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Reducing winter range loss for electric trucks

  • Magazine Article
  • 19TOFHP12_02
Published December 01, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Researchers at the Austrian Institute of Technology have developed an air exchange system that's capable of reducing heat load by 37% in real-world tests.

Battery-electric vehicle (BEV) range loss from winter use of PTC (positive temperature coefficient) heating has become a source of major concern as the industry works to make EVs a mainstream choice. Addressing this particular problem area with an economically viable solution was deemed a worthwhile effort by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), which is jointly owned by the Austrian government and the Federation of Austrian Industries. A fleet test of electric delivery trucks is underway on European roads.

The AIT project, results of which were presented at the recent SAE Thermal Management Systems Symposium (TMSS), began by noting a 20% loss in range at −15°C (+5°F) from the heating system. AIT set a target of recovering 25% of that loss, primarily with the use of a ventilation module. Available reference data (at −10°C/+14°F) showed approximately 75% of the cabin heat losses are from ventilation, AIT said, with the remaining 25% from heated air transmission through the interior.