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Old 11-14-2009, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Shakeup at Aptera?

Hello,

There are rumors and unsubstantiated sources saying that there has been a major shakeup at Aptera -- possibly both Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony are gone, and the company may be down to 20 emplyees (from ~75)!

Start reading from post #76: Is everything ok @ Aptera motors? - Page 8 - ApteraForum.com - Aptera Car Forum

I hope they are untrue -- but it would not be the first time that this sort of thing happened at a start up...

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Old 11-15-2009, 07:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sadly, this has been confirmed by at least 3 separate sources. If you read to the end of the thread I linked to above, you can read for yourselves.

A sad day for super-efficient cars. It has all the feel of some sort of suppression effort by the powers that be.

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Old 11-15-2009, 08:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It has the feel of utter predictability.
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Let's not forget the "visionary" founding partner of Tesla Motors, Martin Eberhard also found himself in front of the business end of a boot. And the company is doing OK.

At some point the bean counters probably had to seize the reins.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Go Open Source!

Hi,

I wonder if an open source super efficient vehicle would be a better way to go? I've been advocating this sort of thing for a while now, and here's a little blurb from my blog: http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library...formation.html The idea is already out there -- they just mentioned it on the 'On Point' radio show about the renewed energy of inventors and tinkerers.

http://www.onpointradio.org/2009/11/...and-innovation

The idea is the most important thing, and spreading it around means that you get the input of everyone who uses the information.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was pretty sure that going electric rather than diesel was a huge mistake.

With a diesel Aptera, they could have had an easily 80 MPG car on the market (assuming the ever-elusive EPA OK) and made money until somebody came up with a workable battery.

But the went all-in that somebody could do what nobody has done in a century of trying...and lost.

The fruits of trying to be revolutionary in an evolutionary market. Crash & burn.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hello -

I gotta think their big loss was reversing the drivetrain. For the sake of stability, they went from a reverse-trike approach RWD (that resembles motorcycle reverse-trikes) to a FWD configuration. That must have cost them a ma$$ive redesign. I can only imagine the ARGHHHHHs that must have been bellowed in the R&D department when the decision to redesign it was made.

I hope someone saves the Aptera and it makes it to market.

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Old 11-16-2009, 09:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...revised as a DIY "Kit" format...supply your own propulsion: diesel, electric, bicycle pedals, etc.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This whole thing may be much more benign: there is still a shortage of money, and in order to stretch things until they get the DOE loan, Steve Fambro is taking a long vacation, and he'll be back the first of the year, and Chris Anthony has two other concerns (Epic boats and Flux Power battery systems) that he will focus fully on until the production gets going. It would be much more reassuring to see some photos of the production model, and hear lots of details, and hear about work that may be happening on the 2h (serial hybrid) model.

The change to front wheel drive came about 1 year ago, and it added regenerative braking and better handling. The more recent big changes were narrowing the front (it should under 7' out-to-out now) which was made possible by lowering the whole vehicle and moving the batteries under the floor -- and the roll down door windows. That may sound simple, but basically everything changed: the section is now more square and there is ~10% more interior room. Other big changes are: it has a front bumper (and a hood), the doors open up a lot wider (you do not have to duck to get in) and the rear is more substantial -- and they claim to have lowered the drag by 9%.

They have said in the past that they plan on a 2g gasoline version (diesel would not pass CA emissions) that should get ~100mpg. It probably would use a turbo 660cc power plant from a Japanese Kei car, so if it weighed ~1400 pounds (the 2e will weigh ~1700), then it will still be very good mileage, if not nearly as quick accelerating as the electric version.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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NeilBlanchard -

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
This whole thing may be much more benign: there is still a shortage of money, and in order to stretch things until they get the DOE loan, Steve Fambro is taking a long vacation, and he'll be back the first of the year, and Chris Anthony has two other concerns (Epic boats and Flux Power battery systems) that he will focus fully on until the production gets going. It would be much more reassuring to see some photos of the production model, and hear lots of details, and hear about work that may be happening on the 2h (serial hybrid) model.

The change to front wheel drive came about 1 year ago, and it added regenerative braking and better handling. The more recent big changes were narrowing the front (it should under 7' out-to-out now) which was made possible by lowering the whole vehicle and moving the batteries under the floor -- and the roll down door windows. That may sound simple, but basically everything changed: the section is now more square and there is ~10% more interior room. Other big changes are: it has a front bumper (and a hood), the doors open up a lot wider (you do not have to duck to get in) and the rear is more substantial -- and they claim to have lowered the drag by 9%.

They have said in the past that they plan on a 2g gasoline version (diesel would not pass CA emissions) that should get ~100mpg. It probably would use a turbo 660cc power plant from a Japanese Kei car, so if it weighed ~1400 pounds (the 2e will weigh ~1700), then it will still be very good mileage, if not nearly as quick accelerating as the electric version.
Hmmm. Why not just keep working for free or a dollar like Steve Jobs?

Yeah, the Aptera "looks" similar from the outside, but the changes are significant.

I want the 2g version (with a stickshift!).

CarloSW2

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