MemberSeptember 19, 2022 at 11:14 am
Aptera 45kwh is designed using NMC 811 2170 cells from EVE; LFP was not adequate for anything past the 250 mile Aptera in 2019 but it has evolved. The larger Aptera packs (600/1000) have been said to use larger form factors which could be 4680 or 2665. LFP could definitely be a viable option for Aptera but was not when development started. Modern LFP and LFMP chemistries are pushing above 200 wh/kg which is definitely viable for ranges up to 600 miles. Aptera currently needs to focus on getting the current design refined and into production. I suspect at minimum the 250 and 400 will switch within the first 1-2 years of production. LFP chemistries could potentially save $1000-3000 per vehicle which is critical profit margin. Assuming 2c discharge LFP could end up slightly power limiting the 400 mile vehicle so 0-60 times could be hurt a little (and the 250 would be substantially power limited with only 46KW / 150KW peak for AWD).
On the charging front LFP and NMC cells typically have rated max C rates for charging of 2C. Tesla charges at a peak of 4.5C with DCFC with substantially more cooling and packs approximately equal to the 600 mile Aptera. It is possible if the Aptera cooling can keep up larger packs MIGHT be able to charge faster than 50KW (assuming all components could handle it). LFP might impact charge rates.
MemberSeptember 20, 2023 at 7:20 am
Appreciate you consistently sharing your research and technical expertise on battery technology. Helps us on the forum to stay informed and grounded.
Mark (The battery engineer on our team) wanted me to share this with you. He was under an NDA, but said BYD had applied for a U.S. patent on the technology so considers it in the public domain now. BYD is intending to manufacture this technology and sell it in the U.S.
The Patent date was 9/3/2023 and was for an LMFP battery with the potential for a 20% improvement in energy density at the same price point of current batteries. Also BYD claims they have solved the cycle life issue. Of course the advantage of this battery technology is reliability. Apparently the batteries can be manufactured on the same assembly line as ternary batteries with little modification to the line helping to reduce the cost.
BYD has been working on commercializing this step change technology since 2013! For those that hype new battery Tech for Aptera, take note that new battery tech doesn’t come in a year or two.
MemberDecember 14, 2022 at 7:05 pm
Here’s some common Evs and their winter loss stats.
MemberJanuary 20, 2023 at 2:54 pm
Tesla’s early design resulted in battery damage (and fires) from belly pan damage when encountering road hazards. The Delta design has an aluminum belly pan. Heat transfer is enhanced, but road hazards such as truck tire treads may cause severe damage to aluminum. What is Aptera’s answer to this problem?
MemberJanuary 20, 2023 at 3:13 pm
My understanding is that the alumin(i)um belly pan will not be in contact with the battery pack. There is some crush space between them.
MemberJanuary 21, 2023 at 1:55 pm
If it wasn’t the 100kwh design, then I’m starting to question whether the promise of a 1,000-mile range capability is anything but vaporware.
MemberJanuary 21, 2023 at 5:32 pm
It will be 42 kWh/400 miles for the launch edition, I think.
The 1000 mile version may very well require advancements in battery energy density beyond what is currently available, which is probably why it will be the last to be released.
It almost certainly isn’t possible with the cells they are using for the Launch Edition, but advancements occur daily.
MemberJanuary 22, 2023 at 6:04 am
That’s kind of what I was looking at with the render video. It’s simply a matter of energy density. If the form factor they used for the render is representative of the 42kwh pack then I’m starting to question whether there is physical space available for a pack roughly 2.5x the size.
MemberJanuary 24, 2023 at 5:43 am
This is not going to sit well with some…
Ok, the launch event had the glaring elephant in the room: No DCFC. That was a complete swing and a miss. Fortunately, they listen. The Forum, the community, the investors all literally had bile in their mouths at that news and voiced their opinions, apparently very loudly, that this was unacceptable. How could they not have seen this?
So it begs the question: Is Apteras focus on Battery and Thermal Management Planning, the MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT of an EV, not on par with other manufacturers?
It makes sense for a 40kwh(ish) pack to be able to recover half charge in less than an hour, IMHO. So the DCFC system should ALWAYS have been in the crosshairs for 50kw of DCFC, so that when you go from say 20%-80% you can achieve this in about 45 minutes. I, as well as most EV enthusiasts, find this acceptable. It’s still not world class, but highly acceptable to get 200+ miles of range in one fast charging session.
Is Aptera’s Thermal Management an issue? Can they get the cooling they claim from the belly of the vehicle? It always seemed to be a complex idea, having cooling in the body. Seems like a recipe for disaster honestly.
If they had the system already, 40-60kw DC charging, but decided against it for complexity reasons, how then can they add it without complexity? Without better thermal management? There seems to be some explaining to do and honestly, I don’t think they can…at least yet. They need to get into production. They were willing to produce the vehicle without DCFC and tell you, “most won’t likely need it”, which they found out quickly that MOST DO! This is a little disturbing.
I would like to know how they could prepare a launch without DCFC, and then turn 180 a few days later? THIS IS YOUR PRODUCT LAUNCH! This is where you say, here it is! Oh wait, you wanted what??? DC charging??? We didn’t think of that.
Scary bad…just not good.
MemberJanuary 24, 2023 at 8:01 am
I wish they would have come right out and said in the back-peddle video that they already have the battery thermal management to handle DCFC incorporated since that was the dominant assumed deficiency that folks were attributing the lack of DCFC to. Instead they divert us to thinking of the paused PDU development without mentioning thermal management. I’d like to think of this as engineers ignoring irrelevancies and getting to the root of the issue. Still feels a bit like political re-direction to avoid an uncomfortable answer to the real question.
Still it is obvious they got the message and I guess we will see how it all shakes out.
ModeratorJanuary 26, 2023 at 7:04 am
At about 2:20 in this video, Chris Anthony provides answers to some of the issues raised by Richard:
MemberJune 13, 2023 at 7:13 am
Hello, I am wondering, without disclosing trade secretes, what if anything you have done about battery pack cooling. This is an issue for Tesla, of course their battery packs are huge in comparison to Aptera. My understanding is that battery pack cooling issues are Tesla’s number 1 failure mode.
MemberJune 13, 2023 at 10:24 am
Not sure are a legitimate poster on this forum as other have found you posting incorrect info, but here is an answer to your question on battery cooling and heating.
The temperature operating range that Aptera will be tested to is from -20 degrees F to +125 degrees F. Aptera is quite open about most of their technology. The battery packs are innovative and Aptera has applied for a patent on the design, but a lot of information is available for thermal management. The battery cooling and heating will be liquid based with the liquid being 50% glycol and 50%$ water. The battery will be cooled using a cooling pan at the bottom of the battery pack with circulating liquid.
The following two videos can describe the Aptera cooling (And heating system). The first video gives a general description by a non-technical person for the first seven minutes. The rest of the video is about Aptera investment. The second video is presented by the engineer working on the thermal management system. He is discussing the testing bench for the battery cooling system. It is an enlightening discussion about Aptera battery cooling technology.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8rfvRnwFJw&t=4s From Aptera Owners Club)
MemberJune 13, 2023 at 7:18 am
Cooling failures in Tesla’s are rare, where do you hear that it was common. The car that had the terrible cooling problem was the Leaf because it lacked active cooling, nobody has repeated that mistake including Nissan which put liquid cooling into their new EV.
MemberJune 13, 2023 at 7:46 am
Hi Josh, Actually I got rear ended a couple weeks ago and the tow truck operator company has contracted with tesla and we had a fairly long drive back home. He was saying that about 4 in 10 tesla pickup were battery cooling issues. I looked up on google, does not mean it’s true, and there does seem to be something too it. So I thought I’d ask here.
Liquid cooled? Interesting. That implies some other mechanics that may need maintained which probably wouldn’t be bad but a good to know.
I which they would publish much of this stuff in a full pdf about the car
ModeratorAugust 8, 2023 at 9:50 am
At 4:20 in this video, Chirs Anthony mentions the design of the bigger battery packs:
MemberAugust 8, 2023 at 10:41 am
You are posting MANY good videos where we are learning MANY new things about the Aptera we will eventually be able to drive. This is interesting that the size of the battery cells are bigger for the larger battery packs. makes such good sense. Especially when reusability of battery control systems is figured in. Save cost/time for production. Glad to see Sandy’s “Lean Manufacturing” influence being accepted and implemented.
I recently worked as a consultant with a manufacturer who is trying to convert their offering to EVs rather than ICE. And although this approach is preached, legacy companies are reluctant to implement such changes. Points and victory to Aptera.
MemberAugust 8, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Interesting concept with the same cell carriers with different heights but the math seems questionable.
By increasing the height (volume) of the cells from 70mm by 28% to 90mm for the 600 mile results in 50% more range. With the 1000 mile this is by 71% to 120mm and 150% more range. It would seem likely the longer range vehicles will not have the range indicated or are relying on some major chemistry advances or still having more cells. The benefit of scaling the cells like this is their is no additional mass for the top/bottoms of the cells which could improve energy density which is good because increased mass lowers efficiency (rocket equation problem). I can’t see how scaling like this would potentially improve the VOLUMETRIC energy density of the cells at all and definitely not by the amounts required.
ModeratorAugust 14, 2023 at 9:58 am
At 8:15 on the AOC YouTube channel latest video, Steve apparently got confirmation of the eventual existence of the taller cells which make up the larger capacity packs:
MemberAugust 15, 2023 at 2:52 pm
Yep! argument closed. They will be available for the 600/1000mi Apterae. Plenty of time for them to show up as there are 5,000 maybe more 400mi LEs to be delivered. Let’s not argue over somethings that is moot at this time.
MemberAugust 17, 2023 at 3:05 pm
I learnt quite a bit from watching first 15 mins of this youtube video
Interesting that he mentioned only 32% of a cylindrical battery pack is the cell, therefore there is much room to improve the pack efficiency by better packing, without increasing power density of the chemistry.
Also learnt that 1/3 weight of NMC chemistry is oxygen.
MemberAugust 18, 2023 at 1:05 am
> Also learnt that 1/3 weight of NMC chemistry is oxygen.
That is true for many different battery chemistries (whenever you see the word ‘redux’ being used by the chemists). There is a reason why we evolved to use oxygen – it is one of the most powerful elements we have at our disposal.
MemberAugust 19, 2023 at 9:38 pm
So I went back to some of the recently released clarifications about the different battery options and the capacities provided by C.A. The 400 mile option has a 45kWh pack (42kwh usable) and the 600 mile option has a 62kWh pack…which is ‘only’ 37.7% more…not 50% as most have incorrectly assumed. Looked a little harder for some 21700 cutaway examples and came up with a ~35%+ increase in the ‘jelly roll’ for a theoretical 21900 using the same length of rolled materials. So a similar construction between the 2170/21700 and the 21900 would still allow for the stated increase in kWh.
This alone doesn’t explain the increase to the 1,000 mile/106kWh option using the 21120. I assume slightly different ‘construction’ specification…mainly in the length of the roll materials and effective areas. Looking forward to more clarification directly from Aptera whenever that happens.
MemberSeptember 16, 2023 at 5:51 am
After reading about GM not covering battery fires in their defective Bolt vehicles, and reading here that Aptera has chosen not to go with the safer Iron Phosphate batteries, I was hoping to get some feedback on Apteras position on battery fires and what if anything would be covered and for how long,
ModeratorSeptember 16, 2023 at 6:41 am
Their website states, under FAQ:
What is the lifetime of Aptera’s battery pack?
Many cells can fail in our pack design before things need to be replaced, and if replacement is needed, you would only need to replace the pack itself. We expect to offer a 10-year warranty on the high-voltage battery pack. The replacement costs will vary, but they should be far less than any other EV, as due to our efficiency, we can achieve the same range with a smaller pack.
We will have exact answers regarding our battery warranty and repair/replacement cost and plan as we get closer to production time.
Re EV fires… Far less fires in EVs than ICE vehicles is what we read and hear at the EV information events I have attended.
I hope this helps
MemberSeptember 16, 2023 at 6:58 am
It is important to wait for this kind of information until a full production intent vehicle is constructed and thoroughly tested. If you stay current on the channel, you know there will know there will not be a LE production battery until March/April of 2024. At that point, Aptera can proceed with the rigorous testing necessary to establish the safety and performance of Their battery architecture (Form factor for batteries and packs and chemistry for the batteries) Following rigorous testing (For safety and performance) the results with the data you are interested in will be made public. In keeping with the excellent past results of Aptera’s engineering efforts. I believe all will be pleasantly surprised. I have confidence that Aptera would not release anything into the market if it posed a safety threat to the customer. We are getting close to the end of development and should have a lot of testing results available prior to production for distribution.
My previous EV (Tesla Model 3) and my current EV, Chevy Bolt, had/have the same chemistry as currently proposed for the Aptera and I have had no indication of issues with either of the vehicle batteries and would personally not hesitate to purchase a vehicle with the the same battery chemistry.
MemberSeptember 16, 2023 at 8:30 am
I wouldn’t assume anything that they’ve said about batteries, aside from the 2170 form factor, is carved in stone. When they have a real production date they’ll tell us which batteries they are really using. Now that CATL has an LFP that has nearly the same energy density as NMCs they might want to consider it assuming they can get them. LFPs last several times as long as NMCs, you can charge them to 100% which mitigates a lot of the perceived loss from having a lower energy density battery, they have a lower risk of fire and most importantly they are a lot cheaper. The downside is that they have lousy cold weather charging performance so the thermal management system has to be designed to deal with that.
MemberSeptember 19, 2023 at 9:03 am
Catl sodium cells are even cheaper and sure to the amazing efficiency of the aptera and volume of the 21120 pack (for the 1000 mile) it is possible Aptera could have similar range as the launch edition with no lithium at all. Unfortunately this is a lot of reengineering so I wouldn’t expect any suprise changes before production but it is a potential path to keep costs even lower while having higher safety. Ncm will still be needed for the 600/1000 (and achieving 1000 with only 70% more volume than the 2170 based le seems dubious) . Lfp and sodium both have bad volumetric density so that is the biggest limiting factor not wh/kg when thinking about longer ranges.
MemberSeptember 18, 2023 at 7:43 am
Just to be clear. I am a shareholder and have a reservation. I read the info posted about the expected warranty. GM has a similarly worded battery life warranty. Fire is not covered.
I have no doubt that the intent is to build a safe vehicle that does not pose a fire risk.
At this point, I’m more concerned about whether or not there will even be a vehicle to purchase than I am about whether or not a fire will be covered under the warranty.
That said. I was curious what the thinking on that subject might be.
ModeratorSeptember 18, 2023 at 7:53 am
Not sure why you or anyone would think that any maker would cover a vehicle fire under warranty – that’s what car insurance is for.
MemberSeptember 18, 2023 at 8:40 am
Even when the fire is caused by manufacturer errors? In that case Bolt owners would have had their insurance billed for the recall repairs.
ModeratorSeptember 18, 2023 at 9:10 am
I assume the poster is talking about covering the fire damage from the battery pack, not the replacement of it. In the case of an Aptera, it is very likely that nothing will be left it in case of a fire, and it makes no sense for Aptera to replace the battery pack. I further assume, Aptera lawyers will write the warranty in such a way (like other makers) that the warranty only covers the battery itself, nothing else.
MemberSeptember 19, 2023 at 8:23 am
Hind sight being 20/20, history has established the liability of at least the Bolt (Not Tesla) vehicle fires. The vehicle manufacturer and by pressure from the vehicle manufacturer, the manufacturer of the batteries. My unsupported opinion only, where it should be.
MemberOctober 30, 2023 at 7:49 am
I recently came across a Youtube Short video from Drive The Lightning, which is showing a module of the “production-intent” battery pack.
I was surprised to see all the cells wired by tiny individual tabs.
My first reaction is that it seems difficult to produce at a large scale and somewhat unreliable (single weld, thin tabs more prone to vibrations, risk of shorts if a tab gets disconnected).
Can someone confirm that this is the PI design, and explain what could be the reason for choosing this over laser-cut connecting plates ? The only reason I can think off is that it would be easier to replace individual cells…
ModeratorOctober 30, 2023 at 7:56 am
That level of detail may not be known till closer to production and could change over time. The PI battery modules could be assembled differently than early LE vehicles and again differently once at full volume production.
MemberNovember 13, 2023 at 12:45 pm
Thinner connection ribbons or wires with a slight loop allow for maintaining weld bond integrity in the face of stresses induced by thermal contraction/expansion cycles. In the Tesla design the wires were sized to act as fuses in the event that individual cell resistance drifted out of spec and current levels through that cell spiked. Assembly time for the bonding is likely not a factor, if you’ve ever seen a commercial chip wire bonder operate you know that the bonds occur faster than your eye can follow.
MemberNovember 14, 2023 at 12:52 pm
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
Stress-relief is indeed an interesting feature.
I have seen wire-bonding machines, but never ribbon-bonding. If the same principle can be applied, this would indeed give quality bonds produced efficiently.
This may also improve repairability (compared to a busbar welded directly onto the cells).