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Bosch presenting new heat pump EV thermal management system at IAA; up to 25% increase in effective range

At IAA next week, automotive supplier Bosch is presenting a new heat-pump-based thermal management system for EVs that it says can enable an increase in effective range of up to 25% without modifications to the battery.

In battery-driven powertrains, heating and cooling can play a significantly greater role than in gasoline or diesel engines, since without a combustion engine, the vehicle does not have a generous supply of heat. If the passenger compartment is heated using a purely electrical system drawing its power from the battery, range can be significantly reduced. As a result, there has been interest in the industry about the use of heat pumps as a lower energy-intensity solution.

For example, Nissan adopted a heat pump for the LEAF in 2014, and Volkswagen is using a heat pump is the US e-Golf as an add-on module to the electric heater (earlier post). In 2011, ARPA-E awarded Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) funding to develop a new electric power driven adsorption cycle for a highly efficient heat pump for EVs. (Earlier post.)

Bosch’s new thermal management system distributes heat and cold solely on the basis of the vehicle’s coolant fluid. The heat-pump principle is something everyone is familiar with in their fridges. Bosch says its system can enable an increase in range of up to 25% in wintry urban conditions. Click to enlarge.

In the publicly funded GaTE project (integrated thermal management in electric vehicles), Bosch, Mahle, Behr, and other companies developed a basis for optimized thermal management. Bosch’s new thermal management system distributes heat and cold solely on the basis of the vehicle’s coolant fluid, using a combination of a heat pump with coolant pumps and valves.

With the new vehicle thermal management system, a heat pump with an electrical rating of 1,000 watts will generate heat equivalent to an output of 2,000 to 3,000 watts. Conventional heaters used in hybrids and electric vehicles are only half as effective, Bosch said.

Bosch’s system features precisely controllable pumps and valves which collect heat and cold at source and transport them to where they are needed. The need for heating and cooling is additionally reduced by the use of waste heat from the electric motor and the power electronics, plus controlled air circulation that draws moisture from the air.

The pump makes use of the small amount of heat that is generated in an electric vehicle. For example, heat is released when supplying the electric motor with electricity. When braking energy is converted into electricity and fed into the battery, usable heat is again created. This is also the case when the battery has to be cooled in order to remain within the optimum operating window.

Most of the individual components used in this approach are already to be found in commercially available applications, Bosch said.



Our home heat pumps have been doing even better for 8+ years. Why did HEV/PHEV/BEV/FCEV car manufacturers are taking so long to adapt more efficient units?

What could buyers do to force them to do more faster?


Extending range is a winner, we can see that with the Chevy Bolt and the new LEAF with 30kWh battery pack in some models.

Dr. Strange Love

I way I read this is that their Thermal Management solution relies on the movement of traditional coolant to the point of heat source/sink back to a heat pump that will direct the flow of heat to/from the system and outside environment as needed. The coolant probably runs through the outer coax in the Heat Pump loop exchange, not unlike a typical geothermal water/ground source heat pump. It probably has a reversing valve just like a typical heat pump that allows the system to switch directions with the outside environment. I don't believe this is about heat pump efficiency.

My quess is that will have a separate Cabin heat pump unit that will exchange heat to/from the central heat pump. Just a guess.


Top of the line Heat pumps are 3.0X to 3.5X more effective than resistive heaters.

There are also very effective as air conditioners.


The good news here is the Bosch company appears to be increasing their commitment to producing products for the EV market, i.e., heat pumps, solid state batteries, EV charging stations, and complete EV drive units, etc. This is a good sign that the EV market is heating up faster. If we just had a 'good' battery, it would really take off.

James McLaughlin

The problem with coolant based heaters in EVs is that they are slow to heat up, lose a lot of heat form the hoses and pipes, and waste a lot of heat when you stop, as the system is still hot typically. A direct PTC electrical heating element is much faster and has no significant losses outside of the cabin, although it is lousy in moderate cold. I suspect that most OEMs adopting a heat pump (which is of course the best approach) will use the supplemental resistive heating element (needed for really cold weather) to simply heat the coolant. So the system will be better in moderate cold but worse in extreme cold. Time will tell. A hybrid approach is best, even the ethanol heater adopted by Volvo Cars is a winner in my view. Only for the higher latitudes of course.

Account Deleted

Things are moving in the right direction but very slowly. I think we have good batteries but they cost too much for economy cars to be possible. We need a 100kwh battery to have 300 miles range and even in 2020 when Tesla is at full speed at its giga factory such a battery will cost 20,000 USD or 200 USD per kwh. Everyone else will have higher costs and smaller factories than Tesla. It will not be easy to bring cost further down from 200 USD per kwh after 2020. It will take many years and a lot of volume growth in the BEV and energy storage market so my bet is that self driving BEV taxis is the real breakthrough that will make gassers obsolete in the economy segment also. That should happen between 2020 and 2025 which in my prediction is many years before we see 80 to 100 USD per kwh batteries at the pack level.


Yeah, I drive a 2011 Leaf and as long as I don't try to keep up with the fast lane speed, which in California is about 5 to 10 miles over the posted limit, I can get about 60 miles range without turning on the turtle light. Knowing what I know now about how slow battery tech is progressing, I would have waited for a 200 mile range EV; I figure that's really about 120 miles at legal freeway speeds.

Dr. Strange Love

Bosch purchased Florida Heat Pump several years back, so they are in the residential/light commercial Geothermal Heating/Cooling business as well.

Bob Wallace

" when Tesla is at full speed at its giga factory such a battery will cost 20,000 USD or 200 USD per kwh. Everyone else will have higher costs and smaller factories than Tesla. "

Large research firms disagree with you.

The materials cost for Tesla batteries is about $70/kwh.

The Tesla/Panasonic gigafactory is expected to drop cell price to about $130/kwh (from last year's $180) and pack price to $160/kWh when it's running. Over time cell price should drop to about $100/kWh over time with packaging into a battery pack adding about 30% for a $130/kWh pack before 2020.

Other battery manufacturers are expected to catch up with T/P in 2-3 years. Some companies are already expanding their capacity.

A 300 mile range is a bit of overkill. A solid 200 miles is plenty for almost all drivers. GM and Tesla think they can give that range with 50 kWh battery packs. That's getting the battery pack cost under $10k in the short run (next couple of years) and possibly as low as $6,500 by 2020.

Most of us drive more than 200 miles in a day very rarely. Drive about 3 hours, pause for 20 minutes, drive at least two more hours, pause 20 minutes drive a couple more hours. You'll have covered 500 miles almost as quickly as if you had been driving a 300 mile range EV or an ICEV.


With 3.5X efficient heat-pump + the new Jacquard-Rover 2X efficient electrical drive train + much lighter body + less drag + more efficient e-accessories etc, future BEVs could probably mange 500+ Km range with quick charge 100 to 120 kWh battery packs.

@ $100/kWh it could become affordable.


It's not just a case of installing ever bigger batteries in an EV but more so of increasing the efficiency of the complete drive train and all other electric devices in an EV.
The e-golf e.g. has a consumption of ca. 11.8 kWh/100 km. A 50 kWh battery at a usable capacity of 80% would equate to 40 kWh. These 40 kWh would enable a distance of 40 kWh : 11.8 kWh/100 km = 338 km or 211 miles. Improving the efficiency of all electric appliances on board to the very best could amount to a total of approx. 250 miles of range and that, combined with fast charging, should be sufficient for just about every normal driver.


I suggest a small kerosene heater and damn the green lobby.

Thomas Lankester

Yes domestic ASHPs have been getting better COPs for years but our home unit is the best part of 2m high! Getting that integrated into a car and making it reversible (for summer cooling as well as winter heating) affects the COP. But hey, anything over 1 is a gain and the efficiencies will only improve with time.

Thomas Lankester

'I suggest a small kerosene heater and damn the green lobby'
Firstly, odd comment to make on Green Car Congress.
Secondly, how will a kerosene heater provide summer cooling?

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