At Ford they have been experimenting with heated surfaces for some time. The car brand patented heated seat belts as early as 2018. Back then, people were a bit laconic about this, but with the rise of the electric car, every bit of energy you can save is one that you don’t have to recharge. Ford put it to the test and sent a modified E-Transit to Cologne to deliver fictitious packages. Given that parcel deliverers often open and close the door a hundred times a day, heat loss is quite an important part of the final consumption.
Bus warms up
How Ford adapted the E-Transit? With a lot of heating elements on top of the seat and steering wheel heating. Think of headrest, armrests, door panels, sun visor and the panel under the steering wheel with a heating element. The idea is to thereby create a “heated zone” that radiates a warm glow. Now they are not from yesterday at Ford and they know all too well that those components also need power. Still, this set-up would require 13% less energy than if you simply used the climate control. In the case of the E-Transit, this amounted to 5% extra range at a test temperature of -7°C.
That doesn’t sound hallucinatory, but remember that every little bit helps. Especially at cold temperatures, when electric cars perform the least. Ford says it will implement the expertise gained in future electric models. From 2030, Ford will only offer 100% electric cars in Europe.
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