Friday, May 15, 2009

Is the Aptera to wide for European roads?

I have been writing about the Aptera before and I really think they are up to something. And despite the lack of interest from the Aptera management to deliver to the Rest of the World (outside of California) and their issues dealing with the fact that with only 3 wheels the car is a motocycle and can't receive US government funding or "Abwrackprämien" in Germany, I am still a fan of the concept.
But, having just gone through the Aptera brochure I must admit that there are some design decisions that will make it difficult to market the car (which is still an interest of mine), especially in Europe. Looking at the length/width/height indicated with 173/91/53 inch or in meters 4.39/2.31/1.35 the Aptera is presenting itself as being very wide!
2.31 m is approx. 50 cm more than the today's average family car. Very few cars today are more than 2 m wide. And, as I pointed out in an earlier comment, the parking spots often are still designed for the cars in the 80ies and 90ies (or before), when an average car was 1.5-1.7 m wide.
So going with a 2.31 m wide car for shopping will not work out at all, no parking spot in the city is wide enough and the regulation says that you need to fit all the wheels into the parking spot, otherwise you receive a nice fine.
So, guys at Aptera, please think again, as even for the US where everything tends to be bigger, a car wider than a Hummer (2.2 m) will be difficult to sell, and I can only assume that many owners will have quite a bit of trouble with such a biiig vehicle and risk damage to their front wheels.

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