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Innovatiing textile-based heating system for technical applicatiions with a special focus on Electric Vehicles

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MAXITHERM (Innovatiing textile-based heating system for technical applicatiions with a special focus on Electric Vehicles)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles warm up the passenger cabin thanks to the residual heat coming from the engine. However, in Electric Vehicles (EV) the situation is different because there is no combustion heat and engine residual heat is insufficient to warm up the cabin of the vehicle. As consequence in EVs energy to warm up the cabin must be extracted from the batteries. In Electric Vehicles up to 50% of a vehicle’s energy is invested in HVAC systems, therefore the mobility range of an electric vehicle (130km on average) is 50% dependent on the consumption of energy for HVAC purposes.
The Electric Vehicle´s market is in fast development. EVs sales doubled in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year. A third of the world’s Electric Vehicles are sold in Europe. The market size is expected to reach €200B by 2020. The main factor impeding the massive dissemination of electric vehicles in Europe is the still limited range autonomy of electric vehicles especially in cold weather. Consequently, the development of alternative heating systems for EVs represents a highly interesting market opportunity. The integration of a costs effective system capable of extending autonomy while ensuring passagers comfort will boost the adoption of electromobility in Europe and Worldwide
The objective of MAXITHERM is to contribute to the expansion of Electric mobility in Europe by extending Electric Vehicles (EV) autonomy. We propose a heating system for EV that reduces electricity demand of heating systems in by 30% while maintaining passenger comfort. MAXITHERM is a heating system based on a technical fabric composed by a blend of electrically conductive and non-electrically conductive fibres that is integrated within the structure of the vehicles. It provides direct and fast heat to passangers and is more cost efficient than current solutions.
The final development stages of Maxitherm will be carried out by three European SMEs, MaxiTex (DE) (coordinator and IPR owner) and CHMüller (DE) as beneficiaries of the proposal and Metron (SI) as subcontractor for both companies. The sales of Maxitherm will boost the growth of the companies involved and will provide them with a strategic position in the Electric Vehicle industry, a highly interesting growing market
In the beginning of the project a BMWi3 was bought and its interior parts were analyzed. This theoretical information was needed to determine the possibility to reach the main achievements like thermal comfort for the passengers and efficient heating. A new control system was necessary to guarantee proper heating of the innovative heating system. The setup of the control unit has been finished and an operation manual has been edited.
Two different kinds of heatable nonwoven for the different interior parts of the cabin have been determined including their lamination and connection to the system. Both have been studied and finished. The single nonwoven mats have been integrated into the parts of the cabin and their function has been tested – with excellent results.
Actually, the work on prototype BMWi3 is completely finished. All parts have been integrated, the control system has been installed and is working well. The converted model is ready for demonstration purposes and last, but not least, the car has received the German TÜV-seal
The automotive industry is of major importance for Europe´s economy. 12.9 million Europeans - or 5.3% of the EU workforce - are employed in the sector6 and it generates 6.9% of EU Gross Domestic Product. Europe is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of high quality, clean, silent and safe ICE vehicles. However, most of the technology developments concerning EV are occurring outside the EU, mainly in Japan (with 75% of the total patents relate to EV technology) and USA. European EV industry is highly dependent on external technology. Most of the high-tech components such as batteries and electronic controllers present in European EVs are not designed nor manufactured in EU. With MAXITHERM we will contribute to the future of the EU automotive industry, promoting that next generations of Electric Vehicles incorporate components that are designed and manufactured entirely in Europe. To ensure a leading position of Europe in the future, it is essential to invest now in research in EV technologies. The EU has stablished a set of initiatives within the “Action Plan CARS 2020” such as the European Green Vehicles Initiatives (EGVI), in order to promote research and innovation in EV technologies.
On the other hand, the European non-woven industry is suffering extensively from competition, particularly from Asia (China). Under this scenario we are aware that the EU non-woven industry, in order to maintain its place in a global market, needs to adapt its production and business model from large-volume-low-cost production to highly specialized and customized production of high added value products. Consequently, it is essential for us to invest and commit to innovation with the objective of maintaining profitability in the medium and long term
During project lifetime C.H. Müller and MaxiTex took the chance to introduce the project and the idea behind this project to a large number of companies in the automotive chain. Designated car producers who are planning to increase the number of EVs in the next year have discovered the high potential of this new heating system. It offers a lot of advantages compared with known heating systems on the market. Electromobility will be the future way of transportation. Companies involved in the supply chain (i.e. producer of raw materials, supplier of semi-finishes products) are going to participate in the success of those “giants”. We offer a unique material which is going to revolutionize the heating topic, not only in the automotive sector but also in many other industries. Homogeneous and energy saving heat dissipation is the solution for a lot of applications. This fact will have a great impact on the future business and sales of participating companies in the short as well as in the long term.