Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)

  • Interior Climate control (HVAC, heat, AC)

     Patrick Smith updated 1 month ago 70 Members · 160 Posts
  • Paul Carlucci

    August 7, 2022 at 5:21 am

    The steering yoke should be able to reject a bit more heat being white, so there’s that. A sunshade wouldn’t be a good idea given that there are to be solar cells on the dashboard. But most importantly remember that the unique composite honeycomb sandwich structure of the body means that the Aptera will quite possibly have the highest R-value body insulation versus any regular production vehicle with the exception of specialized vehicles designed for Arctic extremes. Conventional cars are metal boxes whereas the Aptera is closer to being constructed like an exceptionally tough a drink cooler.

    • John Wiley

      August 7, 2022 at 6:47 am

      So, the sun-shade keeps out some heat and the exposed dash cells will generate some electricity. With the added heat (without shade}, inside temperature control will use electricity. I wonder which will use the least net amount of electricity – exposed cells w/ added heat from front window while running a/c v.s. window shade covering cells while running a/c?

  • Philip Tong

    August 8, 2022 at 11:19 am

    I have a black/black corvette outside car with the blue tinted clear roof. It sits in the full Hawaiian sun all day. I do put up a reflectix windshield cover.

    It gets HOT in there but before entering I drop both windows and wait a sec or two with my door open. As an older car the AC takes awhile before starts cooling and that sucks but is manageable until then.

    Saying all this to allay maybe some concerns with the Aptera. I imagine the “pre flight” routine would be the same 🙂 With a full solar option the interior most likely won’t be heated as much also as the sun rays completely blocked by those sections. Plus the small exhaust fan? A win win imo.

  • Philip Tong

    August 8, 2022 at 11:26 am

    oh yeah forgot to add, on another car with a clear tinted top I IR measured it at 123 degrees on top in the sun, sat inside and metered 120 inside. that radiated and heated the interior but didn’t have a thermometer. I measured the black leather seat at 100 degrees which I thought would be much higher. but same thing the car has reflectix for the windshield too.

  • Neville Cawood

    October 2, 2022 at 2:29 am

    I was thinking about the 40 miles per day drom the sun/solar thing:

    How hot is the interior of the Aptera in direct sun?
    or does it run ventilation (fans) while charging?

    Will the interior handle the UV, IR etc and heat?

    Interior temperatures of a white Aptera vs other colours?

    There’s nothing worse than getting into a hot car thats been in the sun and frying your rear and hands on the seat and steering wheel etc.

  • Riley …

    October 2, 2022 at 3:56 am

    The interior should be kept at ambient temp, i know my Tesla runs the air conditioning once it gets over a certain temp. I wonder if once the aptera battery is full it can use the excess solar charging to run the air conditioning.

    TBD on how durable the interior is to UV damage, they haven’t finalized all of the interior materials yet.

    The color shouldn’t make a difference to interior temp as the whole car is a well insulated composite sandwich material, also no matter what color you pick the top will always be black anyway.

    • Paul Schultz

      October 2, 2022 at 10:17 am

      The composite sandwich is given far too much credit as an insulator. I have a travel trailer with a composite sandwich and the insulating factor is not significant. If it is fairly airtight and in the sun it gets very hot without running the AC and/or air vents. I suspect the Aptera will be the same.

    • kerbe2705

      October 2, 2022 at 1:27 pm

      @Riley … Solar won’t be able to power the AC directly. The full solar package can generate 700W in perfect conditions but any little bit of shade will cause that to drop: A leaf falling on the panel, a cloud, a bird or plane, etc. The AC would have to pull power from the battery – but the solar system would not be putting back enough to compensate for what’s being drawn off.

  • Len Nowak

    October 2, 2022 at 4:38 am


    This have been discussed in many threads.

    ✅They have said the vehicle will have a UV reflective type glass

    I personally will have a Full Solar Aptera

    I will have the window glass tinted (as we do all our vehicles in the SW )

    ✅One of the basic things the solar provides is ventilation of the interior air.

    I plan to try a simple reflective pop up solar screen, like “something like” the attached. BUT not placed as typically used. I would place from the rear view mirror/ screen direct down behind the dash screen, so NOT to block the solar dash array.

    That screen would reflect heat on the dash ( electronic ) screens. As with any panel I suppose you would not want a completed seal to allow air circulation around it.

    (✅As you may know…the Aptera HVAC air blows from behind the center screen into the vehicle)

    There are so many screens “out there” and Aptera said they would share their vehicle Auto Cad drawings to promote aftermarket products, as they focus on the vehicle itself.

    So until we have the final model, we have t wait. But have fun planning!

    • J.P. Morere

      October 3, 2022 at 10:46 am

      Your description for placement of a windshield sunscreen closely matches my own. My thought is that it will also reflect light onto the dash panel solar array and increase its output. PV cells are certainly sensitive to light levels and their efficiency goes up with increasing energy input. Not just output level, but _efficiency_. Thus, is it possible that 24% rated PV cells might improve to 26% or so (just a guess) with a 50% increase in light reflected from the sunscreen – yielding more than a 50% increase in output.

      People talk of a foldable PV sunscreen to fill the entire windshield, but I think that the above idea would be even better and substantially less expensive.

  • Boz O’Clown

    October 22, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    I live in the Southwest and we have several days (weeks?) of over 100° days. With the announcement that vents for the A/C will be only from around the center display panel, I have concerns of whether this will provide a decent level of comfort on hot days.

    My last car that had center only vents (1974 BMW 2002) for the A/C never really provided a decent level of comfort during those demanding days. My knee, shoulder and arm nearest the center would be very cold while the rest of me was too warm.

    I cannot imagine cruising for hours like that. Please consider supplemental side vents like those found in every other car sold since 1976.

  • Dennis Swaney

    October 22, 2022 at 3:20 pm

    Also will there be directional vents for the footwells? BTW, the side dash vents on cars replaced the vent windows in front of the front door windows.

    • Bob Kirchner

      October 22, 2022 at 6:05 pm

      There will be footwell vents and defroster vents.

  • J.P. Morere

    October 22, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    There are supposed to be windshield and side window defrost vents. Hopefully the side window defrost vents will deliver cool air along the sides too. Better yet there would be AC vents on the sides, but maybe the side defrost vents can be made to work.

  • Steven G. Bueche

    October 24, 2022 at 4:17 am

    Brings up another point, why have the screen backing black? In the summer we have to cool the backing plate before the air turns cool for the passengers. Heat is the killer of electronics so why not put the biggest part behind a black piece of plastic that will bake in the sun. Get my point?

    Make it white.

    With all that heat behind the center screen would there be any condensation issues? In the summer, maybe not. In the winter hot air behind a cold interface might react like your house windows. (old style, single pane)

    It sounds cool from a designers stand point. But function should take precedence over style. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Jason Hill’s comment about client Push Back to new ideas is concerning. Push Backs are concerns of function and not objections. The old rule still applies: Keep it simple stupid.

    • Dennis Swaney

      October 24, 2022 at 9:33 am

      I agree, Steven.

      I wonder if white electrical or duct tape on the back of the screen would help?

      Right now I have to have one center vent pointed at my iPhone mount and the other at my XM radio mount in the summer; if I don’t the iPhone will shut down due to over heating and the XM’s LCD display text will fade out.

      • John Voules

        October 24, 2022 at 11:26 am

        I guess the screen backing could be removed also…just spray painted. I bet though you will have a nasty reflection off the windshield. Let’s be careful what we wish for.

  • William Anderson

    October 31, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    how will heating for drving in snow work

  • Iskren Petkov

    October 31, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    hi William, if you mean how would the cabin heat up when is cold outside – initial design rollout will use resistive heating. Later Chris Anthony said they will look into replacing it like Teslas with heat pump for better efficiency.

    • Patrick Smith

      November 4, 2022 at 1:52 pm

      Does this imply that I should consider waiting to get an Aptera when heat pumps are part of the picture, since I live in Wisconsin? I really want an Aptera, but forgoing basics? not so much.

  • kerbe2705

    November 1, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    @William Anderson The same as any other EV.

  • Joshua Rosen

    November 2, 2022 at 6:59 am

    If you are asking about the loss of range due to the resistive heaters, my guess is about 50%. My Tesla has resistive heating and I see my energy consumption jump by about 100Wh/mile when the heater is on sometimes more. It’s possible that the heat losses in the Aptera will be a lot less than a Tesla and that could mitigate the effects of the heater. My 2019 Tesla’s has an uninsulated glass roof, Aptera has a plastic roof with a layer of solar cells. The body of the Tesla is aluminum, the Aptera is plastic. Plastic is a better insulator than glass or aluminum which will help.

    • kerbe2705

      November 2, 2022 at 7:09 am

      @Joshua Rosen This is where heated seats and steering apparatus make all the difference: So long as the surfaces your touch are warm, your body feels warm despite the surrounding air temperature.

      Also, the Aptera had about half the interior volume of a Tesla, so there’s less air to heat/cool – which should help.

      • Joshua Rosen

        November 2, 2022 at 7:16 am

        The problem is the windshield. Human comfort isn’t a problem for me, if dressed for winter and the heated seats are on I’m happy without cabin heat. Unfortunately the windshield fogs up in the cold and the only way to deal with that is the defroster which is just the cabin heater. A heated windshield could make a big difference but they won’t have that, they might not have a heated steering wheel either in the early cars.

        As for cabin volume, that shouldn’t matter much, it’s the rate of heat loss that important. If the car was a thermos bottle with wheels then you wouldn’t need heat at all, your body heat would be enough to heat the insides no matter how large the space was. But a car isn’t a thermos, it has a glass windshield and glass side windows which bleed heat. The use of insulated glass could help, I doubt they will use it. The company is based in San Diego, heating isn’t on their priority list.

      • Curtis Cibinel

        November 2, 2022 at 8:27 am

        In a thread about a year ago we discussed the benefits of dealing off the storage area with either canvas or more permanent methods (ie cut hottub lid). This would definitely reduce cabin heating energy use especially for trips under 30 min

    • Peter Jorgensen

      November 2, 2022 at 2:20 pm

      50% !?!????? How!?

      My EV sees about a 5% loss due to heater on or off in snowy weather.

      • Joshua Rosen

        November 2, 2022 at 2:34 pm

        Do you have a heat pump? I have a 2019 Model 3 with resistive heating. My energy consumption goes up at least 100Wh/mile when I have the heat on vs doing the same trip in the summer. 40% range loss is the common figure for EVs without heat pumps. The range loss on the Aptera is going to be worse than it is for other EVs because it’s 2-3X as efficient as they are so the energy used to heat the cabin is a greater percentage of the total consumption. The heat loss through the windows will be pretty much the same as it is for other EVs, it should have less heat loss through the roof than a Tesla because it has plastic no glass on the roof but until proven otherwise I would assume that the energy required to heat the cabin will be similar.

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