The most effective security system in history, the solution for the autonomy of electric vehicles in winter

Winter is not the best season for electric cars because low temperatures become a double enemy: they not only play against their autonomy, they also force the air conditioning systems to start up, giving the batteries more work. The solution to this problem would be in the vehicle itself and, more specifically, in its most effective safety system: seat belts.

This is the formula proposed by ZF, the German company known for automatic gearboxes and also for shaping many other components for vehicle manufacturers. Based on the concept that we have already seen in seats and steering wheels, he proposes adding heated seat belts to the equipment of electric cars to minimize the impact that the air conditioning system has on the battery.

autonomy, safe

ZF’s idea is to give the driver and his passengers a source of heat close to their body because they understand that it is the most efficient way to heat a human being: more, at least, than keeping an entire cabin at a specific temperature by distributing air hot through the vents.

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ZF suggests use heated belts together with seats of this type: with this system, the heating will not have to generate as much heat and this is particularly important in an electric car. Unlike a thermal one, it cannot take advantage of the thermal energy that emerges from the start-up of the car’s engine: it extracts it from the battery. With this technology, according to ZF, autonomy could be increased by 15%.

The truth is that it is not the first time that they have created a concept of this type: Ford filed a patent for a similar product in 2018 and Mercedes installed heated seat belts in the Mercedes ESF, that experimental vehicle that was a safety laboratory on wheels.

Safer, even

ZF’s heated belts are as simple as they are interesting: they consist of small heat conductors integrated into the fabric structure like threads. This allows the thickness of the security system is the same and gives the possibility of heating the body of the driver and his companions evenly. They can be activated when the car starts to move and do not compromise the safety of the passengers. What’s more, ZF recognizes that its belts have an advantage: with them no one will want to get into the car wearing the coat.

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The heated belts are ready to be integrated into series production of a vehicle and its technology is ready to go: whether or not any manufacturer is interested in adopting it remains to be seen.

About Alicia Peters

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