Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, but they still face some challenges. One issue that many electric car owners encounter is a drop in battery performance in cold weather. This is due to the fact that there is little waste heat in the electric drive train that can be used to heat the battery. As a result, the industry has developed complex heating and cooling systems for expensive electric cars, but less expensive models often lack this feature.
To address this problem, Hotmind, a company from Altwarmbüchen in Lower Saxony, has developed a device called the Ice-Breaker that can preheat electric car batteries externally. The Ice-Breaker is placed under the parked car and connected to a 230-volt socket. Half an hour of preconditioning is enough to warm up the battery.
The Ice-Breaker is not designed to bring the battery to its ideal working temperature, but rather to reduce the high wear and tear on the battery in the event of frost. The device can reduce temperature peaks and adapt its heating behavior to the vehicle using profiles stored in its database.
Hotmind has not yet released an app for the device, but it has an integrated timer and can be integrated into a WLAN. The device also has five memory slots for user profiles, and users can control the preheating temperature within certain limits.
The Ice-Breaker has been tested on an Opel Corsa-e and an Astra GSe with a plug-in hybrid drive, and it has proven to be effective in increasing the indicated range of both cars after a night at -2 °C. The device consumes a maximum of 2.3 kW and costs around 1.2 kWh of electricity to warm up the Corsa-e battery.
One drawback of the Ice-Breaker is its height, which is at least 13.5 cm. Hotmind should work on lowering the device’s height to appeal to more high-priced e-sports car drivers.
The Ice-Breaker is expected to be available for purchase in the third quarter of 2023, but Hotmind has not yet announced a price. However, the company has said that it will not be cheap and will likely cost at least 400 euros.