Maxitherm

Metron institute partnered with MaxiTex GmbH and CH Müller for the EU´s Horizon 2020 project. The project received funding from the European Union`s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grand agreement No 733732.

Objective

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 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 passengers and is more cost efficient than current solutions.

Concept

“The problem: Electric Vehicles do not generate residual heat to warm up the cabin.”

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 radically different. In EVs 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, greatly affecting the EV range. 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. Range anxiety (the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination), is currently number one concern for electric car buyers.

Consequently, the development of alternative heating systems for EVs represents a highly interesting market opportunity. The integration of a cost effective system capable of extending autonomy while ensuring passage comfort will boost the adoption of electromobility in Europe and Worldwide,”