For those who don’t follow Aptera too closely, the company recently unveiled its third and penultimate vehicle design: Gamma. It not only shows improvements in the overall design as far as buyers are concerned, but also shows the work the company has done to make it easy to build and easy to repair. Here is a short video of the public reveal:
I was unable to attend the event, but they also held a media and blogger day at their ongoing production facility in Carlsbad, CA where they went into more detail about the production process, changes design and everything else. on the latest vehicle design. Our friends at Mach-E Vlog (Patrick and Liv) have made a longer video showing several presentations and speeches, which is worth watching.
Where is the business currently
For those who aren’t going to click the link above and watch the video, the best way to sum up the event is that Aptera wants to prove they’re ready to go. The company has an almost complete design. Its factory and production plan are not only viable, but optimized by experts, including Sandy Munro’s company. There are suppliers, buyers lined up, and more ready to go.
But, as I pointed out in my last Aptera article, there are also challenges. Having the best-laid plans and designs in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have the resources to make it happen, and my most recent information indicates that there are still tens of millions of dollars missing from what is needed to build cars en masse. Closing this gap will require investors and/or government loans.
This is where the latest version of Aptera Clean Technica the writers covered in 2008-2012 are dead, so the company isn’t off the hook yet.
The big thing holding it back: novelty and usefulness
Let’s face it: the history of 2-seater vehicles in the United States isn’t great. Weirds like me love weird cars like the Toyota MR2, Pontiac Fiero, and Mazda RX-7. Of course, I have children, but children don’t always go for walks. Plus I have other vehicles that can do truck and SUV stuff. But, the average person doesn’t want to own 5 cars (and pay to refuel, maintain, insure, and maybe make payments), so they’re not giving 2-seaters and motorcycles the chance they probably deserve.
This is especially true when it comes to environmental considerations. If everyone went to work on electric motorcycles, there would be fewer traffic jams and fewer emissions per passenger than on trains. And the costs would be much lower than everyone else driving two tons of steel to carry typically 1-2 people. Hardly anyone rides motorcycles, but the Aptera has similar efficiency with an enclosed cabin and cargo area, making it and cars like it a great fit.
But, sadly, that doesn’t sell cars outside of the initial target market of the Toyota Prius and the EVs that followed it. While a lot of use here at Clean Technica (we writers and editors and you the readers) changed our transportation choices years ago, we have to remember that the average person was knocking us down and making jokes about us. Some comedian numbers revolved around the mockery of efficient vehicle drivers.
You should know that comedians just can’t wait to poke fun at Aptera when it hits the road and more people take notice. I mean, we’ve seen it before when Aptera’s original hybrid design was criticized for looking like a gamete.
What they have to do to survive this
The company’s survival will depend on convincing the general public that it’s not only efficient and environmentally friendly, but that owning one will make your life better than more conventional EV options. If they can do this, investors and/or government loans will be much easier to find.
In some ways, the company has already done that with flying colors. Aptera has good marketers, and they aren’t stupid or lazy. Their first big public push in 2020 was to call Aptera a “never charge” electric vehicle, as its solar panels can make the need to plug the car in pretty rare (assuming halfway decent sunshine and normal commutes) . For someone who owns a Tesla and has a Level 2 charging station in their garage, this might sound silly, but not everyone has a garage or even the ability to set up home charging. Renters at all income levels are often left behind on this.
The low price of the lowest versions of the vehicle also makes it an attractive option in the role of a commuter car. If someone already has a pickup truck, SUV, crossover, or minivan for uses other than commuting, only paying about $26,000 for a brand new car that can make them work without paying gas and can being without having to plug it in makes for a tempting offering. They put it above the “never charge” section of their website, so they know it’s an important part of the sale.
But, there are two things the company needs to add to the mix to really sell it to the public and get things off the ground: make it clear that the car is the best option for a couple’s trip, and make sure people know it. is the best option for a changing and dangerous world, up to and including the apocalypse.
Both of these things might sound silly to the typical environmental reader who knows that people rarely go on road trips and aren’t apocalyptic preparations, but we’re not the average person. The average person both buys their car for the longest trips they can imagine and receives a listening ear every day about electric vehicles from social media, mainstream media and Republicans.
Honestly, the Aptera is the only vehicle soon to hit the market that goes against the most rogue and savage anti-EV FUDs. It’s arguably better than gas and diesel vehicles for road trips, and even if the state of California were to completely lose its power grid and descend into Mad Max’s post-apocalyptic gay mayhem, you’d still be in able to drive to work (which would somehow still be open).
In part 2 of this article, I will try to make the case for both of these things.
Featured Image: A screenshot from Aptera’s YouTube channel showing the new Gamma production-development vehicle.
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