Heated interior panels are coming to your next luxury car. Prepare to be made comfy.
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI) has developed interior panels like armrests and console covers that are heated. The new heating foil design was developed with an eye towards easy, cost-effective door panel integration by automakers. The company says that the heating technology is energy efficient. Like heated seats and steering wheels, the panels put the heat where the driver feels it. That means the driver is more comfortable faster.
Heated seats have become a widespread option in mainstream cars, and no self-respecting luxury car maker would ever omit them. Although first introduced as a luxury item they became much more popular in European diesel vehicles that took longer to warm up. EVs use them because heating the seats is less energy intensive than blowing warmed air.
Han Hendriks, vice president Advanced Product Development & Sales at Yanfeng Automotive Interiors commented on the new offering, saying, “Our vision with this product was to offer increased comfort during the winter months. We also are responding to increased demand for new kinds of comfort solutions in the vehicle.” In addition to heated panels, automakers are also experimenting with new materials for panel trims including stone veneers.
Look for the new panels to appear first on luxury electric vehicles and then to trickle down through the premium car ranks over time.