Emergency “Gas Can” for Aptera?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Emergency “Gas Can” for Aptera?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Emergency “Gas Can” for Aptera?

  • Emergency “Gas Can” for Aptera?

     Ray Holan updated 7 months ago 5 Members · 10 Posts
  • Ray Holan

    October 12, 2021 at 7:51 am

    It occurred to me that one solution for range anxiety — ignoring for the moment the confidence to be gained from getting the 1,000 mile battery pack available for the Aptera — would be the option of carting around a small “portable solar generator” unit in the rear storage area under the floor of the Aptera. This would be our version of having a 1 gallon gas can in the trunk of an ICE vehicle. Yes, I know that’s NOT a safe practice although I have done it on occasion. Guilty as charged;)

    Over the last 2-3 years, the marketplace has been crowded with a good number of companies offering varying sizes of portable units that incorporate a lithium battery pack, a 110v inverter, and a solar charge controller (allows varying numbers of solar PV panels to be connected to the unit to charge the battery pack). This type of product varies in energy capacity from 250wh (not enough power to do much for an Aptera) all the way up to 6,000wh or more. Rough estimates seem to indicate that optimistically one can get about 10 miles per 1,000wh of battery capacity from such a unit. So a 1,000wh solar generator (which is about 21 lbs) could conceivable give you another 8-10 miles of driving in a pinch. These units offer USB connections for cellphone charging plus standard 110V outlets. Admittedly, using one of these to charge an Aptera would be slow. Also, it wouldn’t be a cheaper option than simply getting one of the larger Aptera battery packs (i.e. 400, 600 or 1,000 mile sizes). Solar generators of 1,000wh capacity run around $600-$800.

    I’m not saying everyone SHOULD get one of these. Only saying, one could. Obviously, the cost-benefit ratio would be weighed on a case by case basis. One of these units wouldn’t do much to emergency charge a Tesla Model 3, but the low energy appetite of the Aptera makes it a more viable option for an Aptera. How viable an option it is in your case is of course, up to you.

  • John Malcom

    October 12, 2021 at 11:28 am

    HHmmm why not just use the 700w solar option built into the Aptera? Available 100% of the time where ever the vehicle is without taking up storage space and extra weight. No set up time or extra equipment to worry about losing or not working when needed. No embarrassment when other Aptera owners find out you did not plan your trip charging correctly.

    • Ray Holan

      October 12, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      Excellent point, John. I was thinking about a scenario where it’s raining that day or cloud cover would be preventing the vehicle from providing it’s own extra fuel. However, I do appreciate the engineering purity of avoiding toting along extra equipment.

      • John Malcom

        October 12, 2021 at 12:34 pm

        If raining or cloud cover, the gas can solar would not work either

        • Ray Holan

          October 12, 2021 at 12:50 pm

          Sorry, John. I was a bit unclear about how it might be used.

          The kind of product I’m describing has a battery, inverter, and solar charge controller. IF I were to make use of such a thing, I would fully charge it at home, having been charged preferably by solar panels or by standard grid power. Once charged, I could take it along in its fully charged state with battery pack in it at full power.

          • William Beal

            October 19, 2021 at 9:21 am

            It’s actually something I’d already figured on doing since I’m planning on buying the lower range models. The number of times I get more than 100 miles from home is extremely small. I figured I’d take the battery when I had one of those rare trips as a safety precaution.

            Something to note about charging those batteries though. The included solar panels are typically only about 10w, so unless you only plan to use it every few years you’ll want to charge it externally. You could buy a 1 or 2 hundred watt panel and charge it off of that for some free fuel though. ????

            • Ray Holan

              October 19, 2021 at 10:46 am

              You’re right, William. In fact, I have a single 180W solar panel that I use to charge my unit. It can be charged from the grid with a typical wall wart via 110V outlet if the sunshine here in Ohio is not cooperating when I need it.

              I configured my Aptera order with the standard 25KW pack like you did. I wanted to keep the vehicle weight down so the acceleration would be better than what I’d get lugging around the 40KW or larger pack. I don’t anticipate longer trips with the Aptera since my wife loves her Subaru and we’re keeping that around for summer vacation travel trips.

  • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

    October 12, 2021 at 11:48 am

    https://aptera.us/community/discussion/carbon-footprint-to-produce-vs-ice/ TFL on youtube tried your aftermarket generator idea. if aptera lets user pull the plugin wire out of its housing so it can sit in teh trunk connected to generator, it may work. waterproof seats and no cloth etc is also great for being able to hose away any liquid leaks, although youd have to be able to tilt car to dump the liquids. hopefully surfaces dont have small spaces where smal stuff get stuck in like food crumbs and whatever waste liek mud etc.

    Carbon footprint to produce vs ICE

  • Curtis Cibinel

    October 13, 2021 at 11:00 am

    AAA (and similar organizations in other areas) will use portable power packs which function like gas cans. This is really no different than every other EV so solutions exist and will be more common as the industry expands. Due to how the Aptera sips power it will work better with all of the solutions than less efficient EVs.

    I dont see a lot of value in extra solar for emergencies because of two reasons:

    – Most EVs (and even gas cars) have 120V output which can boost an Aptera for a few miles of range. A gas car would take longer than EV but 2 hours would easily get 5-10 miles “in the tank”. 100W output is more than 1 mile per hour (~2 if limping along at 20 mph)

    – If it is light out you can take a nap and let the Aptera self charge; anything carried would be negligible unless you filled the entire back of the car with panels

    If you want to carry an emergency battery in the frunk it would be enough to provide an emergency range. Devices like https://www.sparkcharge.io/ are probably overkill but a 500 WH jackery could give 5-10 miles especially if driving slow; depends how much power makes sense to carry.

    • Ray Holan

      October 13, 2021 at 2:47 pm

      I agree with you, Curtis. It doesn’t make much sense to me to carry around extra solar panels to provide extra charging power for an emergency — unless Aptera provides:

      1) Input to connect MC4 or XT40 cables typical of portable and rooftop-sized solar panels

      2) a solar charge controller capable of handling the extra juice of those panels, say 1,500 watts

      Aptera has a solar charge controller as part of its standard electronics, but it is or will likely be sized to support only the full option of 700 watts we can order.

      Having a power source like a Jackery or something similar with perhaps 2KWH+ capacity would allow you use a charging cable plugged into the 110V inverter of the Jackery and connect it to the standard grid charging port of the Aptera thereby charging the vehicle faster in an outlander scenario. That is, you could be getting charge from the built-in Aptera cells while you’re charging from your portable unit. I am assuming you might pack up the solar generator at home when it’s fully charged and take it along.

      I know this gets a bit weird, but it is gratifying to have choices even if I myself might take a pass on actually using any of them;)

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