Last week, BMW announced it was working on developing an infrared heating system for its plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles. The heating system could save up to 30% of the batteries energy over conventional heating methods.
The infrared system would generate infrared radiation that warms the occupants body directly, rather than heating air and hoping to have that heat transfer to passengers. The effect is operational only one minute after the system is switched on. There is also no need for a noisy fan or air vents.
BMW estimates that when coupled with an on-board heat pump, infrared could cut cabin heating requirements in half and may extend cold-weather electric range by up to 30 percent.