Can an air conditioner extend your vehicle’s cruising range?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could drive long distances in EVs?
Heat-pump air conditioners bring this dream closer to reality.

The short cruising range of electric vehicles (EVs) has limited their popularity. But DENSO recently developed a solution that vastly extends their cruising range. This heat-pump air conditioner, the world's first for automobiles, was made possible by advanced DENSO heat-energy management technology.

Eco-friendly and people-friendly

Eco-friendly vehicles like EVs and hybrid vehicles (HVs) are great for the environment. But the comfort of passengers is important as well. Heat-pump air conditioners deliver both passenger comfort and eco-friendly performance without compromise.

Conventional heating consumes 50 percent of an EV's energy.

In the winter, vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel engines warm their interiors using heat from the engine. But EVs use electricity, leaving less power for the drive motor. In fact, over half of their stored electricity may be used to warm the cabin, resulting in very short cruising range.

A better way to heat car interiors

More heat. Less electricity.

Through exhaustive testing and analysis, DENSO determined that heat-pump air conditioners that are widely used in homes offer the most efficient available heating solution for EVs. Like highly efficient pumps, they draw heat from the surrounding environment (which contains nearly unlimited thermal energy) using minimal energy. 

How do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps use refrigerant — that absorbs heat when it vaporizes and releases heat when it condenses — to transport heat from a cooler place to a warmer place despite the fact that heat naturally flows from warmer to cooler places.

Extended cruising in comfort

When an EV's electric heater is replaced with a heat-pump air conditioner, its interior can be heated in winter using dramatically less electricity. So the EV can travel much further than before.

From left
Takuya Tanihata, Thermal System Development Engineer
Yoshinori Yanagimachi, Advanced Air–conditioning System Development Engineer

“We hope DENSO’s heat-pump air conditioner becomes the next-generation automotive standard."

An air conditioner for the real world

“When developing our heat-pump air conditioner, we first focused on achieving efficient heat control. Then we made sure it kept all passengers comfortable in a small glassed-in space influenced by weather extremes. And finally, we made sure the compressor ran quietly with minimal vibration to match the silent performance of EVs. Using our comprehensive expertise, we supplied the entire system (including control and adjustment features) to satisfy the requirements of our automotive customers. There are still issues to resolve, but within the next 10 years, we expect our heat-pump air conditioner to become the world standard.” 

We look forward to spreading more smiles

For the sake of the environment, vehicles of all types will be expected to lower emissions — as well as emit less heat. Heat-pump air conditioning emits less heat to the surroundings, making it ideal for fulfilling tomorrow's demands. As we spread heat-pump air conditioners far and wide, we'll be spreading a higher level of satisfaction.

Anticipating the needs of society with innovations full of potential

Automakers are working to improve the cruising range of EVs. DENSO’s ability to develop and mass produce a highly effective solution — the heat-pump air conditioner for automobiles—will help them reach their goals.
DENSO, the world's market leader in automotive air conditioning systems, is committed to using its vast experience to respond to society's needs and take on new challenges that create new value.