- MemberNovember 8, 2022 at 8:48 am
Anyone else dreading having to use a dongle to fast charge? I don’t want to give Tesla any money so I’m not sure what my options will be for CCS fast charging. I think the likely hood of Tesla opening their charging network isn’t very high anyway. Plus, I fear they would charge outrageous prices ($1+ / kwh) during peak times.
Are the folks at Aptera dead set on using the Tesla plug? I agree it has a better form factor, but the country to moving towards CCS. Every single EV available in America, save the Teslas and Leafs, comes with CCS. EA and Francis Energy are plentiful in my region but there are fewer Tesla chargers. It just seems silly to me.
- MemberNovember 8, 2022 at 11:39 am
Hopefully Aptera will support CCS adapters (just like modern Teslas). Here is an adapter (Tesla will only sell theirs to Tesla owners).
FYI: This adapter is “dumb” and is just a pin converter. As demand increases more vendors will pop up.
- MemberNovember 9, 2022 at 4:45 am
Absolutely agree on all points made. I don’t want to be subject to Tesla’s world and trapped into their fees. I’m starting to slowly accept that the CCS plug might just be too large for the space they are trying to work with. I’m hoping we won’t need to dongle our fast charging, but as long as we can use the CCS network, I’ll begrudgingly do it. There better be a place to store it if that is what we need to do. I would so much rather they just design it for CCS. Tesla will eventually need to grabble with this problem as they are in Europe. Tesla will not be enjoying the first mover advantages for that much longer as new, capable EVs are starting to hit the market. Why fight the trend?
- MemberNovember 9, 2022 at 11:46 am
I have experience with an VW Id.4 and a Tesla. I really don’t see a much difference in pricing across charging platforms and companies in the US so I wouldn’t worry too much about pricing. However, it is an expensive proposition to install a DC charging systems and the use rates reflect that fact. Until the DC infrastructure gets installed and partial paid, I don’t see market pricing changing much or approaching the underlying energy cost. Only time will tell.
As far as the charging systems/adapters go, I prefer the Tesa connector for sure. As far as features/signalling goes, I think CCS has made so many improvements recently. It is closing the gap quickly and vendor are having trouble keeping up, in my opinion. There are some drawbacks to the smaller connector. Tesla has had to introduce active cooling in the cables during large amperage charging session times. So, there may be a limit with the smaller size. I would be nice to have a single standard but new technologies often times take different paths as vendor try new features/capabilities to create product alliances and differences. These break down over time as technology features align and it becomes a commodity. I suspect that will happen here too but I’m hoping the Tesla connector will survive.
- MemberNovember 9, 2022 at 11:54 am
My understanding is that EA cables also use liquid cooling, it’s a necessity when dealing with high amps (500A for EA, 625A for Tesla).
On this general topic, while I was Supercharging my Tesla I checked out the CCS cable on the ChargePoint charger next to the SuperChargers at the Kennebunk Maine rest stop. The CCS cable weighed a ton, maybe it was just the stiffness of the cable or maybe it really was weight, but it was bad. Is that a characteristic of CCS cables or were these ChargePoints just particularly awful?
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Joshua Rosen.
- MemberNovember 9, 2022 at 6:04 pm
@Joshua Rosen CCS cables tend to be thick, inflexible and heavy. I believe the connectors rely upon the weight to guarantee a good connection with the two DC pins.
To fit under the license plate of an Aptera, the CCS port would need to be mounted sideways – with the DC pins next to, instead of below, the J1772 connector. My concern would be the weight of the cable putting a sideways load on the connector…
- MemberNovember 12, 2022 at 11:47 am
It would greatly appreciated to see a video that shows any of the Aptera prototype vehicles being charged at the Telsa site at the La Costa shopping center less than 5 miles south of the Aptera assembly building
- MemberNovember 12, 2022 at 10:26 pm
@BRUCE MENGLER So far as we know, there isn’t yet an Aptera that can accept DC fast charging. Tesla has also not yet opened its Supercharger network in the US to non-Tesla vehicles. You may need to wait a bit for such video to be created…
- MemberNovember 21, 2022 at 9:28 pm
Quite a fascinating discussion and admittedly all very new to me. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the difference between the various charging plugs and standards if my life depended on it so I’m learning a lot here. I’ve been a pretty staunch EV holdout due to many factors including vehicle price, insufficient charging infrastructure, mandatory rolling power blackouts in my home state of California (power company can’t even keep my HOME powered 100% of the time in the middle of the summer and our governor ends up asking EV owners NOT to charge their cars 🙄), range anxiety, insanely high battery pack replacement costs (in some cases more than triple what a replacement ICE engine costs), modern battery inefficiencies, the fact that the entire planet is almost 100% reliant on China and a few other Asian countries for lithium due to the very destructive nature of the process on the planet (I believe we have exactly one lithium mine in the US located in Nevada), etc. etc. etc. etc. If ever there were a perfect example of putting the cart before the horse the EV industry is the poster child.
Now having said that, Aptera has finally brought me around, albeit very slowly, only because of their ultra efficient, lightweight design and of course the solar charging component. I was actually an early deposit holder of the original hybrid Aptera back in 2007 prior to the economic meltdown and the company’s subsequent Chapter 11 bankruptcy, again due to the incredible efficiency of the design, not because it had a battery electric component. I’m going with and willing to patiently wait for the 1000 mile version with 100% solar panel coverage so honestly I could care less about the charging plug since the entire point is NOT having to plug the thing in and suck off the teet of an antiquated and failing electrical grid in the first place. I figure I MIGHT have to give it an overnight charge once or twice at home over the course of the year, though given my longest commute is about 85 miles roundtrip I highly doubt it. After all that’s really the entire point, and benefit, of this extremely unique vehicle isn’t it? Near total freedom from the grid (both electrical and traditional gas station).
For any long distance cross country trips I’ll hop into one of my old reliable ICE vehicles while my Aptera sits at home in the sun and charges itself for free until such time that charging an electric vehicle on the road is as quick and easy as filling up the fuel tank. Just waitin’ for that old horse to finally show up! In other words, what charging port? 😉
- MemberNovember 22, 2022 at 7:21 am
Eric. There is no reason to hold out for the 1000 mile version. All you get from that one is a lot of extra weight that you have to carry around, there is no benefit to having more range than you can ever use. Now that Tesla has opened up their charging as the North American Charging Standard it’s confirmed that Aptera will be able to use the Supercharger network. As a three year Tesla owner I can vouch for the reliability of the Supercharger network. I use Superchargers every weekend, they always work. In three years I’ve encountered one bad charger but because Tesla puts at least eight at every location that wasn’t a problem because there were seven that worked. Supercharger coverage is excellent in the US, crossing the country is trivial.
My Model 3 has 250 miles of range @90% charge and I can go anywhere. The first Aptera will be rated at 400 miles, derate it by 20% to account for 10% battery degradation and a maximum charge level of 90% (to protect the battery) and that’s still 320 miles of range, 70 miles more than my Model 3. I think that 70 miles will eliminate between half and 3/4ths of my Supercharger stops. I’ve reserved the 600 mile version which @80% is 480 miles. That will eliminate all of my Supercharger stops in the summer. I keep track of the length of our trips and the longest is 450 miles, that’s leaving at 9 in the morning and coming home at 11pm, with stops for sightseeing and meals. The only way to go farther than that in a day is to drive entirely on Interstates. Tesla has covered every Interstate and the Trans Canada highway with Superchargers, they have them about every 50 miles or so. Unless you are doing a Cannonball run and you are willing to pee into a bottle you have to stop every now and then. You stop at a Supercharger and do your business while you charge, a 15 minute stop is more than enough for the car to get enough charge to get to your next Supercharger stop.
The bottom line is that 400 miles is good enough, you can go anywhere that you want with only the occasional Supercharger stop. 600 miles is the limit as to what’s useful, it eliminates the need for almost all Supercharging except on the longest Interstate only road trips. Beyond 600 miles you get nothing unless you live in a true charging desert. If you look at the Supercharger map the only large charging desert in the lower 48 is in an actual desert (there is an large area in the middle of Nevada without chargers). If you live in the unpopulated portions of Canada then 1000 miles of range might have some utility but not elsewhere.
- MemberNovember 22, 2022 at 8:28 am
Joshua, all that what you have relayed makes great sense. I am one of those people who is waiting in line for a 1k model. I do plan on taking as many long range road trips as possible and would like the flexibility on when to charge as opposed to, I need to charge. I still may downgrade to the 600 mile version, but I’m not there yet.
One other point. The largest battery offered would also be good for those who would like to use their APTERA as a back up battery generator.
- MemberNovember 22, 2022 at 10:13 am
I don’t think Aptera will ever be able to do V2H. The electrical and cooling systems in the Aptera is designed to handle a vehicle that weighs 2000lbs and averages 100Wh/mile, everything is scaled to that. The Ford F150 is a 7500lb vehicle that uses 500Wh/mile going to the grocery store. It’s rated to tow a 10,000lb trailer (five Aptera’s) up a mountain. Everything in the F150 has to be scaled to handle that kind of load, that’s why it’s possible for Ford to put 11KW worth of outlets on the Lighting and for them to supply power to a house, the F150 can do that without breaking a sweat.
Another thing to take into account, V2H is not a free lunch. You need a transfer switch installed, pay electricians and pay for your permits to hook a vehicle up. I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll repeat it again. I had a 20KW Kohler generator installed a few years back. The generator only cost $5K, the total job was $12K. When looking at V2H the car only replaces the generator portion of the job, i.e. $5K worth, the other $7K is still there. The extra cost of the 1000 mile battery is more than the $5K for the generator.
- MemberNovember 22, 2022 at 9:13 am
Well put. The use case of the 1000 is potentially very niche. I can see some argument for those with no home or work charging options. Level 2 charging should have more incentives (ie malls, employers, apartment buildings) as that is a significant current issue for EVs.
- MemberNovember 22, 2022 at 10:23 am
Even for people who have no home or work charging the 100KWh battery isn’t helpful. The Aptera is only going to charge at 50KW, maybe they’ll bump that to 75KW but it won’t be 250KW like a Tesla (which can only maintain that rate for a few minutes). At 50KW, assuming a flat charge curve which is very unlikely, it would take two hours to fully charge a 100KWh battery, realistically it will take 3 hours assuming a typical charging curve. Nobody wants to spend three hours at a Supercharger. It’s much better to just add a couple of hundred miles at a time (about 30 minutes) once a week or a hundred miles (10-15 minutes) a couple of times a week. The 400 mile version will do that just fine. If you are lucky the Supercharger will be at a supermarket, which is very common for Superchargers, that would allow you to plug in and shop. 30 minutes is a typical time to spend doing your weekly shopping.
- MemberNovember 22, 2022 at 11:50 am
Or continue on with my 1k battery and overnight at a hotel with level 2 charging.
- MemberNovember 22, 2022 at 9:04 am
I am also looking at the 600 mile version, but for slightly different reasons. I want the AWD option, but also thinking about heating (seats, yoke and defrosting the windshield), all of which will take a bit out of the range of the vehicle. My house is already solar powered, and my energy consumption is fairly small, so the 600 mile battery pack would be more than sufficient to support my household loads if I needed to.
- MemberNovember 23, 2022 at 8:50 am
I am biased to the Tesla plug and charging.
Bought a Model 3 in 2019 (it is a 2018) and have a NEMA 14-50 outlet in the garage with the Tesla Mobile charger plugged in to it. Our M3 was delivered with the Mobile adapter and two pigtails, one for the 14-50. Never felt a need to replace it with the Tesla Wall Charger, even with the current lower price of $400 (was $500 back in 2019) just to get a few more amps. Have never needed or used it away from home, so it stays plugged in.
Unlike the CCS based adapters, the Tesla Superchargers automatically bill for power to my account. No fussing with the charge station and entering a credit card or account. Plug and power.
Some states, like where I live do not permit resale of electrical power. So charging here AFAIK is based on time, not directly on power delivered. Other states don’t have this law. Prices vary by state and the cost of electricity, with some profit for the service.
I have only used a Supercharger 3 times in almost 4 years. But they are great to have around and they work. Since we bought the M3, Superchargers have popped up in our area faster than the CCS1 and CCS2 options.
The Tesla design exists because Tesla needed a DC charge capability before the standards community could come up with one. I have worked in an ANSI/ISO standards committee and standards are all compromises with legacy and established players. The Tesla design is a clean slate design. CCS is not.
I vote for the better design with the largest installed base, Tesla. Yes, I am biased.
- MemberNovember 24, 2022 at 7:58 am
Ev chargers are potential cash cows. They charge 3-5x the bulk electricity price, have minimal maintenance and often no rent (businesses want them in parking lots – captive audience). A single charge stall that is occupied 3 hours per day average (6 cars) will make $32k per year in profit (assuming $0.30 profit / kwh). Gas stations by comparison have thin profits and need staff at each one.