Cadillac and its parent company, General Motors, recently revealed more information regarding the technology behind the Ultium electric vehicle propulsion system. The interesting piece of tech revealed today involve heat pumps, which are and will be used in Ultium-powered electric vehicles.
The purpose of the specialized energy recovery system (in simpler terms, heat pump) for Ultium vehicles is to capture and repurpose waste energy from the vehicle’s battery. Cadillac refers to the heat pump as an energy recovery system, and its purpose is to utilize waste energy to reduce the vehicle’s reliance on the battery when providing heat to passengers, thereby increasing an electric vehicle’s range. The heat pump captures heat produced by the Ultium battery, and repurposes humidity and heat from both the vehicle’s interior and exterior as well as heat emanated from passengers.
Reusing heat captured by the Ultium energy recovery system helps to reduce battery strain that would otherwise be necessary to maintain high ambient temperatures within the electric vehicle’s cabin. According to Cadillac estimates, this can increase the vehicle’s driving range by as much as 10 percent, adding more power and range to Ultium vehicles compared to other electric vehicles with similarly sized batteries that lack energy recovery systems. The luxury marque also states that the energy recovery or heat pump system is capable of increasing charging efficiency by warming up the vehicle’s Ultium battery prior to charging.
Cadillac and GM say that the heat pump will be implemented on all current and upcoming electric vehicles powered by the Ultium system. That includes the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, which rides on the new BEV3 platform is powered by Ultium batteries. The Lyriq Debut Edition features a 100.4 kWh lithium-ion Ultium battery pack and a single Ultium Drive motor mounted on the rear axle. The electric driveline is rated at 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, and Cadillac estimates the Lyriq will have 300 miles of driving range on a full charge.