- Published in Focus.
The difficulty of getting long ranges from electric vehicles is well highlighted – battery technology isn’t as advanced as either OEMs or customers would like. Even the most efficient vehicles find it difficult to reach more than 200km.
But if the driver then begins using auxiliary systems like the air-conditioning the problem becomes even worse.
Simply flicking the airconditioning button on in a combustion engine vehicle increases fuel consumption by upwards of 5%. But in an electric car it can reduce the range by more than 25% – making them even less practical. People are unlikely to give up a comfort feature such as air-conditioning, so OEMs and Tier One suppliers will have to develop HVAC systems that draw less energy from the powertrain.
“Everybody is focusing on improving efficiency, and consumption from the compressor is the basic power grabber,” says Pat Bassett, vicepresident of thermal systems engineering at Denso.
“For electric vehicles there are other components too like the motors and the fans. So engineers are focused on making them more efficient – brushless motors are becoming more popular.”