Thermal Systems in Light Vehicle Seats and Surfaces

Thermal Systems in Light Vehicle Seats and Surfaces

Publication Date: 01-Feb-2017


This report is available now to Thermal Service subscribers

Thermal management is critical for maintaining cabin comfort in all conditions. Environmental concerns, emissions compliance, and greater penetration of hybrid and electric vehicles are driving increased value-added opportunities in this sector as well as difficult material and architecture-selection decisions.

The IHS Automotive Thermal Service provides insight, context, data, and analytics for key technologies that are reshaping the thermal sector. Users can quickly access key insights from market developments, put context around events and technological trends, dive into deep data and forecasts, and seamlessly drive analytics to support their most challenging decisions.

About this report

Thermal systems in seating and other car surfaces is increasingly becoming a function of comfort in a car, albeit majorly in high-end, luxury segment. In fact, companies such as Hyundai have understood that they can benefit from the North American market’s preference for such features, by including heated and ventilated seats in their cars. Heated car seats, for example, have become standard on the Hyundai Elantra in Canada, even on the base L trim.

Such comfort features have also started trickling down to lower segment cars. For instance, the 2017 Ford Fiesta subcompact available in hatchback and sedan body styles, offers heated front seats as an option in the SE trim. General Motors’ most affordable model, Sonic, comes with heated seats in the LT trim.

In fact, seat thermal systems are not just being used for comfort, but also to improve technological efficiency within the car. For instance, a new concept of TED application, via conduction rather than forced air in seat heaters, reduces the impact of climate control on other vehicle functions. Thermoelectrically cooled driver seats have been found to reduce A/C energy usage by up to 43.5% when tested alone, and up to 65% as part of a combined cooling configuration, according to the US Department of Energy. Zonal heating, with a driver-focused vent configuration and heated seat offer roughly 32% energy savings and two-minute faster driver warm-up compared to the baseline.


Research scope & definitions    

Questions the report will answer             

Research methodology                

List of acronyms              


Product Definition          

Key Findings      


Market Drivers


Market Fitment Analysis

Global Seat Thermal Systems Demand  

Regional Seat Thermal Systems Demand              

Supplier Structure          

Production trends


Technology Analysis




Seat Thermal-ECU Integration   

Thermal systems in car surfaces

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