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EV Range Too Short? New Heat Pump Improves Heating & Cooling Energy Consumption

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Although the range problem for electric vehicles has somehow been resolved, what do you with the heating issue? As you may know, if some of that needed electricity goes to the driver cabin in the form of heat, the vehicle’s range drops by 40%…Not very inviting, is it?

However, as always, every problem has its solution. This time, this solution is about to come from engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), in Richland, Washington. With their $803,000 grant they’ve won from the U.S. Department of Energy, the team set about to build a new 5-pound molecular heat pump.

The component, no bigger than a 2-liter bottle, consists of an “electrical metal organic framework”, a light and compact nanomaterial reacting to applied electricity.

The heat pumps would take care of both heating and cooling and should make the car go quite a distance before recharging. On top of that, the maintenance costs of the car are said to decrease by a third, although temperatures and driving conditions may make that figure vary.

This improvement, as well as the tax credit of up to $10,000 next year that President Obama wants to set in place, is expected to make buyers look twice at the car dealerships’ EV stands.

However, this tax credit increase from $7,500 has been scorned by some Republicans, who referred to it as an incentive for the rich and assured there is too little demand for EVs that would justify it, especially with the dire federal debt. It remains to be seen if this new heat pump is going to make any difference in the EV sales, but the government money would come in handy anyways…

[via SeattleTimes]

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