Resistive Heating Plastics - Low Energy Consumption Heating System

Technology Overview

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.

Technology Features & Specifications

  • The technology features conductive nanofiller dispersed plastics which exhibit Joule heating when a current is passed through.
  • Highly homogenous heating, with temperatures of up to 70oC with a 3 minute “time to feel”.
  • Recyclable - Proposed material can be grounded and a panel with new geometry can be produced for several cycles.
  • Customizable heating performance according to varying plastic formulation, panel geometry and applied voltage. Table 1 shows the power consumption for different panel geometries.


Table 1: Power consumption


Panel geometry

Maximum Voltage (48V)

Average Voltage (24V)

Fast heating

Temperature maintenance at 50ºC

Power (W)

(350 x 250 x 2) mm



(15 x 15 x 1) mm





Potential Applications

  • Automotive, construction and other engineering applications where surface heating with low energy consumption is needed.
  • Electric vehicles: current solutions based on Joule effect are based on conductive coatings. Recyclability of all the coated surfaces will be a problem at the end of the vehicle life. Proposed material is recyclable.

Customer Benefits

  • Low energy consumption radiant heating to increase thermal comfort in electric vehicles or smart buildings.
  • The solution is produced by conventional plastic processing equipment and the geometry can be customized for any specific application.
  • Recyclability, heating homogeneity and price are the main advantages of the proposed solution.

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