Aptera vs. Automobile

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

Finally, I found a car about which to be excited—in a positive way. (Yes, huge pickup trucks coming into my bike lane excite me also.)

The Aptera is not in production but the prototypes assure me that it will look similar to this:

Aptera — not sure the oceanside parking spot comes with it.

Trust me, it’s not the space-age look that excites me…the look is largely the result of the wind-tunnel design that allows the vehicle to get incredible mileage. The Aptera is solar powered, so if you park it in the sun one day (easily done in Colorado), the battery receives 40-miles worth of power. That’s nearly free driving if the car’s already paid for (or if you steal one). The battery you charge can provide 1,000 miles before it needs a new full charge (preferably with a charging station unless you want to leave the car in the sun for 25 days). The gasoline equivalence of the Aptera’s efficiency is approximately 350 miles per gallon.

How do you buy one? There’s a waitlist. I’m in that queue: #78,145, expected delivery, 2025 (prob. Dec. 31 at 11:59). The reservation requires a $100 refundable deposit. I’m tempted to reserve a second one for reasons I cannot find. The car will cost me ~$33,000 according to the current estimation. I selected the 400-mile battery because I don’t want to drive 401 miles or more in one spell. Also, I ordered a custom color so that I could get a brightly colored car to help the huge pickup trucks see me.

I’ll end this post with a list of advantages and a couple of optional videos:

The Aptera is classified as a motorcycle/autocycle and therefore requires…

  • a motorcycle license tag (cheaper)
  • motorcycle insurance (cheaper)

But doesn’t require…

  • a motorcycle driver’s license

Furthermore…

  • It seats only two people but the lengthy aerodynamic tail provides comfortable sleeping space, better than most automobiles (I feel like a salesman at this point)
  • It has an electric motor on each wheel which has advantages that I don’t understand
  • The plan is to put a QR code on almost every part of the vehicle so that you can scan and order a replacement part, installing it yourself or taking it to a local garage
  • It uses the Tesla charging hardware (which has now been adopted as the US standard)
  • It has a 5-star crash rating
  • It has all that smart-car stuff that will drive me crazy since I buy only manual transmission cars until now… but if you knock on the door or the trunk it politely opens automatically, etc.
  • It has a very convincing CEO as the following 49 minute video will show. Although my son thinks all CEOs are convincing, he never worked for some of the ones I have, but this one is:


Here’s a fluffier video (21 minutes with a test drive at minute 12):

Bonus Post: How My Friends in Cambodia Get Propelled

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

Emission: There are 6 years, 47 weeks, and 5 days until the Climate Clock reaches zero (approximate).[1]

Why Cambodia?

My friends, Chris and Adrienne, taught their kids to give hope to an often-hopeless world. As a result, their daughter, Jenna, helps run a school in Cambodia. The school is called Asian Hope. Meanwhile, the school in Bournemouth, England where Chris (and sometimes Adrienne) taught English as a second language—that school shut down as a result of covid19. As a happy result, Chris and Adrienne are in Cambodia, where, I think, the dad now works for the daughter.

My friends have always been environmentally conscious, at least to my knowledge. When in England, Adrienne would dry their clothes outside on a clothesline that needed frequent moving to keep it in the sun. Now they are biking and moving around in small vehicles in Asia.

Adrienne on bicycle
Adrienne on their preferred mode of propulsion: recently acquired bicycle, with buffalo in the background!
Adrienne getting into Onion
Adrienne getting into the Onion, an electrik tuk-tuk. What’s a tuk-tuk? According to the Internet: “Tuk-tuks, two-wheeled carriages pulled by motorbikes that can fit anywhere from two people to entire families, are a ubiquitous sight throughout Cambodia. While the official name is remorque, or ‘trailer’ in French, they are colloquially known as tuk-tuks, paying homage to their Thai counterparts.”
Chris, ramped up for Onion ride.
Chris is ramped up for his first ride in an Onion! Chris is pretty tall, so he might have maxed out the leg-room in the vehicle.
Family on motorcycle
Here’s a family of three on a motorcycle. I venture that sometimes more than three load onto a motorcycle.
Adrienne on bike; Jenna on scooter
After swimming, the mother likes to jump on a bike, while the daughter-in-law loads up the scooter! (Turns out the Robinson son and his wife also emigrated to Cambodia, a very happening place!)

No Bollard Today

Instead of the usual bollard, we have a video of Chris and Adrienne riding in an Onion (~3 minutes).

Man vs. Motorcycle

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

Collision

My friend Charles visited Spain in 2016. On the evening of September 14th, he and his friend Robert were walking through Bilbao. They were in a densely packed area, crossing a cobblestone street. Robert was walking a few feet ahead. Suddenly, he saw a body come over his head and fall in front of him. It was Charles.
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