Pierburg GmbH, Neuss, which belongs to first-tier auto-industry supplier Rheinmetall Automotive, has, with its first small-series contract, launched the marketing of a newly developed heater/cooler module for electric vehicles. Besides heating and cooling the passenger compartment, the module also performs the important function of controlling the temperature of the battery system on electrically powered vehicles.
The heat-pump function has delivered energy savings of up to 38 percent during road tests on vehicles fitted with conventional batteries. The module thus goes a long way toward extending the range of electric vehicles.
Pierburg will deliver a first small series of modules to the Dutch bus manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach, which belongs to the VDL Groep in Eindhoven, that employs a workforce of 16,000 in 19 countries and generates annual sales of €3.2 billion (2016).
VDL Bus & Coach will install the module in its minibus VDL MidCity Electric to be launched in 2018. The 8-meter vehicle is intended for zero-emission, low-noise passenger transport in city centers as well as for services in thinly populated regions.
The heat pumps ordered by VDL will be delivered before the end of the year. The units of the small series are being assembled at the Neckarsulm location.
Thanks to its improved energy efficiency, in conjunction with intelligent heat management, the heater/cooler module will contribute toward the vehicles' range extension with no compromise in comfort for driver or passengers. Previously, temperature control was effected via electric heating, however, at the expense of the operating range and hence resulted in shorter working cycles between recharging.
The compact module is moreover designed as a plug-and-play system with a wide variety of mounting options for relatively low integration costs and shorter installation times.