Motor seals and bearings

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Motor seals and bearings

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Motor seals and bearings

  • Motor seals and bearings

     John Malcom updated 4 months, 2 weeks ago 10 Members · 27 Posts
  • Gary Greenway

    Member
    February 18, 2022 at 9:50 am

    I just watched a conversation between Aptera and Elaphe indicating motor seals need to be changed every year or two depending on mileage. Will this be something I can do in my driveway? What about bearing replacement interval? Not exactly what I call maintenance free. I really hope I misunderstood this or the problem will be resolved soon.

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    February 18, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Elaphe plans on a 30,000 mile change interval at the moment but they’re looking at whether they can increase that to 60,000 miles or possibly lifetime. I don’t know how hard it is to swap out.

    To be fair my Kia Niro EV isn’t maintenance free either. The manual suggests an inspection every 7500 miles and three fluid replacements at around 50,000 miles. Brake fluid, coolant, and reduction gear oil.

    Also tire rotations every 7500 miles.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    February 18, 2022 at 10:17 am

    There’s a big difference between tire rotations and fluid changes vs replacing a motor seal. How the hell would you get a motor seal replaced? The motors need to last the life of the car without maintenance, and by life I don’t mean 30,000 miles or until the seals fail.

    • Peter Jorgensen

      Member
      February 18, 2022 at 11:40 am

      I’m guessing it’s the same as wheel bearing seals. I did those at home. But for Aptera I would just ask a shop to do it.

  • Kayleigh Venne

    Administrator
    February 18, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Hi! Which conversation are you referring to, Gary?

    We’re still looking to publish more accurate data in regard to our in-wheel motors and we look forward to giving you more information. I can assure you we think the “right to repair” should be applied to every large purchase and we are very supportive of “do it yourself” rights. This exemplifies how Aptera is leading the revolution to transform the future of transportation through solar mobility, freedom, and continuous innovation.

    • Joshua Rosen

      Member
      February 18, 2022 at 12:44 pm

      The question brought up here has nothing to do with right to repair, it’s about frequency of repair. I don’t give a damn about being able to repair a vehicle myself, what I want is a vehicle that doesn’t need repair at all. In an ideal world cars would be like TV sets, you can’t repair a TV but it doesn’t matter because they last so long that you start to hope it breaks because you want an excuse to buy a better more advanced model. Obviously cars have some consumables like tires and brakes but aside from that an EV should need vastly less maintenance than an ICEV, maybe a battery coolant replacement once in the life of the car but nothing else until the battery wears out. The drive train warranty on a Tesla is 120,000 miles (battery and drive units) and that’s the benchmark everyone else has to meet. In my 50 years of driving the most I’ve ever gotten out of a car before it fell apart completely is 123,000 miles so I’d be completely happy with a 100K+ life expectation for the drive train.

      Gary and Peter brought up the possibility that the motors will need seals replaced every 30K miles or so. That would be terrible if true unless that’s a trivial job like an oil filter change, but to my untrained ears it certainly doesn’t sound trivial. I’m hoping that this is just wrong information and that the motors will be maintenance free.

      • Peter Jorgensen

        Member
        February 18, 2022 at 1:43 pm

        “We’re still looking to publish more accurate data in regard to our in-wheel motors and we look forward to giving you more information.”

        -Kayleigh Venne, Aptera

        So basically they don’t know yet. Still in process.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      February 18, 2022 at 2:00 pm

      Technical concerns expressed by forum members deserve an authoritative technical answer from an official Aptera representative. An example of that kind of response in this case might be “The in wheel motors currently require a change of seals every xx miles but we are looking at ways to extend the interval. We expect testing data to be available on xx and will publish the data on the forum”.

      This kind of response fosters trust in both the engineering process and customer response organization. Anything less than a specific, technical response lays a foundation of doubt in the capability of both organizations to be responsive to inquires.

      • Kayleigh Venne

        Administrator
        February 18, 2022 at 3:23 pm

        I understand and agree, John. Rest assured, when I have the data and information to give a more technical answer, I will. I’ll be speaking with the Engineering team about this inquiry.

    • Gary Greenway

      Member
      February 18, 2022 at 2:19 pm

      Kayleigh, look at 26:45 in this video. https://youtu.be/X0LYZCiez5Y

      • John Malcom

        Member
        February 18, 2022 at 5:47 pm

        This video was made some time ago so the current relevance is suspect. Additionally, you will note that there is some misunderstanding/disagreement within Elaphe over the replacement interval for the seals.

        Aptera has noted that they are requesting a customization for the Elaphe wheel motors for the Aptera. We do not know what the features of the requested customization are, but they will result in a different wheel motor configuration than the “Standard” commercial version. We should not judge what will be provided to Aptera by what is on the commercial market.

        I certainly can’t speak for Aptera Engineering but a good engineer would make a note of the disagreement in the video and put some tasks in the development plan to examine this potential weakness. I think we can all agree that the Aptera engineers are good engineers, so I am sure they have done this. I also believe, because of their strong commitment to quality, extending the life of the vehicle, and Right to Repair, they will make sure there are high standards for each component of the vehicle, to including the seals, and that testing will verify implementation of strong design and performance standards.

        I believe once the testing is complete, regardless of the timeframe in their testing plan, that the results will be published and that we will be more than satisfied with the results.

        • BRUCE MENGLER

          Member
          February 18, 2022 at 5:53 pm

          I just read the Maintenance section for the Rivian R1T which also uses the Elaphe in-wheel motors.
          There was NO mention of any maintenance required for the in-wheel motors.

          https://www.rivianforums.com/forum/attachments/r1t-owners-guide-pdf.9166/

          • Curtis Cibinel

            Member
            February 18, 2022 at 6:23 pm

            I cant find anything about Rivian using Elaphe motors. I was under the impression despite having 4 wheel independent drive that they had motors inside the vehicle.

            • John Malcom

              Member
              February 18, 2022 at 6:32 pm

              Curtis is correct. Four in vehicle motors one for each wheel. They are currently manufactured by Bosch. Rivian will start making their own motors.

          • Nathan Hubbard

            Member
            February 18, 2022 at 6:27 pm

            The Rivian doesn’t use hub motors. You’re probably thinking of the Lordstown, which isn’t actually available.

      • John Malcom

        Member
        February 18, 2022 at 6:03 pm

        No question that you will do that and conscientiously Kayleigh!

        Forum members are anxious for all technical information on the Aptera. Most are use to dealing with traditional automotive companies who do not announce a vehicle until all design, engineering, and testing is done and all specs finalized.

        Aptera is different. Is is a startup that is giving insight into the development, testing and production of the vehicle. An unusual and refreshing approach which we all appreciate. But this means that some of the data to answer technical questions is not available yet and may not be available for some time. As a result, speculation without knowledge or basis becomes rampant.

        There are misrepresentations of facts even in this short thread. In the video, they represent the change interval for the motor seals as 30,000 kilometers. Somehow that gets translated into 30,000 miles in the posts here.

        Bottom line, Peter has the best answer at the bottom of his post.

        • Kayleigh Venne

          Administrator
          February 22, 2022 at 11:10 am

          Hi John! Thank you very much for your understanding. I’m passing your kind words along to the Aptera Team! It’s our pleasure to bring you all along “for the ride,” so-to-speak, as we work to bring our solar electric vehicles to the market and to your driveways! We certainly value and admire all of your questions while do this. We so appreciate your understanding that although we may not have all of the concrete information, we’re doing our best to share what we know, and will be transparent about what we don’t know! 🙂

    • Gary Greenway

      Member
      February 18, 2022 at 8:42 pm

      Since this thread has gone all over the place, I’ll clarify my question a bit. I wasn’t asking if I MAY do it, but instead, CAN I do it? Is it a job for a home shop or does it require specialized and expensive tooling? Hopefully its no more difficult than doing a brake job or replacing a hub bearing.

      • George Hughes

        Member
        February 18, 2022 at 10:57 pm

        Gary, I think you’re onto something and I suspect the answer is almost there.

        That the in-wheel motor seals are an issue it is possibly ‘good.’ The initial maintenance was based on the original use-factor for the Elaphe motor, which was on trucks and other heavy vehicles. That initial use-factor with its intensified weight meaning intensified heat I believe is why they were calling for the more intense maintenance schedule.

        The good news of this concern starts with the light-weight nature of the Aptera application; add its outboard wheel design with enhanced cooling and you have a less stress full operation, especially if heat is the primary culprit in the degrading of the seals.

        The second bit of good news is the first schedule I heard in that original video above was like replacement every 20,000 miles which for sure means that the replacement process must be relatively simple. I suspect a routine that would replace a pizza-pan sized O-ring you reach by first removing the tire and then removing the rotor which gives access to the seal.

        I would also hope that since Elaphe was once recommending frequent replacement, they engineered it so the frequent service would be inexpensive – like $50 or less in parts.

        We will know how well designed the wheels are when Elaphe releases the procedure for Aptera which I suspect will have an extended service schedule because of the efficiency of the operation.

        Aptera’s current testing regime with the Beta’s will be the source of the final maintenance recommendations whether it is a 30,000 mile or 100,000 mile service schedule.

        • Peter Jorgensen

          Member
          February 21, 2022 at 7:49 am

          I could be mistaken but I believe the seals are a few inches in diameter.

          • George Hughes

            Member
            February 21, 2022 at 11:38 pm

            Sounds about right. My judgement was based on the requirements and the knowledge of the designers that if a part requires maintenance often enough to have a schedule, you can’t make that maintenance a PIA. Since I know there are other in-wheel motor producers, I believe that Chris and Steve would have found another supplier for this part if it were a PIA.

            But this is all speculation. I suggest that someone get the replacement procedure from Elaphe that will be ultimately in Aptera’s RTR docs.

            What might be a good task for the PR dept would be to develop the procedure manuals and technical documents for the proposed components all organized into an Aptera service doc wiki.

            Such a dynamic online format would be able to link to other online resources such as individual Aptera owner performing normal operations … but also official videos for things like this bit of maintenance.

            This would be the tool that the independent mechanic/EVtech would access as part of Aptera’s Right to Repair efforts.

      • Kayleigh Venne

        Administrator
        February 22, 2022 at 11:15 am

        I look forward to providing you with the most accurate information about this subject as we get closer to delivery! The information provided in the video is a bit dated. Due the nature of our continuous innovation and improvement, things change very quickly while our engineers work to get the vehicle into as many driveways as quickly and of the highest quality possible. We are designing for max efficiency. Furthermore, the use-case for the Elaphe motors in Aptera will be different than those of the standard versions mentioned in this video. Therefore, the maintenance statistics noted in this video are not entirely relevant now. I want our Aptera Members to be equipped with as much information as I can possibly and accurately provide in order to ease all of your minds’ in regard to the maintenance of the solar electric dream machine. While I do not have the concrete answer about the maintenance of the seals at this time, I will be updating this thread when I do.

        • John Malcom

          Member
          February 22, 2022 at 12:51 pm

          Thanks Kayleigh.

          We can and will be patient until Aptera engineering announces the recommended service interval for the Elaphe custom designed (According to Aptera specifications), in wheel motors, based on the Aptera Use Case, beta and other necessary testing. We acknowledge that the service interval will be different than the intervals found in the currently available videos and the Elaphe website data which is not Aptera specific. We understand that Aptera will release this information at the time called for in their development and testing schedule and it will be made available for Right to Repair documentation in the form and format published by Aptera for both owners and Aptera service activities when they are activated.

          • Oz (It’s Oz, just Oz)

            Member
            February 22, 2022 at 1:53 pm

            Jeez John, it sounds like you’re starting a 12 step program for Aptera fans.

            • John Malcom

              Member
              February 22, 2022 at 2:01 pm

              Ha! I certainly need one

        • Gary Greenway

          Member
          February 22, 2022 at 3:23 pm

          Thanks Kayleigh. I spent 32 years in the auto industry building cars and assembly tooling. I’ve learned to roll with the revisions.

          • John Malcom

            Member
            February 22, 2022 at 4:25 pm

            Experience talking! 👍

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