Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for an integrated heat pump system, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on September 20th, 2019, published on September 27th, 2022, and assigned serial number 11453267.
The Ford Authority Take
Ford has filed a host of EV-related patents in recent months as it continues to invest heavily in that area, including one for a roof-mounted HVAC system and another for a vapor injection heat pump system. This new Ford patent continues that trend by introducing an idea for an integrated heat pump, which aims to address concerns regarding a substantial loss of range that EVs generally suffer in cold temperatures.
This particular Ford patent presents an idea for an integrated heat pump that consists of a refrigerant module, a manifold with two plates, and auxiliary modules, which is designed to direct the flow of refrigerant through the system. While traditional ICE vehicles can use their engines to generate heat, EVs obviously don’t have this benefit. As such, electric vehicles can lose as much as 40 percent of their range while the heater is running in cold temperatures. Heat pumps mitigate this problem by functioning somewhat like a refrigerator compressor – as in, these units move heat from one place to another, almost like a reverse air conditioner.
No current Blue Oval EV – including the Ford E-Transit, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Ford F-150 Lightning – comes with a heat pump, though the automaker has been exploring this idea for a few years now. This new patent tweaks the older design somewhat with a more integrated setup, which would presumably make it a bit more efficient. It’s also quite a bit simpler than the Mach-E’s current thermal system design, which could wind up making it more reliable in that case, too.