Aptera charging infoPosted by richard-blackwood on August 15, 2021 at 1:21 pm
It’ll be my daily driver, but I rarely go over 200 miles in a day. Since I’m getting the 400 mile battery, limiting the charge to 80% will vastly prolong the battery life (so I’ve read). Will the Aptera be able to do this?
ModeratorAugust 15, 2021 at 4:20 pm
User settable charging levels should be available.
MemberNovember 12, 2021 at 4:12 pm
Best to plan daily use as 20-80% even if that means a bigger battery.
MemberNovember 12, 2021 at 4:21 pm
I have a wall charger in my garage that is wired to a 40A 240V breaker. I was informed that they only allow 80% of the rated capacity which yields 32A * 240V = 7680 Watts or 7.7kW.
A 60kW battery can be recharged by my unit in under 8 hours
MemberNovember 12, 2021 at 9:02 pm
I appreciate it, it’s usually not 500 a day (closer 150-350 but can get up there and would worry that could kill the battery a lot faster. Then special batteries costing alot to redo etc etc. seems to make sense for a work car for me! Extra special marketing in style!
MemberNovember 15, 2021 at 7:46 am
I think 600 mile would be fine – especially if you are willing to stop at a charger to eat lunch. Otherwise if you’re concerned about bad weather and snow and hot/cold I’d go for the 1000 mile and you’ll never have to worry about it as long as you charge at home. In general, plan for 50% of your range as being useful minimum for trips if you stay above 20% and are dealing with cold weather. If you charge to 100% at home it’s better but ideally you’re staying between 20% and 80%. Even with a 1000 mile version you’re going to save a TON on gas.
MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 5:49 pm
What are best practices for charging and/or maintaining charge in the Aptera 2170 battery packs? Will daily charging/topping off with 110v/220v over night degrade the battery and reduce its useful range? I frequently hear that the 2170 packs in Tesla BEV’s should not be allowed to get below 20% or above 80% state of charge and that the best way to maintain battery longevity is to keep the 2170 packs plugged in and charging from 110v/220v but still to not allow a greater than 80% state of charge. I intend to use the Aptera for commuting to/from San Diego 140 miles and/or LA/LAX area 240 miles daily and for visiting friends in Wisconsin and/or around the greater southwestern United States. Maintaining maximum battery and vehicle longevity and maximum available range are very important to me.
MemberNovember 17, 2021 at 8:23 pm
I expect there will be a charge limit setting to limit charging at home. Almost all EVs have it. Keep it between 20-80%. If you’re going on a big trip run it to 100% right before you leave. It is good to do occasionally on some packs to balance cells. But for normal use stay 20-80%.
I’d say if you have a non-solar EV charge to 80%. With solar charge to 60% so solar has some room to charge up more.
Here’s what it looks like in my Kia Niro EV. (300 mile Li-Ion battery)
MemberJanuary 21, 2022 at 10:20 pm
just curious if there will be any charging cutoffs to avoid over charging both from wall/charger and or solar? Second can these be set to cut off at 80 percent for optimal battery longevity when max range isn’t required? Assuming that’s optimal for this batteries chemistry of course.
MemberJanuary 22, 2022 at 4:46 am
There’s NO way there wouldn’t be an automatic charge cutoff. I don’t
know, however, if there will be the ability to somehow set it to a
different level. I’m betting there will be but hopefully you’ll get a
better answer from another forum member.
MemberJanuary 22, 2022 at 7:20 am
Every EV has a mechanism to set the maximum charging level, the chances that this car won’t have that ability is vanishingly small. What I’d like to see them do is have two max levels, one for wall charging and one for solar. For maximum battery life you want to be able to set an absolute level but because the car has solar charging as well as wall charging you would like to leave room for solar energy. For example you might want to set the wall charge level to 50-60% and set the absolute max to 80%, that would guarantee a minimum range which is satisfactory for local driving but still leave you with 20-30% of your battery to capture that free clean solar energy.
Final thought, hopefully their app will allow you to set the levels as well as the screen in the car, that’s what Tesla does. Controlling from the app is very helpful. I normally have my level set to 75%, that’s where is sits for most of the week. But if I’m going on a road trip I’ll bump it up to 90% a few hours, or perhaps the night before, I leave. You can also turn on climate control from Tesla’s app, this is very important in winter. You want to preheat the car while it’s plugged in. In the case of a Tesla it’s also required if you want to get the doors open. This probably won’t apply to Aptera because the top of the windows are fixed, but a Tesla has frameless windows they have to lower in order to open or shut the doors. In winter the windows can freeze shut, it’s happened to me twice this year even though I’ve sprayed all the seals with Teflon+Silicone. If you can’t roll down the window you can’t shut the door. By setting the car to defrost from the app I’m able to work around this California engineer induced bug. Hopefully the Aptera won’t have a quirk like that but at the very least it’s nice to have the windows defrosted before you get into car and nice to do it while the car is plugged in so you don’t drain the battery.
MemberFebruary 14, 2022 at 9:32 pm
I just noticed a usability detail that I suspect most haven’t; it appears Aptera effectively doesn’t have any level 2 charging (it has level 1 or 3)
How quickly does Aptera charge?
From the sun, you get up to about 40 miles per day. From a 110 V cord (like what you’d charge your cell phone on) you get 13 miles an hour or about 150 miles of charge overnight. At roadside charging stations you’d likely get about 100 miles in 10 minutes
Google Sheet FAQ:
What is the on-board AC charging rate?
We haven’t chosen a supplier yet but likely 1.5kW or less.
Level 1 charging: best of any EV by a Longshot (efficiency)
Level 2 charging : exactly the same as level 1. Could be less than half the miles per hour as a tesla
Level 3 charging : Theoretically half the rate as an ideal tesla supercharger but likely more like 80% as good in the real world.
Based on these the on-board inverter for AC essentially can’t handle any more than 120v/12 amps (a standard level 1 wall plug) – 1.5 kw max. For comparison Tesla models range from 7.7 to 11.5 kw max with AC charging (level 2). The aptera seems like it won’t get much (or any?) benefit from Nema 14-50 or other home AC based chargers; as far as I know no DC options exist for home install. Even with the Aptera’s amazing efficiency (about 2.5-3x that of a model 3) this means that anyone planning to charge at home will get about half the range overnight as a Tesla model 3 long range (assuming a 60 amp / 48 amp sustained capacity level 2 charger is installed). This also means “destination” and home charging may be a lot slower than some are expecting. Personally it’s more than enough anyway and not needing an electrician is a great advantage.
I’d love to be proven wrong of I’m misinterpreting this. Essentially Aptera will have less overnight range than other Evs overnight at home (assuming electrical upgrades) and gets less range per hour from destination chargers. I still think it’s probably fine and solar will help but it’s something I could see most people missing.
Level 3 (dc) charging is 50kw. This effectively charges “miles” into an Aptera at a slightly lower speed than a Tesla supercharger aswell but basically any DC charger achieves this speed. It would seem to reason with its large battery (for upper models) and comparatively underpowered 50 kw speed that the dropoff over 80% could be far less (this is why a 250 kw supercharger is only 2 minutes faster than a 200 kw).
Source for tesla inverter capacity : https://www.tesla.com/support/home-charging-installation/onboard-charger
Ps: My phone is at 2% and I didn’t want to lose this. Sorry if the order is a mess.
MemberFebruary 15, 2022 at 12:24 am
Hopefully the 1.5 kW is just for 110 V. On row 267 the google FAQ sheet still quotes 30 miles/hour from a 220 V line, so perhaps it’s just the current that is limited to 16 A, which would probably get you between 1.5 kW and 1.6 kW after conversion and heat losses on 110 V and 3+ kW on 220 V.
They may also have confused it with the optional 110 V utility inverter, since it has been stated for a long time as “Yes, likely not more than 1.5kW though.”
I really hope they don’t make the vehicle too much of a bottle neck when it comes to AC charging. It’s a lot easier to find a L2 destination charger than a DCFC. If they think 1.5 kW AC charging is enough, more of them need to drive (non-Tesla) EV’s so they learn to appreciate diversity when it comes to viable charging options.
I hope they even go for at least 16 A 3-phase AC (11 kW) in markets like Europe where 3-phase is common.
MemberFebruary 15, 2022 at 1:05 am
The website FAQ and spreadsheet have some inconsistencies. It definitely seems like the website faq should describe the max level 2 capability if it exists. It feels like maybe the specs are up in the air and without knowing which answer is newer we don’t know what to trust. 30 miles per hour with a level 2 would be about 3 kw and about the same or more miles per hour as the higher capacity tesla ac charging.
Another angle of this is if we end up with a Tesla plug and supercharger access the good dc charge options would outweigh the weak level 2 charging for most people.
MemberFebruary 15, 2022 at 4:58 am
The spreadsheet says 6.6KW. Anything less than that is a complete non-starter. Would prefer 7.2KW which is the most common rate for J1772 EVSEs but 6.6 would be tolerable because it’s fast enough to do an 80% charge of the 60KWh battery in about 8 hours. If they do build the 100KWh version they should put in an 11KW charger so that you could do an 80% charge in the aforementioned 8 hours.
MemberFebruary 15, 2022 at 7:59 am
The answers (especially in the spreadsheet) contradict themselves. They don’t mention level 2 at all in many cases even in questions like below with level 2 in the question (which led to my original conclusion), others mention 30 miles per hour (3.3 kw), and some leave it up in the air it might be 6.6. I think someone at Aptera needs to review the various FAQs and either say consistently it’s undecided or reflect the current specs. The website should be the best source (as it will obviously get the most eyes) but it answers less questions and for some reason has duplicates.
How long will it take to fully charge with a standard plug in? What is your charge rate on Level 2? What about Level 3?
From a 110v cord (like what you’d charge your cell phone on) you get 13 miles an hour or about 150 miles of charge overnight. At roadside charging stations you’d likely get about 100 miles in 10 minutes.
AdministratorFebruary 15, 2022 at 3:41 pm
Hi! Aptera does support Level 2 charging. You will get about 30 miles an hour from a Level 2 charger. The lighter packs should use less energy but we are still testing to publish more accurate numbers all around.
MemberFebruary 15, 2022 at 4:31 pm
Kayleigh Venne says that Aptera does support Level 2 charging. She says you will get 30 miles an hour from a level 2 charger. That is less than 1/2 of what a level 2 charger can provide. Why is that and what can we do about it?
MemberFebruary 15, 2022 at 7:18 pm
Clearly the level 2 is 3.3 kw. Given the efficiency this is equivalent in terms of range per hour with tesla options (and if you pay per kw it’s cheap)
MemberFebruary 15, 2022 at 7:48 pm
We were told during a webinar that all of the “charging speed” decisions were going to be made with heat in mind as a still Aptera has no way to shed the heat produced by the batteries and charger. That’s why they were planning to stick with 50 kW DC charging and a 3.3 kW (although I recall them saying 3.2 kW…) onboard charger for AC charging.
MemberFebruary 17, 2022 at 8:40 am
While we are talking about charging, the max power you can get from a level 2 charger is limited to 3.3KWH. This is apparently due to A/C charging causing the battery to heat up. There are 10’s of thousands of level 2 chargers but this limit makes it not worth the time to find one and plug in. It seems that all the other EV’s can use the full power of a level 2. If the Aptera cannot use the full power certainly it could use the full power until the battery reached the 90F range or so and then throttle the charging back to 3.3KWH. It would be nice if the Aptera was as efficent in charging as it is in using the power.
MemberFebruary 26, 2022 at 10:28 am
I believe there are two issues when considering charging rates. One previously discussed by Aptera is DC charging limited to a 50KW rate. I understand that DCFC with high ambient temperature and the air conditioning on trying to keep the cabin cool is determining the limit. The issue is no airflow to help dissipate the battery heat and radiant heat capacity is limited under these conditions. Remember the Aptera design is intended to handle weather extremes (typically -40F to +120F).
The other (discussed here) is the Level 2 charging rate. In Level 2 charging you are taking 240VAC and converting it to a DC voltage to charge the battery. The issue will not be the battery heat (though it has to be considered) but with an onboard charger how much heat it produces (the losses) and how the heat is dissipated. Using Quora.com as my reference, it was reported the University of Delaware did a detailed study of a reasonable sample of chargers. They reported the largest losses when charging EV batteries were the onboard chargers and observed an overall efficiency range of 83% to 88%. A study around 2016 at DTU in Denmark found onboard chargers in three EVs ranging from 49% to 77% efficient (DC power to battery out/AC power into the onboard charger).
Using the best efficiency number from the University of Delaware study (88%) and charging at 6.6KW you would have a loss equivalent to about eight 100W light bulbs. That is a lot of heat and how do you remove it from the onboard charger power electronics? I assume you cool the onboard charger by an integral cooling loop or you exhaust a lot of air. The study also reported the lower the SOC and a lower charging rate lowered the efficiency of the charger. The 49% efficiency of a Renault Zoe in Denmark’s study of early EV onboard chargers would take a lot of cooling by any method.
A large onboard charger in a tightly packaged, well insulated space of the Aptera would require integration into the radiant cooling system or significant venting of forced air cooling. The alternative is an external charger of your size choice and appropriate cabling/connectors to your AC source and DC input to the Aptera. One has to ask what is the purpose of the onboard charger and should it fit every need?
MemberMarch 4, 2022 at 3:54 pm
Will the max DC charging power be limited to different amounts according to battery pack size to keep charging rate at or below 1 C for the NMC cells? What Level 2 charging power have you decided upon? Was it based on heat management or hardware availability?
MemberMarch 4, 2022 at 7:20 pm
Just to summarize what I do know:
– Level 1 will provide 1.2 KW (max sustained on a US circuit). This is ~12 miles per hour which is exceptionally good
– Level 2 will be limited to 3.3 KW. This is likely limited due to cost/weight reasons but still matches or exceeds any Tesla in miles per hour. Tesla is 7.2-11.5KW generally
– Level 3 is 50 KW. This is slightly lower miles per hour than Tesla with 250KW superchargers but is still quite good and far easier to find. For smaller batteries this would exceed 1C or even 2C for the 250 mile version (likely using a ~20KW battery). As to if they will limit charge speed for longevity or how much taper in charge speed over the cycle, we will need to wait and see (especially with bigger batteries); good question.
PS: I’m still hoping we get a Tesla plug / supercharger access but nothing official has been said apart from photos about a year ago showing the Tesla plug (this could change). Some people especially on facebook groups feel strongly CCS is a better option.
MemberMarch 9, 2022 at 6:03 am
I sent a message to Aptera WRT level 2 charging. I suggested that with a software change the Aptera could charge at full (6.6KW) power and if the battery got too warm it could throttle down to 3.3 KW. It took a few days but today Nicole Hall a customer success associate emailed me and said “the charge rate is up to 6.6 KW”. I replied “are you saying that Aptera will charge at 6.6KW from a standard level 2 charger?” She replied “yes, that is what I am saying”.
I am sure that every Aptera owner will benefit from this change. Even if you never use a level 2 charger in your daily driving you may on a road trip. It will also help your resale value.
MemberApril 19, 2022 at 8:32 am
Has there been any info on whether the Aptera will support ISO 15118 Plug&Charge?
MemberApril 19, 2022 at 9:09 am
Aptera has announced that they will support CCS with a 1772 plug for charging. Other plugs/protocols may be under consideration for charging. However, the ISO 15118 – Road Vehicles Grid Communication Package, is not one of them as there is no current, Off the Shelf (COTS) implementation available.
MemberApril 19, 2022 at 10:56 am
As the ISO 15118 protocol is primarily a question of software implementation there should be no reason for Aptera to NOT include it in the production vehicle. The only issue is that – at present – there aren’t many DCFC units that include it!
MemberJune 26, 2022 at 5:43 am
Will the solar charging be cumulative?
For example: if the car sits in the sun for 3 days will a potential 120 miles range be added?
MemberJuly 20, 2023 at 4:04 pm
The charging will be cumulative until the battery has reached it charging limit.
For example some owner may set their charging limit to 80% of the battery capacity.