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IAV and Louisenthal develop new heating concept for EVs; increased range with SmartMesh foils

IAV and Louisenthal, a technology leader in the production of security foils and papers for banknotes, have developed an energy-efficient heating concept for electric vehicles that requires considerably less energy while increasing comfort for drivers and passengers. This increases cruising range by up to 6%.

At the heart of the heating concept is a thin, cost-effective and easy-to-process foil from Louisenthal. The SmartMesh foil has a mesh of conductive tracks in its surface. The foil is easily integrated into doors, the center console and roof lining. On applying the operating voltage, it warms up and radiates heat into the passenger compartment for vehicle occupants.


The heating foil is transparent which means it can be combined with ambient lightning or LED design elements.

In the heating concept developed by IAV and Louisenthal, the foils are integrated into the vehicle alongside the standard heating system, making a key contribution to maintaining occupant comfort.

We can produce the SmartMesh foils on an industrial scale in large quantities, providing an energy-saving and more convenient addition to conventional heating systems for future electric vehicle concepts. The foil is one example of how we are applying our technological expertise in banknote and security papers to new industries where we can provide innovative development services.

—Dr. Daniel Lenssen, Director Business Development at Louisenthal

IAV has simulated use of the foil in vehicle trims with 3D CFD software and, using a demonstrator, shown how it works on a car door interior trim. The result of the simulation: to begin with, a comfortable climate in the passenger compartment can be achieved for the driver and passengers in less time at low outside temperatures thanks to the additional integrated heating foils.

After the heating-up phase, the total amount of energy required for heating the passenger compartment can be reduced by up to 20% as a result of the heat that is radiated. This increases the vehicle’s cruising range—in the best case by up to 6%.

We are currently seeing huge technological advances in electric vehicles. One of the main challenges is to increase energy efficiency and extend the cruising range. With this heating concept, we can show that, besides the obvious approaches, there are other ways of achieving significant energy savings and, with this, potential for increasing traveling range.

—Rico Baumgart, team manager in IAV’s Vehicle Dynamics division

Louisenthal is a leading manufacturer of banknote substrates, security papers and security foils. More than 100 central banks and governments across the globe, including the European Central Bank, use Louisenthal products. The company also provides comprehensive security and service solutions in all phases of plant engineering from planning to commissioning production facilities.

In the “Industrial Applications” division, Louisenthal applies the expertise it has built up over the years to new areas of application, and develops functional foils and papers, e.g. for the electronics or the automotive industry.



So which is better: heated seats, heated foil on surfaces or a heat pump to use electricity more effectively?
Also, increases cruising range by 6% - 6% under what circumstances and compared to what - a simple resistive heater ?

Bob Niland

My guesses would be to prioritize seat heaters (& only if occupied) and the steering wheel, with thermostatic control for energy management. As I recall, science says that performance impairment really needs only temp management in the extremities.
I've had a vehicle with a seat heater, and it works, but to a large extent it was just compensating for an artifact of IC engines - they take some time to warm up.
With electrics, heat delivery can be nearly instant, with pre-heat if the veh is still plugged in prior to departure. I'm sure both the car industry & the component suppliers are way ahead of us on this.


Resistive heat or a heat pump? I like the heat pump because it's more efficient.

Tom Paine

My Volt has heated seats and steering wheel. Part of a $500 option. The only thing that is cold when I use them during our mild California winters are my feet. I wish they had an infrared led shining on them.


In all uses of energy the first step should be to reduce demand. When will cars start insulating better? Helps with bot heating and cooling. Line the doors, floor and roof with aerogel. High insulation and almost no weight.

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