MaxiTex consists of a special control system and a textile capable of dissipating heat homogeneously over an entire surface
MAXITHERM researchers have developed an alternative heating system for electric vehicles (EVs) that reduces electricity use by 30 percent, increases overall range during cold weather and maintains passenger comfort.
The new system could serve as a solution for driving electric cars – or any other means of electric transportation – in cold weather without losing range.
As EVs lack internal combustion engine, they are unable to generate residual heat to warm up the drivers and passengers during the winter days.
To warm up the cabin, energy must be extracted from the car’s batteries, which greatly affects the electric vehicle’s range, explains Ute Maxi, who coordinates the EU-funded MAXITHERM (Innovative textile-based heating system for technical applications with a special focus on Electric Vehicles) project.
MAXITHERM’s hot mats overcome this barrier
Rafik Maxi, the project’s technical manager, elaborates that the MAXITHERM heating system integrates a technical fabric comprised of both electrically conductive and non-electrically conductive fibres directly into the vehicle’s structure.
Maxi says that the system provides direct and fast heat to passengers and is more cost-efficient than any solution available on the market today.
MAXITHERM heating mats utilise MaxiTex, a patented heating system owned by one of the project’s partners. MaxiTex consists of a special control system and a textile capable of dissipating heat homogeneously over an entire surface.
The MAXITHERM mats are placed under a vehicle’s roof and carpets, into the seats and seat backs and along the door panels.
According to Rafik, the temperature threshold can be set up for each area of the vehicle separately.
Prototype vehicle proves successful
The researchers have successful tested a prototype vehicle. They are now monitoring its behaviour under real driving conditions.
Many automotive manufacturers, who are interested in installing the system (or parts of it) into their vehicles, are currently involved in the project.