Can body heat be used to make EVs roll? General Motors says yes
General Motors has revealed that its Ultium electric vehicle platform, that underpins the Hummer EV, can make use of body heat from passengers to make the vehicle go farther on a charge. The system also utilizes heat pumps to recapture waste heat from the powertrain as well as ambient humidity from both inside and outside the vehicle to make the electric vehicle move.
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GM's Ultium EV platform can recover the heat generated by the power electronics and other propulsion components in an effort to make the propulsion system of the electric vehicle as efficient as possible. “Having a ground-up EV architecture gives us the freedom to build in standard features like Ultium’s energy recovery capabilities," Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain said, CarScoops reported.
This system helps General Motors squeeze more efficiency, performance and overall customer benefit out of their electric vehicle. The body heat recover technology is used to make the cabin heating system more efficient than it is in traditional vehicles. It reduces the load on the electronics inside the vehicle. The automaker claims that it allows the vehicle to go as much as 10 per cent farther per charge. It can also allow the vehicle to charge faster by preconditioning the battery.
Thanks to these features, the GMC Hummer EV has its Watts to Freedom feature. This is possible because the energy recovery system helps precool the propulsion system and allows the massive vehicle to hit 60 mph in just three seconds.
These functions are covered by 11 patents and four publications that trace the history to the earliest days of modern EVs, with the EV1 of the late 1990s, when the company developed its first EV heat pump. These efficiency systems are available on all current EVs pinned by GM's Ultium platform.