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Are heated seat belts the key to increasing EV range?


Heated seats and a heated steering wheel are common features in new cars, but supplier ZF is now selling heated seat belts and claims they can help increase electric range.

ZF said in a press release that in cold weather, seat belt heating can increase range by up to 15% by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat a car’s cabin, although the The company notes that seat belt heaters are most effective when used with other contact heating devices, such as heated seats.

ZF . heated seat belt

ZF . heated seat belt

By transferring heat directly to the body, both heated seats and heated seat belts are a more efficient way to achieve a comfortable temperature than blowing air around the car’s cabin as they draw less energy from the unit. battery and leave more power to the propulsion. that’s why car companies like Volkswagen highlighted the inclusion of heated seats as a way to maximize electric vehicle performance in cold weather.

ZF’s heated seat belts are made of the same fabric as regular seat belts, but with integrated heat-conducting parts. This slightly increases the thickness of the belt without compromising manufacturability or user comfort, ZF claims. There’s no need to change buckles or drawstrings, the company adds, so heated seat belts work exactly like regular belts.

ZF . heated seat belt

ZF . heated seat belt

In addition to reducing energy consumption from the climate control system, heated seat belts can provide a safety benefit. The company notes that the extra heat reduces the need to wear a jacket or other bulky clothing in the vehicle, allowing the seat belt to sit closer to the body.

ZF hasn’t announced customers for its heated seat belts yet, but the cold-weather EV range is an important consideration for automakers. All electric cars suffer from reduced range in cold temperatures (although the exact amount varies widely by model), and that could prevent consumers from switching from gas-powered cars to electric cars.

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