Most modern electric vehicles lose some of their traction battery charge after prolonged exposure to frost. Manufacturers recommend leaving them plugged into an outlet in such conditions, but this is not always possible. The Rivian company has developed its own approach to heating traction batteries, which it tested in forty-degree frosts.
The success of the developers of the Rivian R1T pickup truck was reported by the Electrek resource, which studied the content of the video they published. Pre-production samples of the pickups were sent for testing at the border with Canada, where freezers are available at the test site, allowing vehicles to be tested at temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius.
Many automakers are trying to equip their electric vehicles and hybrids with additional electric battery heaters that either consume their own charge or are powered from an outlet. Rivian in such conditions also sacrifices part of the traction battery charge for its own heating, but does not use additional heaters. The company’s engineers managed to teach the electric motor and inverter to generate heat energy at a time when the machine is stationary. This heat is enough to maintain the temperature of the traction battery at 10 degrees Celsius below zero, even in severe frosts overboard.
Such a system not only reduces the number of electrical consumers compared to the option using heaters, but also reduces the weight of the vehicle. Rivian claims that an insignificant part of its charge is spent on heating the battery. It is much more important that the car, after a long stay in the cold, allows you to continue driving without significant losses in the range – in other electric vehicles, they can reach a third of the initial level.
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