have voiced concerns because of ground clearance in snow, pot holes and on primitive roads.🤔I wonder if a dual purpose skirt could address concerns? I.e.,:

 

Where the outside of this skirt could be removed

(which would be needed anyway for tire access) leaving the above option abbreviated fender “look”. An Aerodynamic wheel cap could be inserted.

 

The full skirt could be reattached for good road/fair weather driving and best appearance, and return efficiency.

I think the wheel casings help the aesthetic. I agree that doing away with them makes things simpler. They will have some small aero advantage, i hope they can plug the holes on the inwards faces.

 

I like the idea of a wheel case that can hike itself up when on rough terrain or when mounting a curb. An accelerator in the wheel can detect rough terrain and maybe a ultrasonic can detect curbs (and help with parking). The actuation up can be done with a spring to make it quick, actuation down via servo will charge the spring.

Nov 6

I read “elsewhere” that the (front and back of the) skirt is 5” ground clearance, same as many sports cars. And heard that the skirt is somewhat flexible. I seem to remember from my ride in late 2000, in the 2e model, it had good visibility toward the skirt from the seat BUT... I was not in the passenger seat😞

Never driving an autocycle... it is hard to share more and each design could be different. Perhaps driver size and view from the seat could factor in too(?) but if seems the latest “planned model has large windows

There are many old 2e “test drive videos“on line where they had the skirt off and YES the wheel was not that attractive.

Many high end vehicle models these days have options for proximity alerts and/or screen visibility(?), so maybe that could help.

We will all have to sit tight...to wait to find out what the new vehicle will reveal!

The ground clearance of the front wheel fairings is not like the ground clearance under a car - they move up and down with the wheel. So, they are always the same distance above the ground at the tire contact patch. The rear wheel fairing does have this issue, but it is not going to be a big problem; since the surfaces that are closest to the ground are quite close to the wheel - unlike the bottom of a typical car.

 

The functional ground clearance of the Aptera is quite high.

 

And the aero drag reduction of the wheel fairings is huge. Exposed spinning wheels have a lot of drag. The top of the wheel is moving forward at 2X the speed of the rest of the car, by definition. This means it will add a lot of drag - which goes up by the square of the speed.

Fair point on twice the drag on the upper surface, didn't think of that.

 

How can the wheel casings be protected from being scrubbed on curbs?

Nov 10

I was advised:

re.

Skirts

-The skirts (aka...wheel cover casing) have ground clearance of 5”, which is similar to many sports vehicles.

-You could remove and drive without the entire skirt, “if you had a need” (I.e., same as removed when accessing tires)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body

-The ground clearance of the lower portion of the body is 8”, with nice angle of approach (angle not shared)

With the earlier prototypes, like the 2e, after 100,000 miles + of testing miles....the hits to these areas were not a issue and there is *flexibility to the skirts, if they were.

 

I am imagining the skirt “*flexibility” to be similar to that of the various front air dams or street dress on conventional vehicles(?).

 

I did not physically touch these components on the old Aptera 2e,back in late 2000, at a road show I attended.

but was then...

 

I never heard back about proximity sensors to help “warn” of collision, but would be surprised if not offered for front wheels and at least the tail end of the vehicle.

 

You could imagine “aftermarket adjustments” to these discussion points, giving up aesthetics and efficiency.

 

As you may have read the body is basically dent proof, but no one wants a scuffed wrap/ component finish😞 Yes I remember the days of a scuffed spoiler (over 40 years ago)

 

 

Most of the underside of the Aptera has plenty of ground clearance. The wheel fairings are relatively quite small, and are close to the wheels, so they won't easily contact the ground. I think the black area on the lower edges are a bit flexible, so won't suffer damage easily if and when they do touch the ground. Most cars are 5-6" above the ground, over most of the bottom, so they are much more likely to contact the ground. Stop worrying about this, please.

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