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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bit nippy this morning... what better time than to compare EV heating systems.

The way I understand it is:
- some cars have heat pumps which are efficient
- some cars have 'heat the car before I get in it' features

And that's about all I know.

What else do you know?
What's your experience of using such features?

Should we be telling people to get EVs because their car will pre-heat? Do any ICEs/Hybrids also do this sort of thing?
 

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The way I understand it is:
- some cars have heat pumps which are efficient
- some cars have 'heat the car before I get in it' features
The LEAF (our LEAF) has both. Love it.

Should we be telling people to get EVs because their car will pre-heat? Do any ICEs/Hybrids also do this sort of thing?
Yes. Any excuse. And yes, other ICE vehicles have had this type of feature for years, but it's surely off battery/a power supply.
 

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I don't have either. Just a cheapo heated seat cover plugged into the cigar lighter. Hardly ever use the heater – just keep the windows open and wipe the screen with a chammy leather.
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
Tesla Model 3 P
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Many, many moons ago I tried a preheat method on my first car. Camping Gaz light, decided it would be safer than a stove. It was lit about 15 minutes before I was due to leave and the car was nice and warm and windows all defrosted but was running with condensation on every window, went back to the cardboard under the wipers after that.
Ampera is good with the preheat and if it is on Auto then the heated seat will come on during the trip if the temperature in the car drops.
 

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My Berlingo ELectriques use a Webasto petrol 5kw unit and 7 ltrs of fuel will last about ten days of really cold weather over 40 miles /day. I used to love going to filling stations and saying fill it up, as it uses the std fuel filler. Then watching as they could get less than 7 ltrs in.
My Citroen C1 EVies use a Hot water unit running at pack voltage, but they are very unreliable and very costly to replace, and no longer available, so I now make a replacement kit for these where you remove the std hot water heater matrix in the car and slide in my PTC heater unit. Its only 2kw, but instant heat. ALthough its half the output of the water heater, its more effective and less power hungry. My Smart conversion has a similar system with a pointless too small PTC unit, that takes too long to heat the car even one as small as the Smart. I too have used the fan (PTC as they have no glowing element) heater in the worst of the weather before I have left home.
On the C1 an hour of the 4kw hot water unit uses about 5 to ten miles of range.
 

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My Berlingo ELectriques use a Webasto petrol 5kw unit and 7 ltrs of fuel will last about ten days of really cold weather over 40 miles /day. I used to love going to filling stations and saying fill it up, as it uses the std fuel filler. Then watching as they could get less than 7 ltrs in.
My Citroen C1 EVies use a Hot water unit running at pack voltage, but they are very unreliable and very costly to replace, and no longer available, so I now make a replacement kit for these where you remove the std hot water heater matrix in the car and slide in my PTC heater unit. Its only 2kw, but instant heat. ALthough its half the output of the water heater, its more effective and less power hungry. My Smart conversion has a similar system with a pointless too small PTC unit, that takes too long to heat the car even one as small as the Smart. I too have used the fan (PTC as they have no glowing element) heater in the worst of the weather before I have left home.
On the C1 an hour of the 4kw hot water unit uses about 5 to ten miles of range.
I do wonder if there is a better way than a resister pack for heating an EV .....
Liking the hot water bottle idea ;)
 

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As everyone at work was commenting about the first day to start with the screen scraping ritual, I made a point of describing my toasty warm cabin and ice free screen. People seemed more impressed with that then with my tales of awesome acceleration, microscopic fuel bills, and a full tank automagically every morning.

I've never heard of an ICE automatically heating. Surely it's not possible without running the engine unattended (generally not permitted) or draining the battery?
 

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i3 with Range Extender (EREV) Sept 2014
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Preheating for battery and cabin, best used when plugged in but can also use remote app if spare miles available.
 

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A lot of new ICE vehicles have PTC heating as well, so you dont need to leave the car running to defrost the screen. They give instant (well virtually) heat.
On the C1s and others with finite range, I advise to crack open the drivers window a cm (3/8" Imperial) and turn on the fan to a high speed, this keeps your damp breath off the screen and really does limit the misting up. But its no fun if its really cold, and it wont deal with frosty screens.
 

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I love the pre heat feature. I finished work at 6 this morning and set the car to be ready for 6, I had the only frost free car in the car park :)
 

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The LEAF (our LEAF) has both. Love it.
And the Renault ZOE too. I guess most new EVs will now have heat pumps and pre-heating.
 
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