A heat pump uses the outside thermal energy to heat the vehicle. It utilizes the heat from the condenser to raise the cabin’s temperature and the electric car’s battery.
A reversible heat pump can be used both to heat up the battery or to cool it down.
Here are 8 affordable electric vehicles that have a heat pump
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1 Hyundai Kona
Manufactured in South Korea, the Hyundai Kona is a subcompact crossover B-segment vehicle.
The vehicle’s battery-electric version is known as Kona Electric or Kona EV. The starting price of the Hyundai Kona is $21,300.
The vehicle has everything, from a stylish interior to cutting-edge technology. It has a comfortable cargo and passenger space, but compared to its rivals, the space is a bit less.
The Kona has two powertrains, SE and SEL. Both come with 147-hp.
They also have a 4 cylinder six-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel-drive requires about 9.2 seconds before it reaches 60mph.
Although the seven-speed automatic dual-clutch lets the vehicle drive smoothly, it can stumble a little at low speed on a busy road, especially in bumper-to-bumper situations.
The Hyundai Kona Electric has heat pumps to keep the vehicle at the optimal temperature for driving.
According to a Korean Ministry of Environment study, where most electric vehicles failed to keep their range at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius, the Hyundai Kona kept its driving range up to 90% constant due to the heat pumps intact.
2 Kia Niro
The Kia Niro is a hybrid compact crossover that comes in three versions; hybrid, plug-in, and battery-electric.
The vehicle is one of its kind because it has essential driver-assisting technologies and convenience features, offers premium comfort to its passengers, and has an exceptional hybrid range.
The price of a Kia Niro starts from $24,690, depending on the vehicle’s make. The Niro’s heat pump is said to be the leading heat management innovation.
The heat pump addition is known to maximize the range on which this car travels without a need to stop at a recharging station.
Unlike other EVs, where heating the cabin often impacts the battery life and driving range, Kia Niro’s heating technology allows the driver to heat the cabin in extremely cold environments without any alteration to the vehicle’s driving range.
With a battery size of 39 kWh to 64 kWh, depending on the trim model, the Kia Niro is able to cover an average of 260 miles (180-282) with a combined average fuel economy of 50 Mpge.
3 Tesla Model Y
Although the Tesla models before the Model Y, like the Tesla Model S, had a resistive heating system, the Tesla Model Y was the first Tesla vehicle to have a heat pump.
The heat pump addition gave both the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y a better driving range than all of the other models without compromising battery performance and miles.
The starting price of the Tesla Model Y is around $65,990; it can go higher depending on the trim models.
The Long Range trim Model of the Tesla Model Y is known to cover 326 miles without a recharge. It has a 75 kWh battery that delivers a combined fuel economy of 122 Mpge.
Moreover, Tesla models are the most luxurious cars out there. The Model Y can carry about 7 passengers with its excessive spacing and comfort features.
4 Nissan Leaf
Being one of the first cars to have heat pumps, the Nissan Leaf has less power consumption than most conventional models because it does not require any electricity to heat the pump.
The heating system also doesn’t lead to any significant reduction in the vehicle’s driving range. That is because Nissan designed it as a two-way heating system.
During hotter seasons, the vehicle gathers all the heat from the cabin and expels it outside.
The Nissan Leaf is another affordable vehicle with a starting price of $37,400. The heat pumps maximize the vehicle’s driving range to 149 miles.
The Nissan Leaf has a 40 kWh battery that delivers a combined fuel economy of 99 Mpge. The Leaf’s range on a full charge used to be 73 miles, but it has increased gradually to a good 226 miles.
The increase in range was due to the minor improvements and a larger battery addition to the Nissan Leaf.
5 Chevrolet Bolt
Manufactured by General Motors, the Chevrolet Bolt is electric. The best thing about the vehicle is its everyday practicality. The vehicle has an incredible all-electric range of 230 miles.
The Bolt has an affordable price of around $26,000, with a heating system that heats up all the seats, including bringing the steering wheel to an optimum temperature in colder climates.
In addition, the Bolt has a 60 kWh battery that delivers a driving range of around 240 miles.
The vehicle has a combined EPA rating of 115 Mpge. Being the daily driver that the vehicle is, it has an impressive combined fuel economy and oversteps its rivals in this category.
The Chevrolet Bolt is loaded with features like an infotainment system, remote start, climate control, etc.
Although many people believe that a slight downside to the vehicle is its average appearance, which lets its competitors have the edge over it.
6 BMW i3
This BMW hatchback has rear-wheel drive, electric powertrain, an underfloor lithium-ion battery pack, and much more. The vehicle also offers the option of a range-extending petrol engine for user convenience.
The i3 doesn’t have a resistive heating system.
Rather, it has the option of installing more efficient heat pumps to keep the vehicle in optimal condition under all circumstances.
While the resistive heating system takes 5-10% off of the official range delivered by the vehicle, the option of adding additional heat pumps has no impact on the driving range of the i3 whatsoever.
The air-source heat pump takes half an hour on a fully charged battery before it starts drawing current again. The price of the BMW i3 is $44,450, which is great value with all the luxury, driving options, and advanced technology it offers.
The range delivered by the i3 is about 153 miles with its 42.2 kWh battery. The EPA rating of the BMW i3 is 177.7 Mpge.
7 Toyota Prius
The hybrid electric automobile, the Toyota Prius, has a hybrid drivetrain. It also includes an internal combustion engine that is combined with an electric motor.
The Toyota Prius is a user favorite for all the right reasons; it’s comfortable and efficient. The Prius is a highly practical vehicle utilized for everyday use all around the world.
The vehicle is capable of returning 50 plus Mpg and has all-wheel drive.
The first-generation Prius Electric can drive about 40 miles on the road. It has an 8.8 kWh battery that delivers a combined fuel economy of 58 Mpg.
The interior of the Toyota Prius has upgraded technical features like a push-button start, a 7-inch infotainment system, and a proximity keyless entry to the cabin.
The price of a Toyota Prius is $25,525.
The Prius also supports heat pumps that don’t cut down its range and offer a better driving experience in colder climates.
8 Audi E-Tron
The midsize luxury vehicle with an electric powertrain is the most popular Audi model on the market. Although the E-Tron is more expensive, with a high price of $86,900, than an equivalent diesel SUV, it still offers an outstanding driving experience.
The heat pumps installed in the Audi E-Tron prevent the battery from having any performance reductions by keeping the 95 kWh battery pack between the temperatures of 25°C to 35°C.
The rear-wheel-drive E-Tron offers a driving range of 520 kilometers, which is approximately 323.1 miles.
The Audi E-Tron is not only a luxurious vehicle, but it’s expected to earn a combined fuel economy of 78 Mpge.
Which Electric Cars Have Heat Pumps? (www.enrg.io)
Audi e-Tron Review (www.topgear.com)
Under The Skin: How Heat Pumps Improve Electric Cars (www.autocar.co.uk)