MemberApril 23, 2022 at 12:47 pm
new to the forum, but I’ve been following Aptera for years.
I have a few questions before I reserve a car. If anyone has any answers, thank you in advance.
First of all, yes, I read the FAQ spreadsheet…the whole thing. Very helpful.
1. If I order the 600 mile version, how much longer will I have to wait for delivery? Sounds like 400 mile version will be delivered first.
2. I own a tesla model 3 currently and I like the supercharger network for road trips. I’m not familiar with any other charging network. If Aptera can’t get Tesla to allow Aptera owners to charge at tesla supercharger stations, what is the next best charging network in America?
I’m assuming it would all be level 2 charging, like Chargepoint, which is a lot slower. But it sounds like the Aptera will get 100 miles per 10 minutes of charging at a level 2 charger.
I’m trying to see what road trips in the Aptera would look like, so I’d like to know what the next best charging network is so I can check their maps, or maybe abetterrouteplanner.com has enough info already (have it open in a tab but haven’t checked it out yet.)
3. Just curious: it looks like the solar panels don’t cover the entire surface of the hood and top of car, even when I select to the option to have all the surface covered in panels. Am I misinterpreting the image, or is there a lot of empty space left on the surface that’s not currently being covered by the diamond panel pattern?
If there’s empty surface without panels, why not cover every possible centimeter with panels?
4. Will the all black version be significantly hotter on the inside of the car and will that affect the range at all, due to increased need for air-conditioning?
Sorry for the long post. Excited to reserve one of these!! I’ve literally been dreaming of owning a solar powered car since I was 10 years old, way back in 1982.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 1:14 pm
I’ll jump in with 2 quick answers (Things to do.) At this point in ordering, Battery pack size should have nothing to do with your delivery date. The Aptera information is that the design and production of the packs will be 400-250-600-1000 with each size being added to what is being built, so that all will be being produced at the same time. (Don’t sweat it.)
The composite body is thick and well insulated, so it should not make a real difference as to color vs interior heat. Additionally the solar and batteries will operate circulation fans when parked to keep the interion temperature equal to the outside.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 1:25 pm
Forest, there are 18000 orders ahead of you. By the time they build your car two years from now, they will be producing all the sizes of battery choices. Order the one that’s right for you. Ordering a 400 will not speed up your order.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 1:33 pm
There is a large non Tesla charging network. If I remember correctly, it is now larger than Tesla. There are several major brands of chargers. Each require their own phone app to access. Some apps cover several brands.
Aptera has chosen the CCS standard for DC fast charging. The current thought is that it will be limited to a max of 50 kW due to both battery size and heat management. 50kW is supposed to be 500 mi/hr
Level 2 is yet to be officially announced but 6.6kW is expected.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 1:41 pm
Regarding the solar panels, size and placement is always a compromise. Smaller cells could cover more area but the interconnect losses would be higher. I believe Aptera will be buying the raw cells and installing them on their body panels. So, they have to choose what’s commercially available. Cells play best with each other when they’re all the same size. Adding smaller or half cells adds too much complexity to the solar charger/optimizer circuitry. Again, the cost would exceed the gain.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 8:14 pm
Because of the compound curves on Aptera, smaller cells would likely have been better overall. We deal with this all the time in solar car racing. Very roughly speaking, it’s best to have all the cells in a series string in the smallest area possible. That helps ensure all the cells in the string are “facing” similar sunlight. If you’re interested, take a look at LightYear 1’s array video. It’s rather well engineered. It uses the same cells that Aptera will likely use except they are cut. The founders and likely other folks at LightYear came out of solar car racing.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 1:46 pm
All colors will have similar thermal characteristics because all vehicles have black tops. Choice of rear hatch solar or glass will make the largest difference although I don’t know how much. We should know that by the end of the year.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 2:55 pm
First of all, welcome to the forum and everyone here likes socializing questions, so you won’t find a lot of critics here.
It’s good to hear of another 60 kwh as I haven’t heard from too many. It is really hard to estimate how long it will take because it all depends on how deep they plan to go into 40 kwh before starting up 25, then 600. They will need to balance getting sales with expectations of those of us waiting for them to finish the tweaks needed for the larger batteries and getting them into production. I have no idea when or how they will make that choice, but I am not counting on Aptera producing mine until 2025 (meaning that is when I will lose patience) and I am around 12,000 in the order sequence.
As far as charging, I was not clear they have chosen a charging standard yet, but I think it will have to be CCS. I hope it is not Tesla for the sake of an open standard. There are a number of fast DC charging systems out there and it does look like CCS is gravitating toward the standard (Europe went there already). Most other makers went CCS already (even Nissan’s new model abandoned ChadeMo).
I heard or read the black version, which I ordered, actually should not get that hot because of the solar cells. They cover the inside dash also and, theoretically, will dramatically reduce the heat produced within the car through conversion.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 3:14 pm
Montana I presume. should give your Aptera a good workout with high altitude and mountains.
The Aptera charging standard will be CCS. I think becoming the defacto standard except for Tesla in the US. Tesla in Europe is CCS.
I ordered a Noir (Black) as well and live in FL where there is a lot of sun. It is OK I will give up some of the range for The AC. Like the appearance
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 3:51 pm
As I understand it, level 2 charging will be about 6.5kw which should add about 50-60 miles of range in an hour. I think DCFC will get up to 50kw which would be over 400 miles of range in an hour. (50kwh of charging will get you a little less than that in battery charging because of electrical losses.)
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 4:32 pm
Regarding car getting hot from the sun: If you opt for the $900 solar package, your rear hatch (probably your greatest source of heat) will be covered with solar panels, so much less heat. Your rear view mirror will be useless, so get a rear camera.
I will probably not do that, but will add major tinting to my hatch to escape that heat.
I may put my $900 saving towards a $2800 home solar system with a 2.5Kw battery. That would probably keep my Aptera topped up. Plus act as an emergency (albiet small) power source during any outages. Ciao
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Boz O'Clown.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 6:08 pm
I also have a Model 3 and I’ve also reserved the 600 mile version. The CCS charging in the Aptera is supposedly only 60KW, they haven’t released final numbers yet. The Aptera should be about 2.5X as efficient as a Model 3 so in terms of miles/minute it will have a max charging speed about equivalent to a V2 Supercharger, i.e. 150KW for a Tesla. I see the major advantage of a 600 mile range is that you should hardly ever have to stop at a CCS charger. The 600 mile car should be able to deliver a real world range of at least 400 miles, 10-90% is 480 miles, degrade that for high speeds and for weather is how I’m getting 400 miles. It’s really hard to do 400 miles in a day except if you are 100% on an Interstate. If you are doing all highway driving then you will have to top it up with 150 miles of range every couple of hours just as you do with a Tesla. If you are doing backroads driving, as I do, you won’t need to think about charging, you can drive all day and then plug in at home.
Most of the older CCS chargers that are out there can only do 62KW, which is awful for most CCS cars but for an Aptera will be fine because that will be V2 Supercharger equivalent. Electrify America is building out a network of 150KW and 350KW chargers. To take full advantage of the 350s you’ll need a Porsche or a Lucid, the new Hyundai’s and Kia’s top out at 225KW, most of the other CCS cars top out at 150KW. Aptera can use that network but it won’t be any faster than the old garbage CCS chargers that are already installed all over the place. The upside of this is that there won’t be any competition for the crap chargers, the drivers of all the conventional CCS cars will be strongly drawn to the new fast CCS chargers leaving the old ones for Aptera drivers.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Joshua Rosen.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 8:26 pm
1. At this point in time I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference if you order a 600 or 400 mi range version. At last count, I think they were over 18,000 pre-orders.
2. At where I live in California we have more independent chargers than superchargers.
3. As for the solar cells on the vehicle there is a little known glitch and when you go to display the solar cells, not all the solar cells are displayed. Try different choices and see if they all appear for you.
4. I thought that might be the case also, but I looked up on consumer reports and color testing, and found the differences to be less than three degrees Fahrenheit at the end of 8 hours in the Sun.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Vernon Michael Gardner.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 9:01 pm
A good tool for finding places to charge is the PlugShare app. It shows most all public chargers. Sometimes folks who have chargers at their home will list them on there too. Very helpful when traveling in less populated areas of the country.
MemberApril 23, 2022 at 9:50 pm
PlugShare is great. A Better Route Planner is my favorite when I’m doing a trip.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 6:21 am
ABRP already supports Aptera, the 60KWh and 100KWh alphas are available as a car choice.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 10:54 am
If you want to play around with the lower models just turn on the advanced settings and crank the battery degradation to 35% or 60% on the 600 mile.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 10:37 am
Holy moly are you guys awesome!
I’m a part of a lot of online communities as part of my work and I can honestly say I’ve never stepped into a community as a newbie and been helped so quickly by so many people.
Thank you to everyone who took some time to answer all of my questions.
The hardest part now will be waiting for 18,000 Apteras to be built so I can get mine delivered. I’m kicking myself for not staying on top of Aptera news over the last couple of years.
I’ll have to live vicariously through other members getting theirs and sharing what the experience is like 🙂
Thanks again, guys!
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 9:05 pm
@Forest Linden FWIW, here’s the link to the Aptera FAQ: Remember, though, that Aptera is currently in the Beta development phase: There are still two more iterations to go before it reaches production and a great many decisions have yet to be made. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11Of3g6RYqstbXecs7j2UHHd_b8s5MebxEs-ZwkyMiiQ/edit#gid=1847163171
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 9:20 pm
And keep in mind that the FAQs spreadsheet still has some good info in it though it is old, has not been actively managed for quite a while, and therefore appears to occasionally have some incorrect early stage information in it that has not been updated. The currently managed “official” FAQ appears to have migrated to the public website at https://aptera.us/faq.
MemberApril 25, 2022 at 11:20 am
Thanks heaps 🙂 I read through the FAQ doc before posting, and it’s also good to know that some of the info on that FAQ doc is outdated. I reserved a 60kwh Aptera, so I’m officially in the long line now. 🙂
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 9:11 pm
On, and re. covering “every possible centimeter” with solar cells: Note that Aptera’s surface is VERY curvaceous and solar cells are more-or-less rigid. The cells Aptera is using can be flexed slightly in one direction but Aptera’s body surfaces are mostly curved in more than one.
MemberApril 25, 2022 at 6:15 am
(sarcasm follows!): For just how “slightly” the cells can be flexed, take a look starting at 0:45 of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6TsW8-MkwM
All kidding aside, it’s a ridiculous video and I wish SunPower/Maxeon didn’t make it! One thing I just noticed upon re-watching it was that the “conventional” cell used for comparison to the SunPower (in the 3 point bend test) is a common polycrystalline silicon cell rather than a common monocrystalline silicon cell. All other things being equal, a polycrystalline cell is considerably more brittle than a monocrystalline cell because it has a random “grain” structure to it with all kinds of internal “stress risers”.
MemberApril 25, 2022 at 8:25 pm
“Your rear view mirror will be useless, so get a rear camera.” Boz, the rear view “mirror” is actually a video monitor fed from the standard rear camera, it is not an option. It makes no difference for the rear view if you have a solar covered hatch or not.