Hybrid and Electric Vehicles have a heat deficit due to frequent operation of the engine in high efficiency regions or during pure electric driving where the engine as a heat source is not available. Especially for the conditioning of the cabin, additional heat sources are necessary to ensure comfort & safety. In order to maximize the electric driving range, and improve fuel efficiency, it is important to combine a fast, efficient and safe generation of heat, with a minimum drain from the traction battery. Webasto went about this challenge and developed the new High Voltage Heater (HVH) based on a new and patented heat layer technology. This paper explains the design concept and results of the novel clean sheet research and development approach taken to achieve the project goals.