Mini E cars equipped with a new generation of electric cabin heaters from BorgWarner Beru Systems are currently being tested in rental vehicles in the US, the UK and Germany, among other countries.

The system has been developed - in cooperation with BMW - because, unlike diesel-or petrol-powered vehicles, electric cars generate virtually no waste heat and the battery does not radiate enough heat to warm the interior or defrost the windscreen.

Installed in the air conditioning system and connected to the vehicle's 400 volt electrical system, the EV cabin heater develops 3kW to defrost the windscreen.

Engineers designed the high-voltage connection, used new ceramic components and completed testing in nine months. The new heater can be adapted to all-electric and hybrid vehicles with various electrical system voltages.

BorgWarner Beru Systems also supplies diesel cold start and petrol engine ignition systems .