Germany / USA – ZF Friedrichshafen AG of Friedrichshafen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA between 5-8 January and showcased a number of products, including its ‘ProAI’ computer and a heated seat belt.
The ‘Heat Belt’ is designed to provide close-to-body warmth between 36 and 40 degrees Celsius while using just 70 watts of energy. By warming the driver and passengers directly, instead of expelling warm air from the heater into the vehicle interior, ZF believes the Heat Belt could provide an economical alternative to conventional heating. The company argues that the Heat Belt would be of especial interest to electric vehicle makers and operators: EV users cannot avail themselves of the waste heat generated by internal combustion engines, and EV climate control systems must be powered entirely by the battery. A more efficient and economical means of heating the interior could provide gains in vehicle performance and range; ZF claims that reducing the consumption of energy by the climate control system in this way could increase the range by 15%.