15 Apr 19

Ford heat pump increases electric range by 20%

The distance that drivers can travel on a single charge of a battery-electric vehicle is greatly impacted by the use of cabin heating features. Using the climate control system in a BEV can reduce the driving range by up to 50% in cold weather.

Compared to goods transport vehicles, multi-occupant vehicles such as minibuses require significantly more energy to create a comfortable temperature for occupants. The energy is provided by the high-voltage battery, presenting a significant challenge to the vehicle’s driving range, Ford says.

“With frequent door openings, a large space to keep at comfortable temperatures, and a big payload to carry, a minibus presents the toughest challenge for maximising battery-electric vehicle range, and that’s exactly why we chose it for our new Transit Smart Energy Concept,” said Kilian Vas, project leader, Vehicle Architecture, Ford of Europe. “By developing this concept we’ve found a number of clever ways to save energy that could help further improve the electrified vehicle experience for customers in the future.”

Ford claims that an innovative heat pump system that utilises waste heat from the drivetrain components, the outside air and the air within the cabin can reduce heating system energy usage by up to 65%, resulting in a range extension of 20%.

The underpinnings of the experimental all-electric Transit are the same as the ones used by the StreetScooter Work XL, a van developed and used by Deutsche Post DHL.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier