General Motors has unveiled a new technology to further enhance its new Ultium batteries, its being called Ultium Energy Recovery (UER). It will enable upcoming cars from the GM brands such as the electric Hummer SUV to have increased range, charging speed, and acceleration.
A product of 11 patents, Ultium Energy Recovery system traces its origins in the first electric car that GM ever produced, the EV1 back in the late 90’s. Essentially UER utilizes to a heat pump to capture energy from the battery and even body heat from passengers that may otherwise be wasted. Additionally, it also captures and uses humidity from both inside and outside the car,
To increase range, UER takes heat captured and redirects it to the cabin. This method reduces the need to power heating and other functions from energy stored in the battery. As a result, GM says that its vehicles will get 10 percent more range than similar sized batteries on cars without a UER-like system. General Motors elaborates that drivers will mostly notice this added range in cold weather conditions.
UER also enables a Watts to Freedom feature. The function cools the propulsion system in advance to prepare a vehicle for fast acceleration. This is the feature that enables the heavy boxy Hummer to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 3 seconds.
Finally, Ultium vehicles can “potentially charge more efficiently by warming up the batteries before charging”. This let’s the batteries charge at faster speeds than the completion.
“Having a ground-up EV architecture gives us the freedom to build in standard features like Ultium’s energy recovery capabilities. This helps us squeeze more efficiency, performance and overall customer benefit out of our EVs.” said GM executive Vice President for Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain Doug Parks.