Climate Control Load Reduction Strategies for Electric Drive Vehicles in Warm Weather
Passenger compartment climate control is one of the largest auxiliary loads on a vehicle. Like conventional vehicles, electric vehicles (EVs) require climate control to maintain occupant comfort and safety, but cabin heating and air conditioning have a negative impact on driving range for all-electric vehicles. Range reduction caused by climate control and other factors is a barrier to widespread adoption of EVs. Reducing the thermal loads on the climate control system will extend driving range, thereby reducing consumer range anxiety and increasing the market penetration of EVs. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have investigated strategies for vehicle climate control load reduction, with special attention toward EVs. Outdoor vehicle thermal testing was conducted on two 2012 Ford Focus Electric vehicles to evaluate thermal management strategies for warm weather, including solar load reduction and cabin pre-ventilation.