Tesla heat pump in detail, increases the range of electric vehicles in winter

Tesla last week outlined some of the details that characterize its heat pump system, which is now featured across its vehicle lineup

The electric vehicle maker claims its design performs well in very cold weather where other heat pumps fail

Depending on the exact situation, Tesla claims its cars with the heat pump system could use just a quarter of the energy than without to keep the cabin warm. Overall, this can result in up to 20% less energy use when driving in cold weather, Tesla says — although it’s unclear if this relates specifically to in-cabin energy use.

Tesla is far from the only automaker finding relief in heat pumps EV range loss in cold weather. It resisted technology years ago

Prior to the heat pump, Tesla had a strategy of using waste heat from the engine and power electronics to warm the battery and claimed to increase range in cold weather without the added complexity of a heat pump. But the company changed its mind with the heat pump, which made its debut in the Model Y

Tesla heat pump

Tesla heat pump

Tesla heat pump

Tesla heat pump

Tesla heat pump

Tesla heat pump

The answer seems to be that it found a way to make addition less complex. It designed what they called a Super Manifold, which brings together all the refrigerant passages and coolant passages that could otherwise be separate components. As explained in this video, Tesla has integrated the heat pump with an “octovalve” that rotates to a different position depending on the operating mode, rather than redesigning the coolant loop.


How heat pumps work

The Tesla video points out that heat pumps are a bit like building air conditioners, moving heat from a cooler environment (inside) to a warmer environment (outside), only the opposite

Unlike internal combustion engine vehicles, electric vehicles do not have an engine that emits waste heat that can be used to heat the interior. Resistance heating, such as that used for space heaters, toasters or hair dryers, takes a lot of energy out of the range

Heat pumps move heat rather than create it, and the physics can sound almost magical: A carefully chosen gas — a refrigerant — extracts heat from its surroundings when it’s compressed into a gas, and then releases heat when it condenses back into one liquid

Tesla Model S Plaid heat and heat pump

Tesla Model S Plaid heat and heat pump

Heat pumps are one of the keys to reduction EV range loss in cold weather because of this energy calculation. On an energy-in-energy-out basis, according to Bosch, one of the manufacturers of heat pumps, a heat pump with an output of 1 kW produces a heat equivalent of 2 to 3 kW. Mahle, another supplier, says its heat pump can recover 20% of the cold-weather zone loss.

There are some caveats to this. Heat pumps come with many additional costs and complexities; they can create noise that interrupts the silent EV experience; and they often don’t provide the quick results that resistive heating does. So owners may only see the payoff in efficiency on longer road trips – when they help increase range and make it easier to reach the next charger without sacrificing cabin comfort

Necessary part to avoid winter doldrums

Businesses are increasingly coming to the conclusion that the trade-offs are worth it. General Motors, for example, has emphasized that the real benefit is behind why they chose to include it Heat pumps in all upcoming GM EVs.O

There are new ways to configure the system, especially for cold weather wins. Rivian is there Redesigning its thermal system to integrate a heat pump, and lately Heat pump for Hyundai and Kia modelsHeat dissipated from a number of drive components helps turn the liquid refrigerant back into a gas, reducing its stress and increasing energy efficiency

Systems that have a heat pump combine it with a resistance heater to quickly mist/defrost the windshield and quickly heat the cabin when needed, then hand the baton over to the heat pump when it can. As the wiring diagram for the system in the Toyota Prius Prime points out, they can get very complex.

Toyota Prius Prime heat pump

Toyota Prius Prime heat pump

This isn’t the first sighting of Tesla’s heat pump design. In 2020, Munro & Associates manufacturing expert Sandy Munro, known for his teardown insights, released a video about the new component.O

Tesla’s own design wasn’t entirely flawless either. The company needs to fix an issue with an improperly working heat pump valve that is causing the system to become depleted of refrigerant and possibly fogging up the windows. This Recall for Tesla heat pump Campaign affecting nearly 27,000 2020-2022 model year vehicles has been addressed with an over-the-air update


Hey, I am Sakib Hossain Sojib, an entrepreneur known as an SEO Specialist, Digital Marketer, Blogger, and Content Creator. I have a team of researchers who guide and review products for our audience to help them by providing valuable information to help our audience makes the best decisions for their needs. I love to take care of my cars. So, I like and enjoy car maintenance and automotive research. The provided content is based on my learning, research, and understanding of the topic and its concept. Our extensive experience in the industry allows us to offer unique insights and perspectives on the latest trends and products. We aim to educate and empower our readers by providing them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their needs.

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker

Refresh Page