Maximizing Electric Vehicle (EV) Range in Cold Weather Environments

A critical aspect of engineering for complex systems is managing designs that must perform under a wide range of combined parameters. An example is designing an electric passenger vehicle’s climate control system. Here we illustrate a state-of-the-art simulation method that vehicle manufacturers employ to maximize their electric vehicle range while keeping customers satisfied with thermal comfort. We explore in this article the past benchmark convection methods of thermal management and challenge that approach with a radiant alternative and estimate the impact on EV range.

Izaak the Elf Solves Santa's Thermal Comfort with Expert Efficiency

“I want them back, Izaak!” cried Santa, blushing slightly at his own outburst and casting a glance at Sven, the electric reindeer. “I nearly froze behind that tin beast and could hardly hold the reins, my hands were so cold.”

Enabling Electric Vehicles to Last Their Lifetime

In many ways, an electric vehicle (EV) is mechanically simpler than a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE). There are fewer moving parts in an electric motor than an ICE and less maintenance required to keep it performing for the vehicle’s lifetime. However, consumers still carry concerns for the expected span of the electric car’s battery life. To be sure, replacing an electric vehicle’s battery is an expensive proposition. For example, a new battery pack for a Chevrolet Bolt EV is reportedly priced at more than $15,000, not including labor costs.

Solve for the Competing Priorities of Occupant Comfort and Electric Vehicle Range

With the cooler weather, many electric vehicle (EV) owners are preparing their best strategies to maintain a desirable range and keep warm. Sometimes EV owners must bundle up to mitigate HVAC usage to make it to their destination. These strategies are less than desirable, and so OEMs are working hard to minimize this issue with better cabin simulations for better designs. 

How to Optimize Cabin Comfort and Range for Electric Vehicles

Electric cars accounted for 2.6% of global car sales and about 1% of global car stock in 2019. They manifested a 40% year-on-year increase. As the electrification of ATVs, buses, and trucks progresses, the market continues to grow. Ambitious policies have been critical in stimulating the electric vehicle rollout in influential markets in recent years. This shift continues—including zero-emission vehicle mandates and fuel economy standards —which have set clear, long-term signals to the automotive industry and consumers that support the transition (IEA).