Fresh thinking: Jaguar's Air Blanket and Air Bubble explained

Published: 23 August 2016

► Jaguar Land Rover overhauls climate control
Air Blanket and Air Bubble systems cut energy consumption
► Why this new tech could improve existing HVAC systems

What’s so wrong with my car’s climate control?

Cooling the air in a car is hugely energy-inefficient, and traditionally, the heat coming through the vents made use of the engine’s waste product. But as electric propulsion takes over, that heat has to be produced by other means.

So what’s JLR’s answer?

It’s a twofold solution: Air Bubble maintains a bubble of warm air in the cabin rather than constantly drawing in fresh air and bringing it up to temperature, and Warm Air Blanket creates a specific climate for each occupant by heating surrounding surfaces (seats, sun visors, door tops, transmission tunnel sides). If you’re driving alone energy isn’t wasted heating unused areas.

How will it keep the air fresh?

A boot filter removes CO2, moisture and particulates.

What’s the efficiency gain?

JLR says it helps claw back some of the 20% of efficiency lost using trad air-con on an internal combustion engine, but the savings are greater with hybrid and electric cars. A normal HVAC system draws 8-10kW from a battery, enough to slash EV range by 40%, so smart climate systems could transform zero-emissions usability. For now though, it’s all at the concept stage.

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By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker