'Heatbelt' boost for

EV range

ZF heated seatbelt, 2023, thermal image
ZF heated seatbelt, 2023, taking thermal image
ZF heated seatbelt, 2023, webbing construction

AUTO component company ZF has developed a heated seatbelt option for electric vehicles - reducing the energy required to keep people warm and increasing vehicle range.

The German company says that in cold weather the system may increase range by up to 15 per cent by reducing the energy required to heat the interior of the vehicle.

The ZF heated seat belt is based on a special webbing with integrated heating conductors that minimally increase the thickness of the webbing.

This makes integration easier for vehicle manufacturers and offers occupants the same comfort as normal seat belt webbing.

The heated belt is designed to provide occupants with a uniform feeling of warmth close to the body.

With this integrated heating function, ZF's new heated seat belt can provide close-to-body warmth immediately after the driver starts driving.

In combination with heated seats, the heated seat belt has the potential to provide occupant comfort quickly.

In electric vehicles, the climate control system is powered by battery current, as there is no usable waste heat as with the combustion engine.

Reducing the amount of battery current used to heat the interior of the vehicle may enable a range gain of up to 15 per cent using contact heaters and reducing the usage of conventional climate control systems.

ZF uses a special textile processing method for the belt with the heating conductors woven into the structure. The contact elements for the electrical heating circuits are positioned in such a way that they do not interfere with belt operation or retraction.

The company says the heated seat belt is in no way inferior to its conventional counterparts in terms of occupant protection.

Occupant experience and safety potential are generally enhanced by reducing bulky clothing. This allows the belt to lie much closer to the body while continuing to restrain and protect the occupant in a crash.

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