GM unveils Ultium Energy Recovery, enhancing range with a patented heat pump


Today GM has officially unveiled a new tidbit about its Ultium EV platform. EVs that are using the Ultium platform, such as the Hummer EV, the Chevrolet Silverado EV, or the Cadillac Lyriq, can benefit from increased range through Ultium Energy Recovery (UER), a system that uses a patented heat pump. This is covered by 11 patents and four publications, and UER traces its inception back to GM’s first EV, the EV1, in the late 90s. UER is available on all current and future Ultium vehicles as standard.

It can provide 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”. Through its use of a heat pump, UER reduces the need to power heating and other functions from energy stored in the battery, and that’s where the increased range estimate comes from.

UER also enables the Hummer EV’s Watts to Freedom feature. UER precools the propulsion system to help the truck accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 3 seconds.

Not just that, but Ultium vehicles can “potentially charge more efficiently by warming up the batteries before charging”.

This system recovers and stores waste heat from the Ultium propulsion system, but also captures and uses humidity from both inside and outside the vehicle, including body heat from passengers. It then deploys energy stored through the recovery process to heat the cabin more quickly in cold weather than “comparable systems found in vehicles with an internal combustion engine”.


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