IS THERE really anything much wrong with heated and cooled seats?
Elon Musk clearly thinks so because if US patent number 20190291613, registered on Spetember 29th, is anything to go by, Tesla is about to reinvent the whole technology.
Traditional heated seats use a series of resistors where, when the current is increased, the temperature rises.
Heating elements in the cushion and the squab of the seat can thus be adjusted for temperature. Cooled seats use a series of fans to blow cold air through the seating material.
The faster the fan spins, the greater the cooling effect. Moving parts tend to be anathema to EV manufacturers, so having already had an idea of how to reinvent the windscreen wiper, Tesla has now come up with a smarter way to heat and cool seats.
The patent details a system whereby multiple layers within the seat distribute what we should imagine to be a gel that is heated and cooled by electrical conduction and the AC coolant respectively.
Not only would there exist the possibility that the seats could be heated and cooled more evenly than is currently the case, but the removal of fans from the interior of an EV would also improve interior refinement.
And yes, in case you were wondering, Tesla is also planning to make the system leakproof so that a set of keys in your pocket won’t leave you sitting in a pool of warm goo.