Governed top speed set at 110 mph; why not 125 mph?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Governed top speed set at 110 mph; why not 125 mph?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Governed top speed set at 110 mph; why not 125 mph?

  • Governed top speed set at 110 mph; why not 125 mph?

     RYAN FULCHER updated 3 weeks ago 42 Members · 70 Posts
  • George Hughes

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 10:13 am

    The top speed for the Aptera is electronically limited to 110 mph. Given the rapid acceleration, Rousch suspension and exceptional, industry leading aerodynamics, it seems the 110 mph, while certainly adequate for road use, is probably quite a bit limited from its true potential.

    It may be so far below its potential top speed as to challenge folks to defeat the limiting.

    I think that 125 mph top speed would be just high enough to blunt the incentive to boost that ‘setting’ …. unless there are other reasons.

    For instance, the first ‘aerodynamic’ NASCAR stock car was the ’60-70 Dodge Charger needed that big ‘wing’ airfoil on the back of the racer to keep it on the track.

    Nathan Armstrong said that the Aptera became ‘more efficient’ the faster it runs, suggesting that the it may take fewer KW/mile to run 125 miles in an hour than 110 miles in an hour. That would suggest the higher top speed would benefit efficiency.

    Now we all know that speed is usually a big negative in regard efficiency but still performance is a key part of the value proposition.

    I’m just curious why the 110 mph figure was chosen. I mean my Spark EV is governed to a maximum of 90 mph. For many reasons I think the Aptera will be more capable at that and higher speeds but the top speed capability seems so arbitrary.

    The point being, if the choice is arbitrary, I would prefer the 125 mph (or 124) over the 110 unless, of course, there is some reason like the Aptera becomes ‘too light’ to stay on the road over 110 … or you want to put 112 mph rated tires on the car because higher top-speed rating will cost more.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 10:41 am

    It could be a limitation of the motors or the cooling system, my money is on the cooling system. They are trying to use skin cooling instead of a radiator, that trades off reduced drag for cooling efficiency. If you want to race it then you’ll probably need to beef up the cooling and hack the software to remove the speed limit. They claim that right to repair is one of their objectives which I would interpret as meaning that some if not all of the software will be open source, if they do that it won’t be hard to remove the limitation.

  • Dan Stevens

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 10:42 am

    I assume that this is a RPM limitation on the motors. I know with the Chevy Spark that you mentioned, that was the reason for the speed limitation (and the fact the battery would die in 5 minutes at that speed).

    I personally have no desire to drive this thing over 110MPH, so I’m okay with that. In fact, I’d prefer the opposite, set the upper limit to 110, but give me a way to limit lower (which I would only use for kids if I let them drive it).

  • Gabriel Kemeny

    Moderator
    August 26, 2021 at 11:39 am

    This was discussed in the previous forum – the Elaphe motors provide this limit and I assume Aptera is fine to live within those limits.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    George, as indicated in other posts on this thread, it is a limit based on the motor technology. Personally, I don’t care since I have never driven where it was practical or lawful to even drive 110 MPH nor would I want to be on a highway with someone that does.

    I owned a Lamborghini Diablo (Yes I am ashamed now) had a top speed of 200MPH. I never drove it more than 85.

    • Robert Hauck

      Member
      August 26, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      I may or may not have driven my BMW 2-er at 110 MPH someplace in Arizona. And maybe on the 8 in CA once.

      But don’t tell anyone!

    • George Hughes

      Member
      August 26, 2021 at 8:24 pm

      I think the maximum speeds one has run often has to do with their geography and culture. I mean, the southwest and even the southeast are home of stock car racing and often long, flat straightaways that young men, certain of their immortality, often go beyond the double-nickle numbness of urban and suburban life.

      Speed limits are in the 75-80 mph range and many highways are literally alone in the middle of a forest or plain and it is not uncommon for folks to let the hammer down in either a momentary lapse in moderation or a moment of exhilaration.

      I think probably my interest here, as an investor, is that it beat the number-one selling two-seater – the Mazda Miata. It waxes it in acceleration, efficiency, I hope comfort and handling but not top speed.

    • Gary Greenway

      Member
      March 28, 2022 at 5:16 pm

      John, you had a Diablo and never went over 85? That saddens me.

  • Dean McManis McManis

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Usually the car’s top speed rating is limited by the tire speed rating. Admittedly, probably the only place that I would drive 125MPH would be the drag strip. But that is one of the appeals of the tri-motor Aptera. Having a quick 1/4 mile time and higher speed shows off the power to weight ratio and aerodynamics. Obviously the Aptera’s key goals with the tires are having very low rolling resistance to increase EV range and efficiency. But it is also important to try and have grippy tires, for sporty acceleration, braking and cornering. I’m generally not a big supporter of higher top speeds, but it’s nice to have the capability to go 125MPH, as long as it doesn’t hurt Aptera’s other efficiency goals.

  • Paul Evans

    Member
    August 27, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    On the old forum, there was an explanation that the motor controller can’t switch quickly enough to achieve rotation above 115 mph. If you want to go faster, you’ll need to get a wheel and tire combination that has a much larger circumference. I don’t think the wheel pants will fit that. Without them, the combination of increased aerodynamic drag and reduced apparent torque may well prevent reaching anything above 100 mph.

  • Donald Zerrip

    Member
    August 28, 2021 at 6:55 am

    Elaphe lists the top speed of their M700 motor (Aptera uses this as the basis for the motors) at 1500 RPMs. The tire size used is rotating at 1460 RPMs when doing 100 MPH. I think to go faster you may be into higher voltage, improved insulation, higher frequencies, and number of motor poles. After the first 20,000 sell then Elaphe or Aptera may address a higher motor speed. I would like to see higher potential speed and tracking the Aptera, but at this point hoping for a productive 2022.

  • Henry Kitt

    Member
    August 28, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Actually I didn’t know previously but the Lordstown Motors Endurance has a top speed of only 80mph, 5.5 sec 0-60. This is the only other vehicle using Elaphe Motors.

    Be happy with 110mph. If Aptera had a 80mph top speed I flat out wouldn’t buy the car. It’s just a technical issue with in wheel motors that can be fixed if the manufacturer wants to pay more and pass that cost on to the consumer.

    • George Hughes

      Member
      August 28, 2021 at 2:23 pm

      I think I get that the issue with the higher speed is either inherent limitations or overly optimistic expectations of the in-wheel motors. In-wheel motors are a relatively young technology and it will likely be a few years before they offer higher top speeds, if there is a demand.

      It is far from a deal-killer.

    • Paul Carlucci

      Member
      May 30, 2022 at 4:38 pm

      The Lordstown Endurance is designed as a fleet vehicles. By default it’s limited to 80 MPH as that’s a commonly requested limit for fleet vehicles though that limit is modifiable by the fleet manager. It’s my understanding that the actual limit is otherwise based off the stock tire’s speed rating.

  • David Marlow

    Member
    August 28, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    The only time I did 110 MPH was when I was about 19, driving my Corvair on a long down hill stretch on an expressway.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      October 16, 2021 at 5:46 pm

      Unless you have a perfect flat open road higher speed is not a great idea. 3 months ago some 18 year old kids lost control and hit a post going 110 not far from my window – still has a memorial. The vehicle and occupants were in thousands of pieces and the guy that discovered it is in therapy. In general anything over 110 is stupidly dangerous.

    • Raj Giandeep

      Member
      March 2, 2022 at 6:34 pm

      Fastest for me is 120 mph in a 93 Mazda Rx-7 R1 (twin turbo). Was fun & still felt very much in control.

      I don’t feel the need to push the Aptera past 100 mph

    • V Pilot

      Member
      March 2, 2022 at 7:01 pm

      I almost buried the speedo in my XJS V12 shortly after I got it…just to see what it would do😮 110 is more than fast enough

      • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  V Pilot.
  • N. Bruce Nelson

    Member
    October 15, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    George, I you think have the answer. The clock speed of the motor controller is the limiting factor.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    October 15, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Paul Evans on his 27August Post in this string answered the question correctly finding the answer in the old(Previous site/forum FAQ.) It is a limitation of the motor controller’s capacity to change the flux. For a great tutorial on axial flux motors and an understanding of the complexity of changing flux, Paul Evans has posted a video in the Axial Flux thread on this forum.

  • Ronald Miller

    Member
    October 15, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    On a related topic is there any plan to be streaming vehicle data to a central location for maintenance, etc.? I wouldn’t want to get a letter warning me that I was going 111 (downhill), and my vehicle has now been limited to 109! 🙂

    • John Malcom

      Member
      October 15, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      HHa! Ron we would expect you to exercise more self control with your lead throttle foot

  • G Johns

    Member
    October 16, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Why not 90? I’m good with 90. Maybe even 85, remember those days where the speedos only went to 85.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      October 16, 2021 at 10:14 pm

      Must have been before my time…… Cough cough………

    • Joshua Rosen

      Member
      October 17, 2021 at 8:04 am

      I’d be fine with 90, wouldn’t matter to me at all. In terms of a paper limit 110, i.e. what’s listed in the specs, 110 is a good number. It’s much faster than you would ever go on a public roadway so the car isn’t the limit, it’s your tolerance for tickets that will hold you back.

      If they want to make the software open so that someone can hack the car for the dragstrip that would be fine with me also. It’s the lightest weight EV out there so it has a lot of potential. If you are willing to blow up the motors on a racetrack then as long as you understand that’s out of your pocket not the company’s, go for it. People have been blowing up internal combustion engines on race tracks for as long as there have been cars, why not melt some electric motors also.

  • John Trotter

    Moderator
    October 17, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Living in Germany for several years and driving a Porsche Boxster and an Audi All Road (V8), I have to say 100 mph was not our top speed in either. We did develop a preference, however, for the Boxster on curves and the All Road on autobahns (when speed limits were not posted, which they often were). I think I want our Aptera to model on Porsche handling: fast, but curve-friendly.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    October 17, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Frequently while driving my Porsche 944 to work, I would look down at the speedometer to see it registering 95 mph. I had no idea I was going that fast.

    I am reminded of a friend saying he could drive his VW Beetle at 35 mph and feel like he was going 70 mph. He said he could have lots of fun and stay legal.

  • Fanfare 100

    Member
    October 17, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    I once drove my Mitsubishi Mirage to 115 mph. That was scary insane and I’ll never do it again. lol

    I’m still here to write about it. The Aptera is just a tad lighter. No, I think I’m more than happy with its top speed of 110 mph. Why, I would evben be happy with a top speed of 95 mph.

    I’m more the hypermiler type anyhoo. I get my thrills by making my Mitsubishi Mirage get more than 64 miles per gallon between Delaware and Ottawa Canada. My exciting challenge will be not in how fast I can go but how far I can go on a single charge, despite what the EPA says. ????

  • Llewellyn Evans

    Member
    October 18, 2021 at 3:46 am

    The Aptera has to be saleable to the largest number of people.

    Most people want reliability, economy, off the mark acceleration and a reasonably high top speed. The current setup seems to have an excellent balance. Plenty of acceleration 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds. Plenty of speed if you don’t want to lose your drivers license. Unparalleled fuel economy.

    The car is right how it is.

  • Joshua Caldwell

    Member
    October 18, 2021 at 5:25 am

    From my ’92 Grand Prix to my current car, I’ve never been in a car that wasn’t limited to 110mph unless the governor was overridden. I’ve also found that 90mph is usually when the cars handling becomes less stable.

    • Eric Williams

      Member
      April 1, 2022 at 5:37 pm

      My 1995 miata would start to float at about 90 mph until added an air dam. It is now stable at very high speeds. I once exceeded the limits of the 140 mph speedo on a long straight stretch of Utah highway when passing a line of slow (85 mph) RVs. Wish I had had the sense to note the tach reading. I think that I hit about 160 before realizing just how fast I was going. Car was perfectly stable with the top down. BTW, my miata has a 480 hp Corvette engine; a stock mx-5 won’t exceed about 125 mph without a few mods. Most excursions well beyond the speed limits have usually lasted for fives or tens of seconds at most.

  • Orlando Terrazas

    Member
    March 1, 2022 at 11:06 am

    The fastest I’ve driven a car has just under 110mph in my F150 pick up.. years ago it was kinda scary.. my biggest fear was getting a tire blow out. These days I’ve traveled over 90mph in my Prius a few times as well … That being said 110 miles per hour is fine by me!!!

    • John Malcom

      Member
      March 1, 2022 at 12:13 pm

      Agree! 110mph is more than anyone needs especially if they want to be legal. Someone driving that fast on a public highway seriously endangers other drivers. Hopefully, Aptera owners are more conscientious. The focus of Aptera engineering is to build the most efficient transportation in the world to conserve resources and contribute as little as possible to vehicle climate pollution. We all know that EVs are way less efficient when driven fast so I hope not many if any test the limit of their Aptera’s speed.

    • Fanfare 100

      Member
      May 29, 2022 at 8:54 am

      Fastest I’ve driven is 115mph, in a 1963 Lincoln Continental. That thing felt like I was floating on a cloud! But at that speed the wind was starting to lift it. It was scary. Never did it again.

  • Vernon Michael Gardner

    Member
    March 2, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    Believe me, exciting things happen when you go faster than 120mph on the street. You get to see red and blue lights much more often, vehicles get donated to police auctions, small things in the road turn out to be much bigger than you thought and come much faster at you. I’m just making fun of the top speed. 99% of you will never reach that. And while covering 10 miles in 9 minutes is exhilarating, knowing that one mistake can cost you or someone their lives in a flash. Unless you take it to the track, there is really no reason to go faster than 110mph.

    I personally, have never driven over 160 mph and that was on a racetrack.

  • Fanfare 100

    Member
    March 2, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    Here’s an old trick I learned from some folks in China who drove around a speed-limited Lifan 340 EV and a KANDI K27. They were able to raise the top speed by, provided there is enough clearance in the wheel well, a bigger tyre or a bigger wheel! And if you don’t have the clearance, which you probably will, fear not, just raise the suspension a bit and now you will be able to fit a bigger wheel/tyre = higher top speed. The only thing that will suffer will be your acceleration, in proportion to your new top speed.

    So, for example, if my friend was able to increase his top speed from 80 mph to 86 mph, the same type of change would bring 110 to 118.4, at the expense of acceleration dropping from a zero to 60 of 5.5 to that of about 6 seconds, which is till respectable. So, basically, take your pick and decide if the trade is worth it for you.

    • Vernon Michael Gardner

      Member
      March 3, 2022 at 9:51 pm

      Fanfare, your friend only gave you part of the picture. Taller tires than factory are illegal in many states (most do not enforce it unless there is a death). In California they used to stamp the receipt with a warning that any tire that does not meet factory size or rating can not be warranted for failures. tires: to tall= loses torque and horsepower to ground, increases braking distance. Wrong rating= changes handling characteristics, turning radius, braking control and stability. From experience, it is cheaper in the long run to buy a vehicle with the performance ranges and handling characteristics you want.

      • Fanfare 100

        Member
        March 4, 2022 at 9:29 am

        YIKES! I wasn’t aware of half of what you said. Thank you! And here, for the past 7 years I have been driving around with the next size up. It’s hardly noticeable unless you park the same type of car next to mine, because there was sufficient space in the wheel well without needing to make suspension adjustments. Since I only increased by 1″ it’s hardly noticeable, but it has helped keep the RPMs lower too. And I have not noticed hardly any difference in gas mileage either nor handling. It raises the centre of gravity by about 1/2 a inch, but that doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. And these tyres cost $32 each instead of $120 each, which is a big savings to me.

        I imagine if I were to very visibly exceed, by several inches, the size it would draw lots of attention. I guess it would depend on if one exceeds the threshold of consciousness of the casual observer. But it is still surprising how a one inch lift also lifts the top speed as well. In my case, I don;t aim for an increased top speed but a lower RPM and a tiny bit more clearance because I am often off-roading because of where I live out in the sticks.

        And my friends in China did it because their vehicles would initially not exceed 80 mph and that afforded them just a bit more margin on the open highways. It wasn’t exactly like the were big-footing it. The mods were subtle.

  • David Marlow

    Member
    March 3, 2022 at 2:22 am

    Maybe people driving on unlimited speed roads would be interested in a higher top speed, however I think most Aptera buyers are interested in the efficiency.

  • Leonard Diasio

    Member
    March 28, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    Since Aptera isn’t a regular car, this conversation makes me wonder if the Aptera body shape is neutral aerodynamically. Or set to be negative or positive down-force-wise. That would also greatly impact stability at high speeds.

    • OZ (It’s OZ, Just OZ)

      Member
      March 28, 2022 at 2:52 pm

      Hopefully someone will have the reference, I can’t find it in my notes but IIRC Aptera stated that with the aerodynamics design something like 20-25 lbs. of downforce at speed.

  • Francis Giroux

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    I once had a Ford Taurus (fancy model). My wife fell asleep while I was driving one day. I started hyperventilating loudly which woke my wife up from her nap. She saw the speedometer reading 140 and she screamed at me to slow down. I slowed down to 85 before showing her that I had the speedometer set for kph instead of mph. So I was only going 85 mph. I’ve gone over 110 mph on the Phoenix International Speedway in a four cylinder Porsche 914 during Porsche Club of America time trials.

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