AIMPLAS heating system for EVs reduces energy consumption by 30%


The research association AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, together with other partners of the EU project JOSPEL, has developed a heating system for EVs that could reduce energy consumption by up to 30% compared to conventional heating systems.

The system is based on the Joule effect (also called resistive or ohmic heating), by which electrical conductive materials produce heat when a voltage is applied. It consists of thermoplastic heating panels that can be placed in different parts of the car.

Heating and cooling systems use significant amounts of energy in EVs (up to 40% of total energy consumption). A more efficient heating system could thus lead to improved range.

The JOSPEL project aims to develop an optimally energy-efficient climate system, using an integrated approach that includes application of the thermoelectric Joule and Peltier effects, developing more efficient insulation, and recovering energy from heat zones. The main objective is to reduce the energy used for passenger comfort by 50%, and the energy used for component cooling by 30%.




Source: AIMPLAS via Green Car Congress

  • brian_gilbert

    If the main reason for its improved efficiency is that it relies on a heating element like an electric blanket then I cannot understand why it was never thought of by previous automobile designers. At school we are taught that heating is by convection, radiation pr comduction so you would expect all three to be considered by a designer.. I have not grasped all the explanation because my hearing is poor and there are no subtitles on the video.
    However if it enables mamufacturers to quote increased range for a given car in cold weather it is a significant step forward as mamy potential buyers live in cold areas where the heating must be used.

    • dmarkle

      “It consists of thermoplastic heating panels that can be placed in different parts of the car” I guess this just means that it’s a set of plastic, resistive panels that will be stuck all around the car. Perhaps inside the door cards. I guess if you’ve got heated armrests, heated seats, and a heated steering wheel, heating air becomes less important. But others have pointed out that the proportion of energy used on climate control is significantly less the larger the battery is. In a LEAF with 24kWh, using an extra 5kWh of energy a day could mean not being able to complete your commute. In a Model S with 60+kWh, it generally means much less.

      • brian_gilbert

        Thanks. Then a manufacturer offerring this method of heating can specify the range with the heating full on as x miles extra. Until such time as range no longer becomes a significant factor in sales it seems worth offerring at least as an option.

    • Lance Pickup

      Who says they haven’t thought of it? The heated steering wheel and heated seats on EVs (and non-EVs) are an example. Granted, those aren’t the primary heating methods for EVs, but it certainly was seen as a way to reduce the amount of “traditional” heating that would need to be done.

      I suspect a full heating system of this type has not been “attempted” before because it’s simply too different from existing technology and it represented too big a change in the vehicle’s operation than they wanted to bite off (changing to an electric power train in the first place is a big enough change). For example, the first gen Nissan LEAF used a thermal core heated by a resistive element (which I guess you could argue is still the Joule effect). This mimicked the engine heating of an ICE to the extent that it required little extra invention/parts to create a heating system around it (and also allowed the core to be pre-heated while on “shore” power). It wasn’t until the 1.5 version that they switched to a hybrid heater which was a significant improvement (but ultimately still just an incremental modification of the existing A/C system).

      And who knows…this article doesn’t appear to indicate that a vehicle manufacturer has committed to this technology. It seems to me it’s just an incremental packaging of the technology that COULD have application in vehicle heating. I’m sure those quoted figures are mainly marketing figures and not substantiated in actual case studies at this point.

  • Waiting to be bribed

    It is just a more efficient application of what we have now to heat seats and steering wheels.

  • Vincent Wolf

    I love my heated seats. Most of the time I don’t even need a heater in Colorado thanks to those seats which warm my spine and back and keep me comfy. Just a good sweater and I’m good to go.