GM Introduces New Energy-Saving Feature for EVs

DETROIT – General Motors Co. announced Monday that its introduced a feature standard in its Ultium-based electric vehicles that captures and repurposes waste energy from the battery.

Through the Ultium platform’s energy recovery system, recycled heat waste can increase a vehicle’s range, reduce battery energy needed for heating, increase charging speed and even enable sportier driving, the company said.

“Having a ground-up EV architecture gives us the freedom to build in standard features like Ultium’s energy recovery capabilities,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “This helps us squeeze more efficiency, performance and overall customer benefit out of our EVs.”

EV batteries, power electronics and other propulsion components produce heat. The Ultium platform recovers and stores this waste heat from its propulsion system. Further, it also captures and uses humidity from both inside and outside the vehicle, including body heat from passengers.

The Ultium platform then deploys energy stored through the recovery process to heat the cabin more quickly in cold weather compared with systems in vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Ultium’s energy recovery capabilities reduce the need to power heating and other functions from energy stored in the battery, which provides GM’s EVs with as much as 10% more range, potentially allowing more power and range than vehicles with similarly sized batteries without energy recovery capabilities. Ultium vehicles can also potentially charge more efficiently by warming up the batteries before charging, the company said.

Ultium’s energy recovery even enables GMC Hummer EV’s Watts to Freedom feature. Energy recovery pre-cools the propulsion system to help the all-electric supertruck accelerate from 0-60 mph in approximately 3 seconds.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.