Gentherm and GM find microclimate comfort system reduces energy use up to 69% in cold weather

Gentherm, a developer of thermal management technologies, has published the results of a study it performed in partnership with GM to understand the real-world effectiveness of a ‘microclimate’ comfort system in reducing energy use in EVs. The study found that Gentherm’s ClimateSense microclimate comfort system increases driving range and energy savings.

As part of the project, GM sought a 30% overall reduction in energy use without sacrificing passenger comfort. Gentherm developed a proof-of-concept ‘microclimate’ climate control system that is based around the front two passenger seats and integrates electronics, embedded software and a thermophysiology-based control algorithm. The company then installed the two-zone system into a Chevrolet Bolt EV.

The study found that:

  • ClimateSense provides 50-69% energy savings with two zones active and improves overall customer comfort in -7° C cold weather testing.
  • ClimateSense provides 34% energy savings with two zones active and improves overall comfort in hot weather testing.

Gentherm President and CEO Phil Eyler said, “The proliferation of ridesharing, electrification and autonomous vehicles has created a need to redesign the interior of a vehicle. Yet, when we look at the interior cabin of today’s vehicle, the HVAC and thermal management approach has only seen minor incremental changes over the last 50 years.”

Source: Gentherm via Green Car Congress