MemberMarch 27, 2022 at 3:22 am
A major hesitancy of car buyers for EV’s are the charging dilemmas.
Most drivers do not have a charger or an outlet available. For many, this would mean hiring an electrician and paying a hefty sum.
The solar charging feature and 115 volt charging eliminate much of this hesitancy!
MemberMarch 27, 2022 at 7:31 am
Like plugging a phone in overnight. Nice.
MemberMarch 27, 2022 at 7:35 am
This is a strawman argument. Installing an EVSE is cheap and easy, it cost me about $1000 to install a 32A ClipperCreek J1772 and $1250 to install a 48A Tesla Wall Connector (those are total prices, EVSE plus electrician). That’s less than the cost of the custom wrap on the Aptera. Installing an EVSE is just part of the cost of buying your first EV, it differs from the other options on your new car in that you will have it forever, it will be there for your next car and the one after that.
Having a built in EVSE is a major convenience, when you get home you just grab the cable off the wall and plug in, saving a lousy $1k isn’t worth the lack of flexibility of not having a dedicated EVSE. A dedicated EVSE means that you can fully charge your car overnight. For example yesterday we went to Portland Maine for dinner, I got home with 10% in my battery. It took less than five hours to charge my car back to 75% (that’s the level that I keep it at during the week). To do that with a level 1 would have taken days.
The Aptera is little more than twice as efficient as a Model 3 so it’s possible to get 80-100 miles overnight on a wall outlet which is OK if all you do is commute but for longer trips you need something faster.
MemberMarch 27, 2022 at 8:03 am
Isn’t “level 1” charging at home an option for “most drivers”?
MemberMarch 27, 2022 at 8:16 am
Level I is only an option for people who have outlets next to their parking spots. If you can do Level 1 then you can have a 240V line run and do Level 2. As I stated above the cost is fairly minimal but for that you get much faster, more reliable and more convenient charging. The trouble with using a ordinary outlet instead of a dedicated line is that there are other things on that circuit so you can’t use it’s full capacity. When I got my first EV back in 2016, a Volt, I had to use a regular outlet for a couple of weeks before my electrician could put in my EVSE. I first tried to use the outlet next to my driveway but it had a GFCI on it which tripped when I plugged in the Volt. My temporary solution was to get a heavy duty outdoor extension cord and run it out my dining room window. Even though the Volt had a very small battery, 14KWh usable, it still took 19 hours to fully charge it.
The great divide is between people who can’t get power to their parking spot, i.e. apartment dwellers, and those who can. If you can get 120V to your parking spot then you can get 240V.
MemberMarch 27, 2022 at 8:35 am
Viable level 1 is still useful in some apartments/condos. Many complexes in northern climates have electrical service originally intended for engine block heaters. My complex is unique and instead has ~350 stalls total total of which 80 are garages with dedicated circuits. Upgrading the infrastructure to allow for 240v to a large number of garages would be tricky and load sharing devices are expensive and essentially need to be purchased at once since compatible models is not guaranteed over time. Providing level 2 service is also a challenge because the transformers feeding the entire complex need to be scaled up to provide enough power. This is all incredibly expensive but limiting to 120v makes scaling out new outdoor circuits viable. Things need to be done over time primarily at the expense of individual owners because no-one wants a $5000+ special levy for all 198 owners that only directly helps the 4 people that currently run EVs in the complex.
Level 1 is also far easier to get at workplaces.
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Curtis Cibinel.
MemberMarch 27, 2022 at 11:32 am
I got a level 2 EVSE put in for half what you’re talking – got a rig off of eBay that I had my AC service folks run a 220v line to my abandoned pumphouse ( the previous owner had his own well for water.) It cost me less than $400 including the payment for the work.
My wife and I share it. She has a 2012 Volt and I have a 2014 Spark EV. We also have a 110v outlet as both our EVs have a 3.3kw charger – no fast charge – on board which does slow things down and limits the utility of the Spark. But we both use both the 1.2kw and 3.3kw charging options (
I understand that Aptera is also planning a 3.3kw charger onboard (I would hope they might opt for a 6.6kw unit) although if they provided a 50kw or faster DC capabilities, that is the bees knees.
The fast charging issue is largely avoided with the 50kw DC capability, the problem with charging arises is when the max rate of charge for the vehicle, other than parking on a mountain, is 3.3kw.
If the Aptera had a 6.6 or 7.2 kw 220 charge capability – that equates to adding roughly 33, 66 and 72 miles per hour charging off of typical EVSEs. This also means the 250 mile Aptera could more than fully charge with a 3.3kw charger (3.3 kw X 10 mi/kw X 8-hours = 264 miles overnight charge — 6.6kw x 10mi/kw x 8 hrs charge = 528 mi — or 7.2kw x 10mi/kw x 8 hrs =576 mi overnight charge.)
Charging with a 110 vac 1.2kw will add about 96 miles overnight and a .8kw 110 charge – the type that will work on most 15 amp circuits – adds about 64 miles overnight. If you could park your Aptera in a sun-drenched parking lot, you could add another 20-40 miles to that 64 giving you a minimum travel budget of a 84-104 miles. This means with Aptera’s 250 mile version, you would be able to maintain an 80 percent charge with a daily travel budget over 100 miles which will allow 36,500 miles of annual travel without ever dropping below a 100 mile range before charging again at home. (BTW: the cost of that energy used to drive that distance is approximately $292/yr. for Aptera compared to a 35mpg car cost of $3,125 which would more than pay for any EVSE.
My early Spark, which has just over 50,000 miles on the clock and with std. tires, gives me a winter time range of about 56 miles maximum … the idea of parking my car at the end of a day with more than 10 miles of range is a luxury.
The point is that the variety of charging options available, even with the 3.3kw level 2 charging capabilities and 250 or 400 mile battery, will give folks a daily travel budget maximum of about 300 miles. That means that you could live in Little Rock and work in Memphis (or Atlanta and Chattanooga or roughly a 120 mile one-way trip.
Commutes like Springfield, IL and Chicago or even Dallas and Houston, TX would require a 6.6kw charger to do a 450-500 mile round-trip commute daily and given the individual leg of one of these trips is around 250 miles, you’d have to not only have the larger charging rate (6.6-7.2kw) but a larger 400-600 mile battery. This means if you made that drive every day, you’d rack up over 175,000 miles a year and given a 600 mile battery for that application, means you would likely return home at the end of the day, with at least 100 miles or range.
The true earth-shattering observation is that the very presence of the Aptera makes this not just possible but feasible. At an estimated realized cost per kwh based on my power plan of about $.08 kwh. That means I would use 17500 kw’s which would cost roughly $1,400/yr for fuel. Compare that to an ICE vehicle – to drive that distance would take 5,000 gallons of fuel at 35mpg. That is $15,000 at $3.00/gal. An 8kw solar array would just about cover the total amount of juice needed over the course of a year to power the Aptera and if you owned the array, the roughly $10-15,000 up front cost of the array would be amortized over the 25 year life of the panels dropping the cost of fuel from $1,400/yr to between $400 and $600/yr.
The point is that each of the Aptera battery options (250-400-600-1000) and charging capability provides a best use case for any particular configuration. I think that offering options in regard to the charge rate of the on-board AC-receiving (EVSE) device would add additional utility and capability. Further, the ability to provide configurations designed to meet specific use cases regarding long-distance 60-500 mile total daily commutes.
For the record, any daily commute over 200 miles one way (roughly 4 hr travel time) means you’d be traveling roughly eight hours a day allowing eight more hours each for work and sleep which becomes difficult to accomplish day after day. That won’t change until full level 4+ self-driving (FSD) enters the picture.