The thing that would make the most difference in winter would be a heated windshield. Windshield fogging is the thing that forces me to turn the heat on. If you are dressed for winter you can be pretty comfortable without heat into the low 20s especially if you have a heated steering wheel and a heated seat. However the windshield fogs up long before you need heat for human comfort. A heated windshield that uses energy just to defog or deice the windshield without wasting it on cabin heat would make a big difference in winter energy use.
The other thing is a heat pump which will be even more important in an Aptera than in other EVs. Aptera’s have small batteries, with the exception of the 1000 mile variant, resistive heating consumes about 100Wh/mile, that will halve the range of an Aptera.
The point is that they’re using a different technology to heat and cool the seats: Peltier modules. All other heated vehicle seats use resistance heating coils and/or forced heated or cooled ventilation via a blower. Sitting on a Peltier module in “cold” mode is rather like sitting on a piece of ice.
No, it’s not air-flow. Peltier modules are “solid-state heat pumps”: You run electricity into them and one side gets hot while the other gets cold. Reverse the polarity of the electricity and the heating and cooling changes sides.
So, as I said, sitting on one that’s cooling feels exactly like sitting on a piece of ice.
My Cuisinart Yogurt Maker has one: It keeps the cultured milk at the optimum temperature for bacteria growth for twelve hours and then shifts to “cold” mode and chills the completed yogurt to stop the process. While it’s cooling, the “back” of the module radiates heat – there’s a fan in the yogurt maker that blows the heat out through a vent.
How can a Peltier device be used as a seat cooler? How would you vent the heat that it produces. As a seat heater it could be fine, the excess heat would end up in the cabin where you want it in the winter. But as a cooler it can’t work unless you have a means of moving the heat outside of the cabin. If you have air ducts connected to the seat why wouldn’t you just use the cooled air from the AC. Peltier devices are less efficient than compressors, doesn’t make any sense to use them for seat cooling.