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An Electric Heater/Defroster In A Car

Aptera on the front of Solar today is using an independent PV panel to drive a heat pump. I think using electric resistance heat will greatly diminish your range and heat pump/PV is going to add a lot of cost. When I was a kid, my first car..a VW bug had a gasoline heater under the hood. I know this was some kind of option because standard heat was supplied by an exhaust exchanger. So I don't know why they couldn't use this type of heater in an electric car, maybe fueled by ethanol/methanol or maybe soy oil. Maybe even a small boiler with radiant seat mats that couple in and a radiant ceiling. I'm sure insulation is going to get better in these vehicles. Maybe even something like Gauby salt will be used to store heat when recharging. These are the things where new fortunes can be made.


  • Tony Conner_2
    Tony Conner_2 Member Posts: 443
    An Electric Heater/Defroster In A Car

    I'm on the fringe of a discussion on another site, where the electric car has come up, and a discussion as to how much power you'd require for the heater. Has anybody here ever thought about this? Right away, I'm thinking LOADS of single pane glass. But then there's the heat from the occupants. There's also the moisture from breathing, melting snow as the cabin heats-up, etc. The spread we've got so far is 900 kWh vs 20,000 BTU/hr for a standard heater in a conventional water cooled fossil fuel engine.

  • The Chevrolet Corvair had a gasoline heater as an option.
    They were`great, if and when they worked.

    - Rod
  • Douglas Hicks
    Douglas Hicks Member Posts: 69

    I do not know if gasoline heaters are available, but deisel fired heaters are on the market, We installed one in my 2003 Sprinter and my2005 Sprinter had one installed at the factory Try Ebar.com
  • What BTU

    is the one in your Sprinter and how well does it work?

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,793
    and the AC

    My Civic hybrid shut off the engine whenever you pull to a stop. I'm not sure how the ac continues when the engine quits. I'm about to find out.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Howard_8
    Howard_8 Member Posts: 3

    Toyota hybrids have an electrically driven AC compressor, so you may have one also.
  • Mike Thomas_2
    Mike Thomas_2 Member Posts: 109

    Espar, a German company makes both gas and diesel fired heaters. About the size of a a loaf of bread. I installed one in my semi-tractor. It uses .03 gallon per hour of diesel, and will literally run you out of the sleeper, no matter how cold it is outside. Very simple to install, has it's own pump, works flawlessly....
  • That works out to

    4200 BTU input per hour and you say that is on a semi! I would imagine a small car is even less. I could see a small on board container like a windshield washer bottle to hold a gallon of bio diesel for heat in areas that need it.
This discussion has been closed.