MemberApril 24, 2022 at 5:16 am
I live North of Albany NY and experienced one of our colder winters I can recall in about 20 years. Many days of single digit degrees. Love the car, the concept, want one, but now I am worried about the heat. I had the luxury of driving one many many years ago when they did their tour, I absolutely loved it. Can I get information about expectations with the heater?
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 6:25 am
It’s going to be a resistance heaters so the range hit in winter will be huge.
MemberMay 1, 2022 at 4:21 pm
Thank you for your feedback
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 11:45 am
Can you be more specific than “huge”? 25%? 20%? 10%? I know that one could only estimate…but what is the likely range hit? Would also make a difference presumably whether the car is being used for short trips (e.g. commuting) … likely with a bigger range hit (frequent heating of a cold cabin), vs. on a long haul trip (where heat would mostly be required to maintain cabin temperature).
Also, do we have any idea of the power requirements of heated seats? Heated seats should be able to make driving comfortable even at modest cabin temperatures.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 7:16 am
The system includes both resistance air fan heaters and heated seats. The heated seats are supposed to be more efficient than the air fan heaters for a given subjective level of thermal comfort, even though the cabin air would still be cool if you used just the heated seats part of the system.
MemberMay 1, 2022 at 4:22 pm
Thank you for your feedback. I agree with you about the heated seats. I had to rent car with them in the middle of the winter. The seats heated quickly when compared to the cabin air. I had to turn the heat down on the seats.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 7:26 am
Will the yoke be heated. In the first Audi I had, the wheel was heated and I loved it. The second Audi I bought it wasn’t included and I missed it the entire 20 years I owned it.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 8:41 am
There will be a heated steering wheel/yoke
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 10:56 am
As a current EV owner (’14 Spark EV), I’m hyper-aware of the hit that heating takes on an EV, even in the relatively mild north Georgia winters. Typically, the only time I use the HVAC in winter is to clear the interior of the windscreen (defrost) which I use judiciously (turn it only only when needed and turn it off when the fog clears.)
The seat does a wonderful job 95 percent of the time. After all, you’re most typically dressed for the weather from the get go (usually a light jacket or even heavier coat).
In that 5% of the time, I use, not the high-voltage space heater (electric resistance as there is no heat pump), but either a 12-volt powered heated throw or, lacking a 12-volt version, a small inverter capable of running a $25 110v heated throw.
Of course the ambient temps of the battery also conspire to rob you of range but the hit from essentially a 12-volt appliance is minimal additional draw.
All that said, the comfort level you insist upon in winter will have a cost based on the level of comfort you choose but do know kilowatts, which typically range from $.10-.20 per, are compared to gasoline cheap. Hell, kilowatts are so cheap that most EV manufacturers basically deprioritize efficiency of use of fuel, giving priority to passenger and driver comfort.
The good news is that unless you are in a competitive event, the Aptera – even in its smallest battery configuration (250 miles) – will have enough range to provide the user with enough buffer to comfortably travel the distances required. If your individual situation and configuration ends up with your needs being challenged by the smallest of the configurations, bump it up to the 400 mile … or just adopt one of the many hypermiling techniques to complete your trip.
That your range is often fungible on any trip that approaches your listed limit justs means that you can adjust your driving to the circumstances. When you plan your trip, you plan around those limits and accommodate your desired level of comfort as well.
Those who expect everything to be PERFECT are always disappointed.
They say in human love relationships, discovering the flaws and embracing them is the hallmark of love … and I do believe most of us here love the Aptera and what it stands for.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 1:24 pm
This is why I think I will be holding out for the 60kWh battery. If, between cold batteries, high speeds, and heater losses my range is reduced by 50%, that will still be about 300 miles, which is fine. In the summer, the extra range is bonus.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 3:59 pm
There will be a 120V inverter built in to the Aptera. I hope the outlet is inside the cargo area. Much better for camping or running a fridge or your heated throw. With the throw and a sleeping bag or good wool blanket you could be comfy down to -10F or lower. With the heated seat and the throw over you driving would be comfy as well.
MemberApril 24, 2022 at 4:49 pm
Two additional points: One is that, if the Aptera is plugged into an EVSE, you can pre-heat the interior using grid power before you begin your travels with no hit to the vehicle’s range. Second, Aptera hopes to, eventually, use a heat pump to both heat and cool the interior of the vehicle.
I currently drive a PHEV and have found cabin pre-heating (and pre-cooling) to make a significant difference in my driving comfort: The car will stay nice and toasty for quite some time and heated seats and steering wheel are surprisingly effective – moreso than the feeling of a “hair dryer” blowing in my face, trying to heat the cabin.
MemberApril 25, 2022 at 6:10 pm
I live in Hudson Falls, New York and ordered a 25kWh full solar version. I travel to Albany area once a week and I have no worries about loss of range in the winter. In fact I expect with my driving techniques to travel 400 miles on a full charge.
I am so tired of people worrying about loss of range in cold weather in an electric vehicle. I have proven that the cold weather loss of range in a typical ICE vehicle is much worse than in a properly designed EV (Aptera).
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 4:53 am
Let’s not forget the the electric hub motors are not 100% efficient.
They are water cooled by microchannels in the Aptera’s skin.
That means implementing an old school car heater to utilise this waste heat is a no-brainer..?
(small fan and radiator in the dashboard with an adjustable valve/tap)
The only reason I can think of not to implement an old school car heater system is that the temperature of the coolant is (or remains) lower than the desired temperature of the cabin air.
(Delta T of radiator ignored)
Even so; they could compliment a resistive heater, when heating fresh air from outside.
Simply ‘flooring it!’ may be the more efficient alternative here..!? 🙂
On the subject of electrically resistive heaters:
Peltiers or Ice Caps are more efficient than a purely resistive heater as they add the much vaunted heat pump effect to resistive heating.
Swapping electric flow direction turns them into solid state coolers, but don’t expect anywhere near their heating efficiency as the resistive heat is then deducted, rather than added to efficiency…
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 10:25 am
Aptera has settled on resistive heating for the time being. The intent was to use a heat pump, but an appropriate size, weight, and cost heat pump was not available and the development cycle was two years for such a heat pump.
The design is complete for the first production Aptera to be delivered later this year. There is a good chance that the next iteration of Aptera will have an efficient heat pump.
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 2:12 pm
John the is already resistive heating happing in the motors.
Those motors are water cooled, so that’s where the heat ends up.
Were I to get an Aptera tomorrow; I’d go to a scrap yard and get the small radiator and valve that’s ‘The Heater’ in every car and retro fit it.
It would be a very simple job to send the warm water through that heater/radiator when heat is needed, via said valve, and send it to the stock cooling channels in the skin when not.
It simply does not make sense to not use that waste heat/electricity to me, rather than waste more doing exactly the same thing as happens in the motors anyway…
Now there must be a reason why Aptera chose the route they did.
What I cant figure out is why..? Which is why I made the suggestion I did.
Perhaps someone from Aptera frequents these forums and can tell me?
I’m an engineer whose built everything from cars and aircraft to diamond and gold processing plants.
News (known) on the route they’ve chosen, is not an answer to the engineering question: ‘why?’… 🙂
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 2:23 pm
Think for a minute. Do the Aptera engineers know what you are saying in this post. Probably. In fact they know the whole systems design. If what you propose would be the right thing in the context of the whole vehicle architecture they would have considered it and adopted it if it was the best solution.
When your vehicle is delivered you are free to do what you want with it. If you want to put a scrap yard radiator somewhere in the Aptera where there is sufficient airflow for it to work, (I am not sure where that would be) feel free to do so. That is a part of the Right to Repair ethos.
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 2:34 pm
I’m sure they have considered it.
Why they rejected the ‘use the waste heat that’s already there’ option is still ‘The Question’… 🙂
There’s no need to defend Aptera against simple well meant question based on engineering curiosity.
Especially if you dont know the answer… 🙂
Another option would be to buy a new one.
But as its a part that doesn’t easily wear out the scrapyard would be the quickest and cheapest option, which is why I mentioned it.
As for where to put it: I do know where: In/behind the std cooling vent/s, same as every other car, as any engineer would tell you… 🙂
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 4:01 pm
Neville, your answer has been suggested a few times already. Let me use some numbers to illustrate it better for you. The electric motors (90% efficient) are out in the cold. Even with the waste heat (10% of 6000 watts at 60 mph=600 watts) the coolant exiting the motors might be 30 degrees Fahrenheit (outside temperature 10 degrees). You are trying to keep the inside cabin temperature above 70 degrees. Is that 30 degree “warm” coolant going to your cabin heater going to heat or cool the cabin? Even if the coolant from the “out in the cold” motors reached 50 degrees, will that help warm your cabin? Until that coolant gets up to 70 degrees, its only going to cool your cabin. Maybe the engineers already know that the motor/battery coolant loop never get up to 70 degrees except in the spring/summer/fall, when you don’t want the heat. Maybe the waste heat from the motors can help warm the battery when its cold outside, but not the cabin. I assume there is a solenoid valve in the loop somewhere that directs the coolant away from the belly pan skin cooling loop, when the battery is too cold already. There are likely a number of solenoid valves directing the coolant to its needed places, something like the octo-valve in the Tesla. Engineering at its best.
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 10:48 am
As Stated in my 1st post here;
“…The only reason I can think of not to implement an old school car heater system is that the temperature of the coolant is (or remains) lower than the desired temperature of the cabin air…
…Even so; they could compliment a resistive heater, when heating fresh air from outside…”
But thx for the maths!
<font face=”inherit”>I’m not aware what the </font>efficiency<font face=”inherit”> of the Aptera hub motors is.
Is it really 90%? That’s high compared to most.
One thing I did forget to mention is that the battery also requires cooling (and heating on cold days)
What kind of temperatures do they produce?</font>
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 8:49 pm
My thought is if you’re cruising down the highway at 60 mph burning less energy than the equivalent of a 100-watt light bulb, there probably isn’t a whole lot of ‘waste heat’ …
The whole point of Aptera’s design is efficiency and while the presence of 150 kw of motive power, the setup is capable of generating significant heat if being taxed as if in a competitive road race but to drive this powerful, LIGHT, vehicle in a manner to generate heat for comfort would be reckless if not more likely wrecked.
Speaking of the cooling system, if you are going to use Aptera in a more competitive setting than the public highways, the addition of a heater core in the cooling loop to increase performance endurance might be a good idea.
For a really bad idea, consider this ‘practical’ solution that would be likely if this were a traditional auto manufacturer (because it is a parts-bin solution). What they’d do is put in the heat exchanger for Cabin heat but would, in the all wheel drive model, selectively invoke on the rear wheel a faster speed with additional power, but because the ‘heater is on’ the front wheels slow as imperceptibly as possible by invoking braking/regen and doing that operation explicitly to generate excess heat for comfort.
There is always a way to be comfortable which is going to have to have more to do with the padding and heat-elements in the seat but since Aptera’s 110-volt AC outlet is there, you could pick up any number of styles of electric space heaters for a song at Goodwill.
<font face=”inherit”>My only serious concern is how well the Aptera’s defogger works. My experience over the years driving cars, pickups and vans suggests this is among the most critical HVAC functions because of its safety implications.</font>
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 5:50 pm
I still feel that Aptera should, and easily could, make a curtain to isolate the driver/passenger compartment from the hatchback area. It would be right behind the seats and easily deployed by reaching behind the seat. This would reduce the cubic feet of heated space in the winter/cold weather. It would allow a smaller amount of energy needed to maintain temp in this smaller space.
On our RV trailer, we have something called a keder rail that allows a curtain to basically seal against the perimeter surface that the rail is attached. With the interior slope of the roof roughly a semi-circle I wonder if they could design something that velcros to the floor of the hatch area right behind the seats. Maybe something like a large “hand fan” that unfurls in a semi-circle with the upper edge riding snugly in a keder rail.
Maybe they could sell this as a ‘cold weather’ package? It would not require any redesign of the current Aptera so would fall under the category of an add-on that would not delay development.
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 7:53 pm
Something that has only very lightly been discussed, is the setup/workings of the basic ventilation system. One of the few things I recall (Quite possibly incorrectly) Is that all the ventilation will be run through the back side of the tail. Not sure if there will be some sort of air transit directly to the front (Tubing/channels/etc.) or if we are looking at just a general air movement. In the case of none would blocking the rear off have an adverse impact?
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 8:03 pm
My assumption is that vents would be traditionally located in the driver’s compartment. It would be odd to have them in the far back. Where did you read about this? Yes, if this truly is the set-up then dividing compartments would leave the cargo area temperature-controlled and the passenger/driver compartment with only heated seats!
MemberApril 27, 2022 at 9:28 pm
When the ventilation system is running, outside air will enter below the windshield – just as it does on many current vehicles – and will exit through exhaust ports on either side of the license plate: The exhaust grilles are visible in every image of the rear of the Alphas. This process was explained in some of the early Aptera videos and webinars.
In most vehicles cabin air enters from the front (high pressure) and exits to the rear (low pressure): It is common to place the exhaust vents below the rear seat in many automobiles.
MemberMay 1, 2022 at 7:50 pm
I live in a place with 6 months of snow on the ground. Average 135” of snowfall . Though McCall doesn’t get -30F temps, it does get -15 or -20 at least once a year. That’s to put my comments in perspective. My Aptera will spend its nights in a garage, charging. I anticipate getting in after unplugging, with the cabin temperature a comfortable 65f prearranged via software and paid for with grid electricity, .10$/kwr here. Then my heated seats and steering yoke/wheel plus a very well insulated cabin keep me comfortable. Am I missing anything? The same process would work in hot weather, or outside year round with a bit more cost plugged in, or with solar, with less range gained in order to maintain comfortable cabin temperature.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 7:43 am
Hi James, Thank you for your feedback.
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 11:05 am
If one seals the cabin completely you (and a 2nd person0 will breath up all the oxygen, pass out and ultimately suffocate.
I don’t know how long that would take (Aptera interior volume; rate of oxygen use, etc) but it will happen. Besides; you don’t want to be groggy behind the wheel from a lack of oxygen.
ie; a small amount of fresh air needs to enter the cabin at all times and cars are designed to do that. You will find small, always open vents in all cars, usually exhausting behind the rear windows.
This small amount of outside air could be pre/initially-heated by waste motor and/or battery heat.
Even if the said heat’s temperature is below the desired cabin temperature its always warmer than than the outside air.
MemberMay 3, 2022 at 7:50 am
I appreciate everybody’s feedback. I’ll definitely will put my deposit down as they go in to full production. I figure any issues at the beginning will be made during production. I look forward to it. I think they changed their production times again.
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 11:49 am
You must not want an Aptera until 2025. They have 17K orders right now and that number will take several years to work through. I think you would be happier if you put down your refundable $100 right now and shorten your wait by 6 months or more.
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 11:45 am
It occurs to me that when cabin (and perhaps battery) heating is required ; a properly sized, tiny gas/petrol powered generator, adding a little charge to the batteries, makes sense:
Internal combustion engines are around 30% efficient (if you’re lucky) at turning fuel into mechanical energy.
What they are efficient at is turning the remaining, normally wasted fuel, into heat!
(~60% efficient IIRC)
That heat is usually wasted with arind half (30%) ending up in the water cooling system water, and the other half (30%) blows out the exhaust
When that heat is harnessed to heat the cabin; you end up with a ~90% efficient heater/generator..!
I imagine the very idea is enough to start an online riot in a forum like this! 😀
But one must compare that ~90% efficiency against the energy efficiency with which the batteries were charged…
Steam turbines, as used in nuclear, coal etc generators are around 40% efficient and then there are the transmission line and transformer losses lowering that value even further.
One also has to remain cognicent of the cost of battery manufacture:
How much fuel was burned to mine and transport that Lithium etc?
How much to smelt the ore and manufacture the battery..?
You gotta ‘hug the bunnies’ worldwide, not just those in your neighborhood… 🙂
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Neville Cawood.
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 12:27 pm
Aptera will remain true to their ethos, the most efficient and environmentally friendly transportation in the world. That means no petrol for any Aptera functions.
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 1:45 pm
Running an ICE generates more pollution and wastes more fuel than simply burning that fuel to generate heat.
And when you’re not using the ICE to generate heat (at least half the year) you’re lugging-around the weight of an ICE and its fuel and exhaust systems.
This is why “range extended” hybrid EVs haven’t become a thing: The Chevy Volt, the Honda Clarity and the BMW i3 are all just memories…
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 5:34 pm
@kerbe2705 Mazda apparently still believes in it as they plan to add a range extender to their MX30.
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 10:11 pm
@Gabriel Kemeny They have to do something with it because an expensive EV with only 100 miles of range isn’t selling… But they’ve been saying there will be a rotary-engine generator available by Q2 2022 since Q1 2020 and we’re now more than halfway through Q2 2022…
MemberMay 16, 2022 at 3:44 pm
If the goal is to conserve battery range by getting heat from another source, a more efficient way to do that would be to use a diesel fuel powered heater. Several companies make them so that truckers can keep their cabins warm overnight without running their engines, or so that diesel powered cars (which take a notoriously long time to reach full running temperature) can have instance interior heat.
There is a company in Quebec that will install one in a Chevy Bolt, to help them cope with the cold winter there. (https://ve.simonandre.ca/systeme-chauffage/) According to the website, it produces one metric tonne of CO2 every 806 hours of use.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Bob Kirchner.