Korean automotive OEM Hanon Systems reports that it has produced more than 500,000 CO2 (R744) electronic compressors (eCompressors) for electric vehicle (EV) heat pumps at its factory in Palmela, Portugal.

In the press release, Hanon said the Palmela factory has been producing eCompressors since 2009. The facility, located just south of Lisbon, was expanded in 2018 to accommodate increased production of eCompressors, with high-volume production beginning in 2019.

The company noted that “certain automakers, primarily in Europe,” prefer R744 heat pumps for the “improved” heating performance.

“Hanon Systems has a long history bringing to market industry-leading automotive thermal solutions,” said Nurdal Kücükkaya, President and Co-CEO of Hanon Systems. “We take great pride serving as a trusted supplier and to be among the first to introduce a portfolio of R744 thermal solutions for electrified vehicles, which supports our company’s commitment to create a clean energy future.”

In December of 2020, Hanon announced it had begun supplying the Volkswagen Group with R744 heat pump components for use in vehicles on its MEB platform. R744.com has contacted Hanon Systems about which other automobile manufacturers use the company’s CO2 eCompressors.

Since 2020, the MEB platform has underpinned the electric vehicles manufactured by the Volkswagen Group, which includes the Volkswagen ID models, the Audi Q4 e-tron and CUPRA Born. In addition to electronic compressors, Hanon said it was supplying refrigerant valves, internal heat exchangers and accumulators.

“The power requirement for heating the interior [of an EV] at exterior temperatures of less than 0°C [32°F] is up to 40% less than in a vehicle without an energy-efficient heat pump,” says Volkswagen on its website. “The reduced power requirement also reduces power consumption and thus increases battery capacity, which has a positive effect on the vehicle range.”

Under the hood

In cars with internal combustion engines, heating is provided by waste heat captured from the engine and cooling comes via an air-conditioning compressor driven by a belt attached to the engine. EVs typically do not produce enough waste heat to provide cabin heating and lack engines to power belt-driven compressors, which means they require different components for heating and cooling.

According to Hanon Systems, its eCompressor is controlled by an on-board electric motor and integrated power electronics, which power a scroll compressor. The compressor operates independently of the vehicle, enabling it to provide cabin cooling even when the engine is off. In addition to EVs, Hanon says its eCompressor can also be used in hybrid vehicles.

Hanon Systems’ R744 heat pump was shortlisted for the Innovation of the Year Award in the heat pump category at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) Europe Summit 2023. ATMOsphere is the publisher of R744.com.

“We take great pride serving as a trusted supplier and to be among the first to introduce a portfolio of R744 thermal solutions for electrified vehicles.”

Nurdal Kücükkaya, President and Co-CEO of Hanon Systems