- MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 11:48 pm
Can someone from Aptera explain how the relationship of range to battery size is possible? 250 miles on a 25kWh pack, 400 miles on a 40kWh pack, 600 miles on a 60kWh pack and 1,000 miles on a 100kWh pack doesn’t seem to account for the extra weight of the larger batteries. Exactly how can the 1,000 mile range Aptera have the same efficiency as a 250 mile range Aptera when it’s lugging a battery that’s four times bigger and four times heavier?
Speaking of batteries, how heavy are all four packs? I read somewhere a Tesla 85kWh pack weighs 1,200 pounds.
- MemberAugust 14, 2021 at 11:48 pm
Just wondering whether Aptera is in a position to provide an update regarding the battery technology to be used. I’m aware of some developments with graphene aluminum-ion battery technology, and was wondering whether it might be suitable for Aptera. The claim is that they charge up to 60 times faster than the best lithium-ion cells and hold three time the energy of the best aluminum-based cells. Plus, they are claimed to be more sustainable and easier to recycle, due to the stable base materials used in the manufacture of the batteries.
- MemberAugust 15, 2021 at 12:51 am
There are so many different battery designs and chemistries being announced by universities. But as always, the step from R&D to mass production is HUGE. And often it is simply not possible to scale up production, especially at a competitive price.
- MemberAugust 15, 2021 at 12:03 pm
I would like to hear more about the Batteries they are planning to use in Aptera Vehicles. We have to be getting more info as Beta vehicles are being produced & assembled and they must be designing and utilizing production intent Battery supplies. They are obviously not producing their own batteries and have strict power and weight requirements in order to make their stated range goals. I feel like it is overdue time to have a deep-dive on Battery and Battery Management system they will be utilizing. Any chance Munro & Associates will be helping them out as both the Low Voltage and High Voltage control systems has been a big point of issue with a lot of EV vendors even if the outside of the cars do look good.
- MemberAugust 16, 2021 at 9:34 am
Sarah has indicated that there will be a special session on batteries. Aptera must have read your mind!
- MemberAugust 15, 2021 at 3:00 pm
I’m wondering if Aptera will be using any of the advanced insulation technologies for the batteries ?
Things like the Panasonic Vacuum insulated panels (R45 of thermal insulation from only 15mm thick) .. or other similar advanced options that insulate very well without consuming allot of space or weight.
Some other modern BEV can spend allot of power/energy on the battery counteracting the outside air temperatures .. like a house cooling it in the hot summer days , and heating it in the cold winter nights .. and like a house , passive measure like insulation make a very big difference in how much energy needs to be spent .. but many other BEVs seem to put nearly no heat insulation in at all .. and like a old drafty house they have to spend allot of power/energy to heat it or cool it .. I’ve read the Tesla3 for example has ~3kw of battery heating capacity .. and sure it isn’t always used on every winter night at full power , etc .. but .. like insulating your house .. closing windows when the heat is on in the winter .. putting on a coat when you go outside in the winter .. insulation just seems like a much more energy efficient way of approaching that.
With the Aptera’s lower operating consumption per hour or per mile (better aero , weight ,etc) , tat means less waste heat .. thus less available to ‘self heat’ the batteries with .. and smaller lighter batteries also mean less battery thermal mass , while parked (unplugged) over cold winter nights or 3 day weeks and such .. but to me .. modern insulation options seems like a perfect solution.
- MemberAugust 16, 2021 at 2:33 pm
I don’t want Aptera to wait for two years to see whether the technology works! They should only put together a small team to monitor battery technology alternatives after they’re delivering cars and have ramped up manufacturing to demonstrate they’re on course to achieving a rate of 10K units per year. But I can be impatient sometimes.
- MemberAugust 17, 2021 at 4:03 pm
I think that pretty much any choice in battery chemistry available today in the mainstream will work.
It may be they will source the cells in each pack (25kw, 40kw, 60kw and 100kw) with different cells possibly from different manufacturers … or not.
If not, the reality of the moment is they are a small prospective manufacturer seeking a specific supply from a biggie like Panasonic, LG or ?? and are probably playing one against another as best as they can to get the best price.
But if they are going to open source batteries, we, as consumers, may welcome that kind of multi-sourcing on the battery pack because that will mean the BMS, controller, cooling, motors, etc. will not be battery-brand, but rather voltage specific. This approach fits with the right to repair ethic adopted by Aptera and means that you may, some time in the future, be able to fit a 2,500 mile battery in the space.
- MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 11:19 am
Paul, I think we should leave engineering decisions to the engineers and management at Aptera. They have done a remarkable job to date and will continue to do so. As enthusiasts we have neither the technical expertise or insight into there plans or methodology to challenge their approach.
We need to be a little patient. They have been exceptional about keeping us informed about their revolutionary progress
- MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 11:52 am
As I do agree that we should leave engineering decisions to engineers, I also believe that any good engineer (I myself being one of them) would be receptive to good ideas, especially from the community I serve to please. I believe the engineering team will have its eyes glued to friendly opinions and considerations and extract from those which ones they deem to be the most valid for their purposes. Therefore I would not discourage well intended contributions from the collaborators of this inclusionary forum. Leveraging the power of open brainstorming is always preferable to that of smoke-filled rooms. Because ideas beget ideas which beget ideas. Even hair-brained ideas see their moment under the sun.
Speaking of which, did you know that Thomas Edison tried many things to use as filaments for his first light-bulb, including cat whiskers. Even hair-brained ideas are stepping stones in the journey of ideation in our path towards engineering excellence. I’m always excited to see new ideas come to light. Many of these contain within them gold nuggets waiting to be extracted.
- MemberAugust 19, 2021 at 6:16 pm
Fanfare, I am not saying that ideas shouldn’t be generated, documented and assessed, and vetted by a multidisciplinary team from engineering, marketing, finance, and senior management at the right time in the development cycle.
I am an engineer with 45+ years of engineering experience in vehicle development, aircraft development, and space systems development. As an engineer, I am sure you are aware that we are way past the conceptual/ideation phase in the development of this vehicle. Our engineering efforts at this point should be focused on making a prototype and sourcing production components that are as reliable as possible representing the chosen feature set, manufacturable, and as low cost (Not price, but cost) as possible and getting it in the market as soon as possible.
If there is such a group in Aptera working on the ideation/design of the next version of an Aptera vehicle, vetting/prioritizing a feature set, and doing risk assessment for developing and manufacturing it, I am SURE that all ideas generated on this forum, plus ideas for other sources will be considered at the right time. A SIGNIFICANT component of the idea set will be feedback from Aptera owners and the market response to the vehicle. This can not happen until production, sales, and some driver experience is available to the team on the currently engineered feature set.
The engineers, testers, etc. working on this version of the Aptera should not be distracted from the goal of production on schedule, not even by the greatest ideas for enhancement.
I trust the management and engineering teams (Who have proven to be GREATLY successful) to make the right decisions on ideas presented and if/when to incorporate them.
As enthusiasts and future owners we should not feel slighted if our favorite ideas are not approved for incorporation “Right away” I think a little trust and patience will win out for Aptera.
- MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 1:44 pm
I’ve always been curious about the sizing of the battery packs. Wouldn’t equal size battery modules of 25 kwh make more sense? Then the battery packs would be multiples of 25, 50, 75, and 100 kwh, not the odd 25, 40, 60, and 100 kwh now offered. Would make manufacturing of battery packs more efficient with build up of identical 25 kwh battery modules and probably lower production cost. Am I missing something about the advantages of having 40 and 60 kwh battery packs? Is it a marketing advantage?
- MemberAugust 18, 2021 at 3:47 pm
I believe that these numbers might be based on the battery storage area and design layout. I think it is too late to make that kind of change. But I do think it is a good idea. It would also help me from do I want 40 or 60 to NO I WANT 50! Making all the packs the same would be a good production move like you said, standardizing and simplifying the manufacturing operation.
- MemberAugust 20, 2021 at 6:52 am
For God’s sake don’t use LG batteries. The recalls are costing GM and Hyundai a fortune.
- MemberAugust 20, 2021 at 11:38 am
According to Sarah’s update, batteries will be one of the engineering areas that will receive an in depth webinar later this month with an associated Q&A. We should know better then. I am sure the engineers have done good do-diligence on battery technology in the context of scheduled production.
- MemberAugust 20, 2021 at 3:30 pm
John, can you tell me how to find Sarah’s update?
- MemberAugust 20, 2021 at 4:44 pm
instead of only turning of heater and AC for battery, how about also having insulation that can be locked into place but also removed for more ventilation surface area when environment is too hot. such temperature changes wouldnt happen much often, so even a manual chain and strings and gear tooth locking chain from moving can allow user to cover and lock/open and lock the insulation in place when told to by the screen inside. sure this could be electronically automatic, but why add such inefficiency when such simple manual adjustment wont happen often anyway.
- MemberAugust 21, 2021 at 2:51 am
They have already reported ‘active battery thermal management’ .. which means they already have a heat exchange medium (air or liquid) inside the battery compartment to add or remove heat to the battery as needed .. the only place the Aptera has to remove heat would be the aero skin exterior radiator .. one could have the layer of insulation in the composite sandwich between the battery case and that skin radiator .. like putting a hot oven (radiator) right next to and touching your colder fridge (air conditioned battery/cabin) .. We know those two are right next to each other on the bottom of the car .. To avoid a bunch of wasted energy by the two fighting each other .. It would be best if there was a highly thermal insulative layer between those two hot and colder items … For my 2 bits .. the best option to give the most insulation in the smallest space and lightest weight , to do that would be something like those super thermal insulative vacuum insulation panels Panasonic makes.
When sitting in the winter cold teens or single digits over night .. or over a holiday weekend .. without insulation .. or wasting allot of energy keeping it warm .. the battery will drop to those cold ambient temperatures .. ice cold batteries have poor performance. Which is why every BEV on the market has a winter time battery heating system .. but my 2 bits .. a well insulated battery will need far less of that energy to keep it warm in winter .. and insulation also vastly reduces the amount of energy needed to keep the battery cool when parked backing in the hot summer sun all day .. or keep the battery cool from the hot skin radiator right next to it when under heavy load / use during those hot summer days.
- MemberAugust 24, 2021 at 7:55 am
Thanks Ian for the link to the Panasonic product. That’s an advance in insulation tech I hadn’t known about. I agree. Aptera ought to be taking advantage of this for both battery pack insulation and passenger cabin insulation. The Panasonic VIPs appear to be delicate though, and can’t be bent into sharp curves. If the vacuum is lost in the panel, say, though an accident, then the panel loses 90% of the insulation value. R60 drops to R5. But sandwiched between the water formed aluminum battery cases, or the cabin roof composites, these VIPs could be great.
- MemberSeptember 19, 2021 at 4:21 pm
I’m curious about insulation on the belly side as well. I frequently drive across the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahua deserts, where summer pavement temps can exceed 140F. I had to line the floor pan under the carpet of my old Mazda with dense thermal mat to keep it from baking me like a Thanksgiving turkey. I’m wondering how Aptera battery cooling will work, with the skin cooling surface on the belly and no fans or radiators, on summer desert highways—or, worse yet, in stalled traffic on Phoenix streets, with no airflow under the car.
- MemberNovember 25, 2021 at 10:58 pm
Phoenix will be a problem for all electric vehicles. Batteries don’t do well over 95 F. My garage
is hotter than that from June thru September.
- MemberOctober 13, 2021 at 6:00 am
Not “from Aptera” but…
It is pretty clear those are goals, estimates and conveniently round numbers based on their early simulations. I recall Chris saying as much in one interview or other, along with the suggestion that the numbers could easily be even better. Actual pack sizes (kWhs and weight) and standardized range assessments won’t be available for a while yet, so you will have to be patient for those along with the rest of us.
And, of course, your results may vary.
- MemberOctober 13, 2021 at 6:18 am
If the shorter range batteries were LFPs and the long range battery is NMC then the weights could be the same. LFP batteries only have half the energy density as NMCs but they are much cheaper and have longer cycle lives.
BTW I’m assuming that the battery sizes quoted are usable storage, not true size, because they are quoting ranges that are 10X the pack size. The real sizes would have to be at least 10% bigger.
- MemberOctober 13, 2021 at 6:22 am
Not from Aptera, but…
I believe Chris said they are using 2170 cells (see image). Some quick searching says those weigh 68grams and hold ~15Wh. That would equal 25kWh of cells weighing ~250lbs, 40kWh of cells weighing ~400lbs… 100kWh of cells weighing ~1000lbs. Nice how that math works out. Of course, there will be more weight associated with the pack, but to get us in the ballpark
- ModeratorOctober 14, 2021 at 4:15 pm
Davis, thanks for doing the calculations of estimated pack weights. I’ve been wondering about that. As of now, I spec’d my Aptera with the AWD and the 250 mile (i.e. 25kWh pack). My experience with hypermiling my old Honda Insight taught me that adding even 100 lbs. made a noticeable difference in MPG (i.e. range). Thus, I’m assuming that the smallest pack with the highest power powertrain would be best acceleration based on lowest weight of the vehicle.
- MemberOctober 13, 2021 at 8:28 am
I think Joel Smith hit the nail on the head.
- MemberOctober 14, 2021 at 10:01 pm
Of course only estimates based on simulation/calculations since no production ready vehicles of each configuration were available for real world testing. As the prototypes mature and are tested we should get performance reporting from real world testing and eventually from government testing.
- MemberOctober 13, 2021 at 2:03 pm
The difference in weight between the 25 and 40 KWH pack is about the same as adding a passenger. Not likely to make a big difference in efficiency. The 100KWH pack on the other hand is bound to make some difference depending on how much rolling resistance changes. The dominant factor though is still likely to be wind resistance which won’t change with increased weight.
- MemberOctober 13, 2021 at 5:14 pm
They are definitely rounding some things for simplicity. 30lb = 1% efficiency was quoted and tracks with the physics. Here is a fun calculator on weight and THEORETICAL range – make a copy to edit it. The 600 mile version was quoted at 1800 lb so that was my starting point.
Disclaimer: Not all values are from quoted statements and the sheet uses estimates to fill in the missing data. This is not official and is pure physics not real world.
- MemberOctober 23, 2021 at 2:32 am
According to some YouTube videos the battery Aptera uses is the Samsung INR21700-50E, which is a cobalt based cell and everything but innovative or friendly to the environment ! Additionally it is a flammable battery type, that makes an Aptera less safe to drive. Aptera, please rethink and use a sustainable technique like LTO or at least LiFePO4 !
- MemberOctober 23, 2021 at 6:49 am
Samsung is fine, there have been no problems with Samsung batteries. LFPs are OK for the short range vehicles, assuming that they are heated in the winter, but they aren’t sufficient for the long range versions. Personally I have zero interest in the shorter range versions, I have the 600 mile reserved, the shorter range versions don’t do anything that my Model 3 doesn’t already do.
Aside from cars that had LG batteries, which were defective, there has been no problem with battery fires. Battery fires occur 10 times less frequently than gas fires. I don’t recall seeing a single story about a fire in the Model 3 or Model Y.
- MemberOctober 23, 2021 at 9:55 am
I do believe lfp is the optimal chemistry for most shorter range evs. Unfortunately with 4 sizes and a need for a pack level redesign for lfp to meet acceptable gravitational and volumetric density it isn’t an easy swap (cylindrical lfp probably won’t cut it). Prismatic lfp is also big rectangles which is trickier for a vehicle that doesn’t have a large flat space under the body. Nca based 2170s are very good cells with a strong safety record and the only current option for 600+ mile versions. Aptera needs to start producing vehicles and can iterate designs as it’s appropriate (probably 1-2 years into production). Even tesla doesn’t make their own cells so they need to source parts with what is available, engineer a solution, and integrate /test it; this takes time.
Also personally as someone in a cold climate Nca greatly simplifies things for cold weather. Lfp needs a lot more management, software tuning (narrow voltage band) and precondition work to work well
- MemberNovember 15, 2021 at 1:51 pm
To get optimal charging conditions the battery pack should be at an optimal temperature especially when charged at high charging levels. Not that I will ever charge at that level but I’m curious. Does the Aptera have some kind of smart battery temperature management system on board to ensure optimal battery performance and charging?
- ModeratorNovember 15, 2021 at 2:04 pm
BMS tech has come a long way since the early days of Lithium packs.
I’d be stunned if Aptera’s BMS did NOT have provision for working with the pack at different temperatures while charging or discharging. Some of the engineering types on the forum will probably respond to this question with an in-depth answer for you, Elzo.
- MemberNovember 15, 2021 at 2:31 pm
Yes. Unless you have a Nissan Leaf pretty much every EV on the road now has a cooling/heating system for the battery – Aptera included. If it’s on a fast charger the cooling system will cool the battery. If it’s cold out it can warm the battery up.
If you ever take your aptera on a road trip and fast charge it, you will be charging at max charging levels. It’s very normal.
- MemberNovember 15, 2021 at 4:22 pm
Do you guys think the cooling system is the same on all battery variants? I am referring to the micro channel tubes they have referred to, and the rest of the systems volume (just not immediately around the batteries).
- MemberNovember 15, 2021 at 5:08 pm
I suspect the cooling system’s ability to dissipate heat while charging is the reason we only have 50 kw DC fast charging. Most EVs have better (ie 150-250 kw) and it would make a great marketing headline along with the crazy 1000 mile range. Very likely the ability without traditional radiators and fans to get rid of the heat is the limiting factor. If it could work without major design sacrifices (ie weight, complexity, expensive) they would love to be able to get 400-500 miles of range (within the 20-80% segment) in 10 minutes; instead its an hour.
- MemberNovember 15, 2021 at 6:21 pm
I think 400-500 miles in a hour is pretty stunning.
- MemberNovember 16, 2021 at 7:40 am
I believe you’re right on the temperature management system limiting charge power. Hopefully it can hold 50kw up to 75% (for bigger batteries) which reduces the impact of a lower peak charge rate. I’m guessing the smaller batteries may drop off faster and the bigger batteries may be able to take on more juice faster.
For reference I have a 67kwh battery and on a DC fast charger at 25 kw the cooling system is pretty much off. At 50 kw I sometimes get cooling. At 78kw (max) the cooling fan is screaming. (2020 Kia Niro EV)
- MemberNovember 15, 2021 at 11:19 pm
I don’t think even all new EV’s have pre-conditioning of the battery for fast charging. I’ve seen complaints on youtube of Kia EV6:es not getting maximum charge rate from the start, presumably due to cold battery. I know Tesla and Polestar, after a recent update, will heat the battery if necessary before arrival when navigating to a fast charger.
- MemberNovember 16, 2021 at 7:41 am
My Kia Niro EV has a battery heater but it doesn’t turn on until I’m at the charger. It’s really annoying. In cold weather it can add 10-15 minutes to the charge time. Teslas pre-heat before you hit the charger. A manual button to start pre-heat would be really nice.
Hopefully the EV6 and Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60 get that straightened out.
- MemberMarch 13, 2022 at 10:22 am
Do you have OTA’s on the Niro?
Not preconditioning the battery is just a matter of bad software that should be easy to fix. Tesla has had preconditioning for years, the other manufacturers are all aware of this and most are trying to implement it. It’s harder for non-Teslas because they need to keep track of multiple charging networks so that they can automatically turn on the heater when you are on the way to a charger. On the other hand there is a simple expedient that could work around an inadequate database, just give the driver a button on the screen that allows them to turn om preconditioning.