What is the best energy-efficient method of keeping warm? Many people are concerned about this subject as the expense of heating our houses rises. Ford engineers were charged with answering the same question as part of an effort to improve the range of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles can be heated by employing an air conditioner to blow warm air into the cabin. Alternatively, the surfaces in the car can be heated. They can be surfaces that passengers have direct contact with or panels that distribute heat into the car's interior.
Both alternatives necessitate the use of battery power. Yet, the experts discovered that boosting the cabin temperature by heating the surfaces might lower energy usage by 13% compared to regular air conditioning while also increasing the car's range by 5%. This would allow for hundreds of kilometers of additional operating distance each year.
The study was conducted as part of the European Commission's Connected Electric Vehicle Optimized for Life, Value, Efficiency, and Range (CEVOLVER) initiative, which ran from October 2018 to October 2022. The project's goal was to explain how new electric cars are created and how to develop software upgrades for electric cars already on the road. The temperature control test results have been utilized in the development of Ford's future automobiles. By 2026, Ford hopes to sell 600,000 electric vehicles in Europe and more than two million globally.
The heated armrests, floor mats, door panels, sun visors, and a panel behind the steering wheel were all standard features on the Ford E-Transit. The test included both entrepreneurs and companies that transport parcels and special commodities. The daily driving distance in and around Cologne was 350 kilometers. The tests were conducted in various conditions, including winter and summer, dry and wet roads, and heavy rain and wind.