ZF has developed a heated seatbelt that will reduce the reliance of electric vehicles on heater systems that reduce range.
Although heated seats and steering wheels make the colder months bearable, you might soon experience additional warmth from another source in your vehicle: the safety belt. The problem? It will be more prevalent in electric vehicles.
A heated seatbelt for electric vehicles has been developed by ZF, a German company known for producing excellent automatic gearboxes. The idea is that heating a large cabin with a lot of hot air coming out of some vents is more efficient than having a heat source so close to the body.
The car's heated matrix won't need to produce as much heat if the heated seats and toasty belts from ZF are used. This is especially important for an electric vehicle (EV), which cannot utilize otherwise wasted combustion engine heat. ZF claims that this new technology could increase an EV's range by up to 15% because energy must instead be drawn from the battery.
So, it will make your car go further, save you money, and make driving in the winter less painful because you will warm up much faster. ZF believes that there is a safety advantage as an added bonus. It asserts that passengers are less likely to want to wear bulky, warm clothing, allowing the belt to sit closer to the body and perform its function more effectively in the event of an emergency.
According to ZF, the concept is implemented through "special webbing with integrated heating conductors." Although the belt is slightly thicker, it shouldn't feel significantly different. 36-40 degrees of heat is provided as soon as the driver sets off.
We can see that the technology appears to be working properly, but no manufacturers have expressed interest in adopting it.