FWD vs. AWD Efficiency

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions FWD vs. AWD Efficiency

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions FWD vs. AWD Efficiency

  • FWD vs. AWD Efficiency

     John Malcom updated 1 month, 3 weeks ago 5 Members · 10 Posts
  • Christien Bibler

    Member
    May 2, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve recently preordered a vehicle and selected AWD but I’m still not quite sure on whether or not to stick with AWD. A large concern/curiosity is will having AWD then reduce my max range? I chose the 400 mile battery but is it only actually 400 miles when it’s just FWD? If so what would be the actual range for the AWD setup? Apologies for the ignorance on EV’s this is my first time I’ve even looked into and EV before let alone considered.

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    May 2, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    @Christien Bibler The point of this forum is to educate and inform – so your question is welcome. You might also consider using the “search” function in the future because this question has been asked before.

    Remember that 400 miles of range is a “perfect world” situation: You’ve heard the phrase, “Your mileage may vary”? Same thing applies to EVs. Just like an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle, go uphill and the range (mpg) drops, go fast and the range (mpg) drops, drive in the cold and the range (mpg) drops, drive with the heat or the AC running and the range (mpg) drops, drive in the wind or rain and the range (mpg) drops…

    You also don’t want to “fill the tank to full” all the time: Lithium Ion batteries like to stay between 20% and 80% full. Interestingly, that’s when they charge the fastest. So think of your “usual” range as being 80% of 400 miles, or 320 miles. Now – because you can’t predict the weather or always know the traffic or road conditions – think about cutting another 10% just in case – and you can pretty much count on always having at least 288 miles of range.

    Aptera has estimated (because they don’t really know yet) that AWD will drop the range by 10%. So you’re starting with 360 miles – now do the math suggested in the previous paragraph: Filling to 80% gives you 288 miles of range. Now deduct that other 10% margin and you can pretty much count on having 260 miles of range.

    If you know your EV has a predictable range of 260 miles, that means you can drive 115 miles out and back without needing to charge – because you don’t really want to get much below 10% left in the battery. You CAN drive it down more but it’s not good for the longevity of the battery’s capacity. If you drive farther than that, you’ll need to stop and charge. If you drive only 10 miles per day, though, you’ll only need to charge once every 23 days! If you’re taking a long-distance road trip, it’s wise to stop frequently and charge a little each time – like “topping-up the tank” in an ICE vehicle.

    Hope this isn’t too much info!

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    May 3, 2022 at 7:58 am

    To add to kerbes comments. Speed and weather matter a lot. The EPA range assumes you don’t exceed 60MPH but in the real world you are likely to be driving much faster than that on a highway assuming it’s not rush hour. Cold has a huge impact on range, the Aptera will be using resistive heating which is terrible. Until we know better you should assume that the heater will drop the range by 40%. Rain also hurts range, water is denser than air which means that rain increases drag.

    One thing to take into account with an EV is that you don’t charge it the way you do a gas car. You charge at home so you start everyday with a “full” charge. During the week I charge my Tesla to 75% which gives me about 200 miles of range which is more than enough for any local driving. On Saturday we do 300-400 mile road trips, I charge to 90% before those trips which gives me 250 miles of range (the car had 310 miles when new, it’s about 275 now). We do our pee stops at Superchargers where we plug in for about 15 minutes while we go to the bathroom. That’s enough to get about a 100 miles of range. The Aptera is going to charge a lot slower than the Tesla but it’s also about 2.5X as efficient which will make up for a lot of the difference. For road trips where you will exceed your range you should assume that you’ll only be adding about 100-125 miles during a charging stop. In and EV you never top off the tank as you would in an ICE car. The charging rate drops as the battery fills, usually at 80% it’s not worth the time charge beyond that unless you actually need the time. By needing the time, sometimes you are eating a meal and you need more time. As long as they are charging by the KWh and not by time you can stay plugged in and charge to a higher level (but never more than 90%) without incurring idle charges.

    I’ve ordered the 600 mile version. Our day trips are 300-400 miles long, and never more that 450 miles. They are also a mix of highway and backroads so the mileage comes pretty close to the EPA numbers. 70% of 600 is 420 which exceeds the range required for almost all of our trips which means that we won’t have to plan our stops around charges, we’ll just go to the bathroom at the nearest Duncan Donuts and in New England you are never more than a few blocks from a DD.

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      May 3, 2022 at 11:56 am

      @Joshua Rosen I went with the 600 and AWD because the closest DCFC along the route I’m most likely to travel is 297 miles away – and 90% of my driving (even “local” driving) is on interstate highways at with 70-75 mph speed limits (where most of the traffic is moving in excess of 80 mph). That way, even in a “worst-driving-case” scenario, I’ll have enough range no matter what.

      My state is already fighting tooth-and-nail against the Federal mandate to install DCFC infrastructure along the interstate highways. Our legislature still hasn’t done anything with the nearly $10M VW “dieselgate” money!

      There are quite a few Tesla Supercharger sites but only one EA site and two individual Greenlots 50 kW units across the state. It’s truly a “charging desert”…

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    May 3, 2022 at 11:49 am

    @Christien Bibler One other thing to mention is that, every time you slow the vehicle, you ADD range to the battery: Just braking down the offramp from the interstate in my not-very-efficient PHEV will add half a mile of range – so I can imaging that Aptera will add much more.

  • Christien Bibler

    Member
    May 3, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you all for the info it definitely cleared some things up for me. I expected to not actually get 400 miles out of the vehicle unless absolutely perfect but to be honest I expected still about 350. I was surprised to hear realistically it could almost be halved. This is making me now consider that the extra money for the 600 miles could be worth it. I really don’t live far from where I work, but I big thing for me is the convenience and money I’d save traveling.

    • Dean McManis

      Member
      May 4, 2022 at 3:29 pm

      Check out https://www.motormatchup.com/efficiency

      You can choose the Aptera in various configurations, as well as compare to other popular EVs.

      As mentioned, there are many variables that add and take away miles of driving. Also the Aptera comes with solar, so people in sunny regions will gain miles from that as well.

      One point to remember is that the Aptera is still in development, so different design and engineering changes will affect the final mileage capability. The battery capacity is not set yet, but they will be striving to hit those mileage numbers for the EPA, if possible. One thing that is assured is that the Aptera will be one of the most efficient EVs when it comes out on the market.

      • John Malcom

        Member
        May 4, 2022 at 5:11 pm

        I have a Model 3 standard range. A couple of times every summer we (4 adult family members) travel to Universal Studios in Orlando, a trip of about 140 MI. We drive 75 – 80 and the temps are usually around 95. With an 80% charge we get there with between 20 to 25 miles left. This SIM is very very close to real world for me.

        If the data is good for the Aptera models ( understanding that it is only engineering estimate at this point) a great improvement over the Tesla. This is a good tool to use to determine which Aptera variant to reserve.

        • Dean McManis

          Member
          May 5, 2022 at 12:06 pm

          Thanks John for your real world feedback on the online efficiency simulator. There will definitely be many variables in the design and engineering of the Aptera by the time that it reaches production. And we were notified that the final battery pack sizes are approximate. Plus there are additional power inputs from regen and solar panels are not shown. And of course conditions vary by region, weather, topology, driving style, etc.. But it’s fun to get a ballpark idea of the different Aptera model’s efficiency and range.

      • John Malcom

        Member
        May 5, 2022 at 12:27 pm

        Ours is probably a very simple case. 1.5 miles from home to interstate on ramp. Two miles after exiting the interstate to destination. No impediments to steady state driving at 75-80. Near sea level (300 feet) very seldom any wind. Aways sunny with intense sun. Regeneration probably to small to measure. With the Aptera of course solar adding miles. AC on all the way a big detractor for the Tesla probably for Aptera too. Yes, a fun tool as you say and enlightening.

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