Winter Charging Question

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Winter Charging Question

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Winter Charging Question

  • Winter Charging Question

     Curtis Cibinel updated 2 months ago 5 Members · 10 Posts
  • Brian Chamberlain

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    I was wondering how cold weather would affect the charging efficiency of the Aptera. Owners of evs that live in colder climates usually install level 2 or level 3 chargers so they can provide enough power to preheat both the battery and the car interior while simultaneously charging the vehicle during periods of extreme cold winter weather. A regular 110 outlet simply cannot provide enough current to do the job and what ends up happening is the ev has to dip into the battery to make up the difference. As a result, you end up with a battery that’s more depleted than when you began charging. Since th Apetra uses a much smaller pack than other evs such as Tesla, would you be able to both charge and warmup the battery (along with the cabin) using only Level 1 charging from a regular 110 outlet?

  • kerbe2705

    Member
    April 24, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    Several points: “Level 3” usually refers to DC charging and there are no DC charging stations for home use (they usually cost in excess of $30,000 USD). Yes, most EV and PHEV manufacturers suggest that you NOT regularly charge your EV from a 15 Amp 110 V wall receptacle unless that receptacle is on a dedicated circuit (no other outlets connected to the same breaker). Battery pre-heating while charging does draw additional current and that’s why Level 2 charging is recommended (16 Amp, 30 Amp, 32 Amp or 40 Amp 220 V EVSEs are the most common for home use). It’s difficult to compare Tesla vehicles to other EVs because – in many ways – they work differently. Save for the 250 mile range Aptera, its battery pack capacities are not dissimilar to those offered by other EV manufacturers.

    I would venture that a 110 V system that could first pre-heat the battery and THEN begin charging would be feasible but doing both heating AND charging simultaneously would – most likely – draw too much current. If an EV driver in colder regions is unable to run a 220 V line to their garage, then it might be more efficient to fully-insulate and heat the garage so that the EV and its battery wouldn’t become too cold.

  • Brian Chamberlain

    Member
    April 26, 2022 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for the reply. My bad for the Level 3 confusion ( I’m still a bit of a noob, the only ev I currently own is an ebike…๐Ÿ˜). My challenge is I live in an apartment and if I need to charge at home, I only have access to an outdoor outlet (probably originally installed to provide power to engine block heaters of ICE vehicles). I do have access, however, to Level 2 charging since there happens to be a public charging station only a half a kilometer from my apartment. My regular commute to work is only 3km so a round trip commute would only be 6km, tops. Even if I ran a few errands on my way home from work and ended up with maybe, at most, 10 or 12 km total distance traveled, I could just swing by the Level 2 charge near my place for a top up, which shouldn’t take too long given how little range I would have depleted. Even with range reduction during winter, I should still be able to manage. If I was planning a highway trip in winter, I would probably have to sacrifice some battery power for preheating and conditioning since I can’t leave the vehicle overnight at a public charger. I could maybe than head over to the public charger and top up what I lost, since the charging station is only a 2 minute drive away.

    Don’t know if all this would work in practice, but it’s something to think about.

    • Joshua Rosen

      Member
      April 26, 2022 at 11:43 am

      For your use case the solar should take care of most of your needs. If you have access to a block heater outlet you should be able to get about 10 miles per hour of charging which will add up to about 120 miles overnight.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      April 26, 2022 at 12:47 pm

      Level 1 charging is slower in winter due to battery heating and uses slightly more power overall than level 2 but should still be viable in all but insanely extreme situations. we dont know how well the battery will retain heat but if it is anything comparable to a tesla we can still expect ~50-70% of the power to get into the battery at level 1 unless we are talking stupid cold like -20-30C. I have an uninsulated detached garage with 120 service in it as part of my condo and expect to charge just fine.

      • John Malcom

        Member
        April 26, 2022 at 6:27 pm

        I lived in Alaska briefly (Not brief enough๐Ÿ˜) where the temps would get down to “Stupid cold” Most had an electric oil pan heater that was plugged in over night to keep the oil warm enough to start the car. The was with the car parked in an unheated garage. Something like that may be possible for those that have to endure those conditions. Worst case, you could take one along and plug into the 110 outlet of the Aptera for brief stops.

        Nothing I say is credible for cold weather Aptera use since I now live in FL

        • Curtis Cibinel

          Member
          April 27, 2022 at 1:41 am

          Any experience with EVs in Alaska or was that prior to your experience with them? Charging in very cold environments has a ton of factors. Hard stats are hard to find and obviously insulation is a factor.

          I’ve talked to a few tesla owners in 0 to -10C with level 1 outdoor an believe 50-70% is accurate in that range without insulation. In a reasonable unheated structure maybe subtract another 5C. If you have a garage and plan on an EV level 2 is a no problem but I’m stuck with a limited breaker panel capacity and shared access with detached strata garages with a less than forward thinking strata (literally tried to ban EVs BTW).

          • John Malcom

            Member
            April 27, 2022 at 10:32 am

            No, ICE vehicle. Long before EV was a gleam in the vehicle industries eye.

            I feel for those of you that live in cold climates. (My definition is a low temp no lower than 42F)๐Ÿ˜‰

            This why I live in FL and don’t go above the Mason Dixon line after the end of August

          • Joshua Rosen

            Member
            April 27, 2022 at 11:26 am

            Can your panel handle 240V @20A? That will give you 3.3KW Level 2. Another alternative is a smart splitter which will allow you to share the dryer’s 240V line

            https://www.getneocharge.com/smart-splitter

            • Curtis Cibinel

              Member
              April 27, 2022 at 11:57 am

              The panel in my bank of 6 garages can probably handle one nema 14-30 but given the climate and my driving habits I don’t think I need to; 120V should be fine. Upgrades requires a lot of coordination and agreements with the strata since it cant be metered legally without a completely dedicated line / breaker from the electrical room 150 meters away across paved parking lot. We have a model 3 owner that did upgrades and pays a flat $30 CAD to compensate for the power. I would need an electrician and to trace the capacity of the main panel (no idea who’s garage it is in). The electrical systems need serious upgrades to support large numbers of EVs in the complex and the layout of the dozens of small buildings makes this a very expensive objective. The complex is 30 years old and the power systems were only ever really intended for lights and garage door openers. Load sharing devices need to all be purchased at one time because you never know if the companies will stay alive and their are no open standards for them so they aren’t a great option either. Also cant put all the EVs in one area because the garages have LCP designations tied to the land title (also it would inevitably be inconvenient as some people would end up with far longer walks – we are on 14 acres with 198 units)

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