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Nikkei: Daikin has developed new refrigerant for EVs that can boost range up to 50%

According to a report in Nikkei Asia, Daikin Industries, Japan’s top air conditioner maker, has developed a refrigerant for electric vehicles that can extend their range by up to 50%. The company plans to commercialize the product by 2025, the report said.

Daikin’s new refrigerant supposedly has a boiling point of about minus 40 °C, 10 to 15 degrees lower than the conventional product. That reduces the power required for compression.

Daikin believes that in an EV with the air conditioner running and operating in an urban area of Japan, a car with a range of 200 km on a full charge could travel an additional 100 km with the new refrigerant, according to the report.

The company has already developed the product, and U.S. industry group SAE International will verify its performance and safety under operating conditions.

Daikin—the world’s largest air conditioner manufacturer by sales and the leading producer of refrigerant—is not currently in the automotive market. The company has decided to enter the market with its new technology, anticipating that the supply chain will change dramatically with the shift to EVs.

Comments

sd

50 % increase in range??? This makes no sense! Air conditioning does not use 50 % of available power unless you spend most of the time stopped in traffic.

gryf

A car with a range of 200 km on a full charge could travel an additional 100 km with the new refrigerant, according to the report.
Not 50% of available power, more like 33%. Car and Driver tested a Tesla Model 3 loses about 35% of range by turning on the HVAC. Reference: "How Much Does Climate Control Affect EV Range?" https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a31739529/how-much-does-climate-control-affect-ev-range/.

gryf

Double checking Car and Driver numbers: range change is 35% - 173 miles vs 234 miles. So 50% would be 156 mile range, so maybe Tokyo traffic is part of the equation.

Lad

Efficient heat pumps are fast becoming the product of choice for conditioning the air in not only autos but also homes.
Elon Musk recently signaled his interest in home HVAC systems and don't be surprised if Tesla enters the business; perhaps with a geothermal heat pump.

gryf

@Lad,
Good point about heat pumps. The Car and Driver article points out that their Tesla Model 3 did not have a heat pump. The Tesla Model Y has a special "octovalve heat pump" that gives a 10% improvement in efficiency. Given that Winter/Summer conditions do reduce EV range around 30%, then one of the big issues for EVs may be eliminated with heat pumps and Daikin’s new refrigerant.

sd

I have a Chevy Bolt. It has been over 100 deg F the past few days in Salt Lake City, Utah and I am definitely running the AC. I just checked the readings since I last had it fully charged 257 miles ago. Climate settings used 10 % of the power consumed. The total breakdown of mileage effects were +25.9 miles for technique, -1.5 miles for terrain, -24.5 miles for climate settings, +10.2 for outside temp for a net of +10 miles. Concerning the technique, I am definitely not hyper-miling. All I do is mostly use the 1 pedal technique for braking so I try not to use the hydraulic brakes. Most of my daily commute is on the interstate and I am almost always driving between 70 and 80 mph. The EPA rating for my car is 3.97 miles/kWhr but my current mileage is 4.25 miles/kWhr.

So I do not know how Car & Driver got their numbers but my real range effects are as stated above.

gryf

@sd
Thanks for the input. My 8 year old Nissan Leaf will need to be exchanged soon, so appreciate your info. One question: the Bolt EV blogs mention that using recirculate keeps that range deficit low. Do you use that setting?
Otherwise, it is important to dispel any concerns one has on climate impact on EV. Highway range is the other and the VW group use of multi-speed transmissions seems to be the answer.

sd

@gyrf

Yes, I am using the recirculate setting.

I do not think that a multi-speed transmission is needed unless the 92 mph max speed of the Bolt is insufficient for your needs.

gryf

I was thinking about efficiency, not top speed. The Porsche Taycan two-speed transmission makes the highway range as good as the more efficient Tesla. Bottom line: EV do not have any real issues anymore unless you think you need more than 250 miles more range (which until the 21st century was adequate for all cars).
BTW the Chevy Bolt is an outstanding value and finally selling well. GM just needs to start making all of their vehicles EV (soon I think). Definitely on my short list.

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