EVs must not sacrifice creature comforts for extra range

Off-the-shelf systems may no longer be suitable for electric vehicles as energy consumption comes under scrutiny. By Freddie Holmes

Special Report: Electric vehicle design

Electric vehicle (EV) makers are scrambling to provide better range and a more comfortable driving experience. A full vehicle optimisation strategy will be needed to avoid the use of larger batteries, and systems that have been transplanted from conventional diesel or gasoline cars may be scrapped.

Energy efficiency is perhaps the most important topic of all for an EV. Many automakers highlight how simply using climate control can have a significant impact on driving range. In some cases, keeping the cabin warm in winter or cool in summer might see the estimated range fall by as much as 30 miles.

“Energy efficiency is the biggest issue in this space right now,” observes Walter Sackl, Global Director of Product Management, Driveline Systems at Magna Powertrain. “As an

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