This technology involves the development of joule heating plastics for a highly efficient heating system for electric vehicle applications. The heating concept consists of heating car surfaces which are near the passenger instead of the current HVAC systems which heat up all the cabin in an inefficient way. Plastic surfaces are heated when a voltage is applied. This effect is possible due to the high electrical conductivity of the material, which is achieved by dispersing conductive nanofillers within the polypropylene matrix to obtain homogeneous heating in all the panel geometry. Temperatures up to 70oC can be reached with a “time to feel” of three minutes. Heating panels are produced by cast extrusion and thermoforming, so they can be adapted to any desired geometry.
Compared to ordinary vehicles, electric vehicles require special thermal management solutions because their motors and batteries don’t generate heat in the same way as internal combustion engines. Today, the use of ‘ordinary’ HVAC technologies (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) reduce the potential range of electric vehicles by up to 25% and electric buses by 45% - consequently, innovation is required.
The proposed heating solution is interesting for electric vehicle manufacturers and any other sectors where low energy consumption heating is needed, such as in construction.
Table 1: Power consumption
Maximum Voltage (48V)
Average Voltage (24V)
Temperature maintenance at 50ºC
(350 x 250 x 2) mm
(15 x 15 x 1) mm