Although I fear the Aptera will never make it to market, I still made a reservation because the Aptera could serve a large and neglected population of drivers. I am referring to Single Occupant Vehicles (SOV), Renters (including apartments), and Childless drivers.
The majority of drivers in the U.S. commute in a SOV. Yet, all EVs from currently established major manufactures are four, or more, passenger vehicles. I don’t know if this is to make them more marketable or the size is needed for the batteries. What I do know is current EVs are no better than Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) when it comes to wasted vehicle size.
Two of the biggest concerns for EV adoption is being able to charge it and running out of energy:
“In the poll conducted last October, which surveyed 1,510 drivers in the U.S. during the middle of October, including 250 electric-car drivers, 74 percent of all respondents agreed that electric cars are the future. Among EV drivers, the number rose to 79 percent.
The biggest obstacle wasn't range but available charging infrastructure: 61 percent of respondents cited more charging infrastructure as the biggest factor holding back their purchase, similar to the 58 percent who say their biggest concern is running out of power.
The same concern about not being able to find a charging station was the second biggest obstacle for buyers considering purchasing an EV at 49 percent.”
The fact that close to half of U.S residents live in or on rental properties (Figure 2) makes charging EVs less than adequate or impossible. Using myself as an example, I currently live in an apartment. I am lucky because my apartment has an attached two car garage. However, there is no way I would be able to convince my landlord to install an EV charger even if I paid for it. Seeing as most renters have to live with on or off-street parking, good luck getting a dedicated EV charging station(s) installed without some type of incentive for the property owner.
Even though the number of childless singles and couples are growing, both ICE and EV makers ignore this statistic and continue to remove small two door sedans, and two seaters, in favor of large four doors and SUVs. The day of the nuclear family is over and no current vehicle manufacturer is adapting, making it impossible to buy a small EV like the Aptera.
“The share of adults living without children has climbed 19 points since 1967 to 71.3 percent.”
So where does the Aptera fit in with all of this?
The largest problem right now is the SOV daily use. That number is huge and replacing ICE vehicles with cleaner daily drivers is a win no matter how it’s done. However, I think the Aptera comes closer than any other EV manufacturer in solving this issue by providing a small easy to charge EV that is not larger than what is necessary for a daily commute. Hopefully the Aptera will also appeal to the growing number of people that don’t need, or want, a family car.