The Hummer EV, as well as any future cars developed on General Motors’ Ultium electric vehicle platform, will be outfitted with heat pumps that can catch wasted heat and utilize it to regulate the temperature of their drivetrains and cabins.
Several electric car manufacturers, notably Tesla and Polestar, use comparable technologies that eliminate the need for electrically powered resistive heating and can lessen the load on a battery to extend a vehicle’s operating range between charges.
According to GM, the pumps can catch ambient and body heat, as well as heat generated by the car, and feed it back into the system. So your “hot bod” might just be the difference between getting to your destination and being stranded on the side of the road.
“Having a completely new EV architecture allows us to incorporate in standard features like Ultium’s energy recovery capabilities,” said Doug Park, GM’s vice president of product development. “This allows us to extract greater efficiency, performance, and total consumer benefit from our EVs.”
In addition, a heat pump can help in various ways. It may, for example, use the energy created by the phase shift of its liquid refrigerant to assist prepare a battery in extreme cold or even power some low-level car operations. The overall improvement to vehicle range can be as high as 10%, which isn’t exactly chicken feed.
In the case of the Hummer EV, the technology may be used to optimize powertrain temperature for the 1,000 hp truck’s Watts to Freedom launch mode, which allows it to sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in just 3 seconds.
The Cadillac Lyriq is the next Ultium vehicle to be released, and it will be followed by Chevrolet’s electric Blazer, Equinox, and Silverado the following year. They will all have this feature and it would be interesting to see what customers think about this feature.
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