Radiant heat, a new Lexus invention to improve comfort without reducing the RZ’s range

If you’re into automotive content, you’ll have read or heard that cold is certainly the number one enemy of electric cars, even more so than intense heat (if not extreme). Even if you don’t know the exact reasons, you will know that your mobile phone consumes more battery and slows down when the temperature drops. Now we will see why.

Another phenomenon you may notice is that cocoa powder dissolves more easily when the milk is hot than cold. Here’s the solution to the puzzle: Most chemical reactions speed up the more we increase the temperature (up to the limit). A battery, which is basically a chemical reactor, where a change in the chemical state of its components produces an electrical charge, and vice versa, undergoes a change internally when we charge it with electricity; And because chemical reactions have an ideal temperature to take place, extreme cold will degrade batteries, as will excessive heat.

Energy accumulators have an optimal operating range, which is usually between 20 and 40 degrees Celsius. Beyond this limit, the charging of the electric car and its autonomy will be significantly affected. Especially in winter, the behavior of batteries deteriorates due to low temperatures.

In addition, in cold weather we use more of the electrical systems of our cars, such as rear window heating, windshield wipers and, of course, heating, which also leads to a loss of autonomy. . Heating in an electric car, in addition to heating the passenger compartment, has to keep the batteries at operating temperature, which wastes a lot of energy and once again compromises the car’s range. The latter is the reason why more and more electric models incorporate heat pumps.

This lengthy explanation serves as context for understanding the latest advancements that Lexus has just unveiled, ready for the launch of its RZ model. The first electric model with a battery of the Japanese brand, which uses a special platform for electric vehicles, will also be the first to install a new type of radiant heat heating, which promises to increase the functionality and comfort of its users, especially both. front seats.

Unlike traditional convection heating systems that heat the air, the RZ 450e has two panels at the front of the cabin that use infrared radiation to heat only solid objects around it. Thus, the driver and front passenger heat up faster than with a conventional air conditioner.

In addition, this technology consumes approximately 8% less energy, directs heat only where it is needed, reduces the load on the climate control system and helps to maximize the range of the vehicle.

The feeling of a blanket on the legs

In keeping with its brand principles, Lexus links this innovation to the Japanese spirit of hospitality, Omotenashi. Hospitality in this case is understood as offering the RZ’s front seat passengers a comfortable feeling, especially on very cold days, like putting a blanket over their feet.

This is achieved by hiding two radiant heaters at knee level, in the lower part of the dashboard and in the steering column. If the driver or passenger physically touches the panel, the temperature of the panel is automatically reduced to 43 degrees to prevent burning.

Of course, such heating complements the work of conventional climate control in the passenger compartment, the use of which can logically be limited to the generation of radiant heat, and also adds heating of the seats and the steering wheel.

The system is integrated into the Lexus Climate Assistant, a multi-zone climate control system that automatically adjusts the heating of the passenger compartment, seats and steering wheel, as well as the air conditioning, to ensure optimal thermal comfort for all passengers.

Toyota Group’s luxury brand has announced that radiant heating will be offered as an option on the RZ 450e Executive version and will be part of the standard equipment for the Luxury version.

Source: El Diario

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