26 Apr 22

Heat pump gives EVs from General Motors 10% better range

Heat pump gives EVs from General Motors 10% better range

All-electric models based on General Motors’ advanced Ultium architecture get a heat pump as a standard feature. The equipment is called Ultium Energy Recovery and can be used to increase range, battery charging or performance.

Despite several benefits, heat pumps aren’t always factory equipped on EVs. But cars like the Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Silverado EV or Hummer EV, sitting on the underpinnings of the dedicated electric platform Ultium, will benefit, as GM has now officially announced.

Like other heat pumps, Ultium Energy Recovery can capture excess heat from the battery pack and related parts, which can then be used to heat the cabin faster and more efficiently; as such, more energy can be preserved for autonomy. The advantage can grow to 10%, according to the carmaker.

Watts to Freedom

Using the stored waste heat to precondition the battery also can make it charge faster, though no precise improvements were communicated. Lastly, GM points out that the pump system, functioning in two directions, can cool the pack for performance runs. For example, in the Hummer EV, it helps to realize a standstill to 60 mph acceleration in 3 seconds, a stunt nicknamed ‘Watts to Freedom”.   

Heat pumps are not always part of the original equipment on EVs but they especially benefit customers living in cold climate conditions. Tesla has started installing them from the factory on the Model Y. Volkswagen offers it at an optional cost in the ID.3. By rule, heat pumps can reach an efficiency of 300%.

Image source: General Motors

Authored by: Piet Andries