A new heat pump system that can provide heat to electric vehicles and other fuel-efficient vehicles could be on the market within a few years.
The heat pump technology is being developed by a company called EVHeat, which has received support from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The company says its technology, which uses a combination of heat-absorbing materials and a thermal mass, could help lower the heat load of electric vehicles, which can produce heat in a very short time.
The company was founded in 2015 and has already delivered prototype units.
The US National Renewables Energy Laboratory said it was “encouraged” by the team’s work and that it had been working with the company since 2016 to bring the technology to market.
“This technology is a critical part of the U.S. transition to 100 percent renewable energy,” said NREL’s Michael Frechette.
“It will help meet the energy needs of all Americans.”
The heat pumps work by converting the heat from an electric motor’s electric motor drive into the pressure of air pumped in from the exhaust of the engine.
The pressure of the air is then transferred into the heat exchanger, which converts the heat into electricity.NREL’s Frechettte said the heat pumps technology could reduce the heat loads of some vehicles by as much as 50 percent.
“The ability to convert heat in the system to electricity and vice versa is important to reduce the amount of fuel required for the vehicle, and ultimately reduce the environmental impact of these vehicles,” he said.
The technology is similar to the technology used by some electric cars, but EVHeat has been developing its own design.
“We designed our heat pump to be very flexible and to be able to be reconfigured in the future,” the company’s co-founder, Daniel Krammer, told Reuters news agency.
“We designed it to be flexible, so that we could make it compatible with many different electric vehicles.”
The company said the new heat pumps would be available in 2020.
“We want to make it a viable solution for people who are looking for a high-efficiency vehicle,” said Kramman.
“When you look at the future, the vehicle of the future will be a fuel-cell vehicle that is powered by the electric drive.”
In December 2016, the US Energy Department approved funding to develop the heat pump for electric and hybrid vehicles, a move that is expected to save billions of dollars in fuel costs over the next decade.
The DOE said the $3.2 billion was for research and development.