Home » Electric Cars Lose Lots Of Range In The Winter. Here Are Two Silly Solutions Involving A Special Suit And A Partition

Electric Cars Lose Lots Of Range In The Winter. Here Are Two Silly Solutions Involving A Special Suit And A Partition

Topshot 101a
ADVERTISEMENT

“OH MY G-G-G-GOD” shivers you friend as he walks in the door, lips blue and icicles hanging down from his nose. He looks sort of like Jack Nicholson’s character at the end of The Shining. I mean, it’s winter in Minnesota, but he just got out of a car and walked in from a parking garage (or “ramp” as they say in the Land of Prince). There is no logical reason why your colleague should be this close to hypothermia in civilized suburbia, until you remember one important detail: he drives an EV and he hates charging his car.

If you don’t own an EV you might be unaware of the biggest enemy of these eco-friendly machines: the cold. Sub freezing temperatures will reduce your range significantly, and aside from battery warmup, what will drive your mileage off of a cliff is running the cabin heater (or, to a lesser extent, the air conditioning). Internal combustion engines have a lot of disadvantages; they actually send tremendous amounts of heat energy out the exhaust pipe and into the engine block/coolant, but at least that warmth eventually transfers through the vehicle, and the heated fluid of the cooling system can be used for free to keep driver and passengers warm in winter, requiring only a low-current-draw squirrel-cage fan to help push that heat into the cabin.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom
Compositor (1)
Tesla (cars)

Tests have shown that running the heater in an EV can reduce range as significantly as 41 percent (based on a 2019 study, so things have hopefully gotten slightly better since then). What’s worse is that many of the range calculators in these cars don’t always that into account, which is the reason why you might have had to pick up your friend recently at some random parking lot while he waited for a flatbed to take his 4,000 pound paper weight to a charging station. “I REALLY thought I could make it home” he said, wondering why AAA couldn’t just put in a gallon of electricity. Heat is also a factor in cutting your range down, even if it isn’t as drastic; air conditioning is better in terms of power draw, but the aforementioned tests found that A/C can still take around 17 percent off of your range.

Tesla apparently recommends using the seat heaters as much as possible instead of the electric heating-elements-and-blower cabin system to preserve range, basically telling you to tough it. Tesla and others offer a heat pump, which warms the cabin much more efficiently than, say, a PTC thermal-element-style heater:

ADVERTISEMENT

 

David Tracy was discussing this idea on Slack the other day, trying to use the brilliance of the Autopian hive mind to find an answer. Obviously, the REAL answer is more EVs with heat pumps and also more with enough capacity to give you range AND heat (or air conditioning) simultaneously, but we know it could be years away before that’s affordable. Besides, even when these things are capable of 1000 miles of range, the climate control will cut that distance down regardless.

An answer — albeit admittedly a slightly absurd one — for now seems to be reducing the amount of space required to heat or cool, because let’s face it: Most of the time cars do nothing but transport the driver and maybe a front passenger. The tighter the enclosed space, the easier it is to maintain a desired temperature. I’ve read that a few people in an igloo at arctic temperatures can bring the inside up to fifty degrees or more; such is the power of warm blooded creatures in an enclosed space. You also know how your mom said to KEEP THE DOOR TO THE GUEST ROOM CLOSED WE DON’T NEED TO HEAT AN EMPTY ROOM. One answer is pretty clear: partitions.

Compositor (2)
Tesla

I’m not suggesting two-by-fours and drywall. I’d propose a collapsible partition that could easily be deployed to cut off either the rear seat area or the cargo area/third row in SUVs. The mechanism I think might work is similar to what you’ll see in the back windows of luxury cars: the electric sunshade. These devices feature a rolled-up screen and “scissor action” arms that pivot up to raise the shade.

S L1600
ebay

ADVERTISEMENT

If we substitute clear vinyl for the screen material, we could use the same system. Note on this Tesla Model Y how the rolled up screen would live just ahead of the rear seat cushion.

Screenshot (892)q
Tesla

Deploying the partition could be done via a button or a screen in front; note that we would design the door panels to have flat surfaces to line up with the partition and keep the gaps as minimal as possible.

Screenshot (892)

The same type of system could be used for the cargo area/third row, though in this case it might deploy downwards from the ceiling.

Screenshot (893)q

ADVERTISEMENT

Screenshot (893)

Or, if there is a cargo cover, the screen could rise out of that, not unlike the roll out “dog screens” that exist on cars like the station wagon that I recently sold to somebody that should know better.

Net
ebay

What’s another idea? How do we keep individual occupants cool or warm without having to fill a giant space with conditioned air? Astronauts regulate their temperatures in space with climate controlled suits, as do race drivers with something called a Cool Suit that circulates chilled fluid through a grid of tubes attached to what looks like a t-shirt.

Chillout Pro Touring Sport Cream 629a03e9 3801 429f B940 489b97e01471 1280x
Competition Motorsports

There are battery powered heated jackets you can purchase now to keep you warm, as well as heated socks that my always-cold spouse claims to have changed her life.

Such jackets or suits could be used inside your EV. While the heating element coat would work, I think the chilled-fluid thing will be too difficult to make a connection without water dripping. We could, however, install plumbing in a jacket so you can plug it into a heating/cooling outlet in the car and let the air from the climate control system give you a Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man cocoon of comfort with just a fraction of the HVAC’s energy. I’m seeing air outlets on the console that you could hook up with you buckle your seat belt (and a power plug if the suit has heating elements); there would be tubes to connect the suit that pull out of the left or right pockets (so it could be used if you are a passenger or driver).

ADVERTISEMENT

[Editor’s Note: You can get something similar if you own a Jeep Wrangler:

It’s called the “Lava” Jacket. I prefer just using 12V thermal elements in the jacket, but this is fine, too, I guess. -DT]

Better yet, these suits or jackets could be worn outside of the car and emblazoned with your vehicle’s logo to show the world status level, like keeping on a lift ticket from a cool resort. I’m sure we’ll see Ferrari EV suit wearers that really own Civics. Oh, and I don’t doubt that the air inlet for Tesla vehicles will be totally incompatible with heating/cooling inlets on other makes. I like the idea of the air inlet being down low so that you might get the effects of the old “ball cooler” under-the-steering-column vents in American cars.

Screenshot (897)

ADVERTISEMENT

In typical Autopian Slack fashion, the brainstorming started to go off the rails a bit. Jason argued that one solution to not having too much space to heat or cool really means having less car to begin with, and he isn’t wrong. Still, he’ll have a hard time convincing many buyers to purchase a phone-booth sized Chinese car, so a legitimate solution to keeping EV drivers and passengers comfortable needs to be found.

You know, we never had this problem with our 190,000 mile hand-me-down 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass, did we?

Relatedbar

This Could Be A Fix For The Stupid Little Arcs So Many Rear Window Wipers Make – The Autopian

Whatever You Think The Air Conditioning Unit For An Opel GT Looked Like, You’re Wrong – The Autopian

ADVERTISEMENT

What Is The ‘Correct’ Amount Of EV Range? – The Autopian

 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
106 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
B3n
B3n
10 months ago

Throw in a propane Heater Buddy and crack the windows, a’ la Vice Grip Garage. And use a flame torch for windshield defogging.

Mike Holzer
Mike Holzer
10 months ago

I like the idea of the air inlet being down low so that you might get the effects of the old “ball cooler” under-the-steering-column vents in American cars.

Not just American cars, my friends. My 3rd Gen Toyota 4Runner offers the “ball cooler” and I will forever promote its brilliance.

Scott Ross
Scott Ross
10 months ago

The crew from Long way up in the rivians could have used this stuff. What was a docuseries that was supposed to make people interested in electric vehicles actually turned me off because of how the livewire and Rivian could not handle the cold. It makes me concerned for all these Rivian amazon trucks in the winter if they ever make it to the North East.

Greg
Greg
10 months ago

Neighbor says his rivian loses 40% battery in the winter (about 4-5 months here).

Who would buy one of those as their only form of transportation, if they actually needed to use their vehicles for life to succeed?

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
10 months ago
Reply to  Greg

Maybe even with a 40% reduction in range, the truck can still fulfill his requirements?

EV’s aren’t for everyone, and they probably won’t be for a long time. Right now, it’s another option in addition to ICE and PHEV.

niceladybadjeep
niceladybadjeep
10 months ago

A smug sense of entitlement should keep your whole family cozy

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 months ago

I’ve been driving cars without heat in the winter since high school, you get used to it, just wear an overcoat and keep a bottle of peach brandy in the front seat to sip on

Alternatively, electric cars could offer a gasoline heater option, maybe fed off a small ca. 3 gallon tank in the frunk, those can be very effective

Last edited 10 months ago by Ranwhenparked
Phuzz
Phuzz
10 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I know a number of Land Rover owners with those petrol-powered heaters, and they’re really effective. You wouldn’t need three gallons of fuel unless you planned on not refilling it for an entire winter, a litre would last for a few weeks.

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
10 months ago

Add someone who is from a place that gets dangerous cold, I want to just establish that range anxiety exited with dino burning go machines.

Like, I have packed serious outdoor gear, blankets, boots, extra gas and ways to make fire, for what should be an easy trip on a 1/3 tank of gas out to the rural.

So, basically what I’m getting at, is if you’re from somewhere so cold you can’t explain it to most people when you go on vacation, this sort of pandering is irrelevant because “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate clothing” has never seen -50.

For everyone else, long jimmies will fit under your denim jeans. Sack up, if water isn’t ice, it’s warm enough.

Space
Space
10 months ago

Let’s kill two birds with one stone, throw a radioisotope thermoelectric generator in the car.
Free heat and free power!

Paul B
Paul B
10 months ago

I’m gonna share my ultra top secret way I deal with this issue:

I’m fat. I don’t get cold easy.

Go visit your grandma, say you’re hungry. She can help you out with my method.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul B

But the extra weight also reduces range.

You just can’t win.

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
10 months ago

Heat is the largest byproduct of internal combustion engines. its crazy how much we took that for granted.

Torque
Torque
10 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

ICE cars are 25-40% efficient at converting gas (or diesel) in to actual forward motion. Not just malaise cars.
For electric cars heated seats & windows will be way more efficient than a traditional resistive heater & likely more efficient than a heat pump.
I wonder if any ev manufacturers have looked in to using radiant heating panels? Trouble would be where to place them in a car? Floor would be the largest available surface area especially so many are going with all glass roofs & I would expect pillars are taken up by side curtain airbags & certainly you wouldn’t want to interfere with them.

SonOfLP500
SonOfLP500
10 months ago

The requisite jackets have been on sale in Japan for the last few years, with circulating fans installed. Now all you need is a way to plumb it into the HVAC system.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/25/fan-jacket-japan-innovation-keeps-workers-cool-in-heat

Methane generator
Methane generator
10 months ago

Here’s a far better idea if you’d only be driving a Tesla: get the bus. You’re going downtown or to the industrial zone. You live in the suburbs. There is no way there isn’t a bus route that gets you there and back on time every single day, and here’s the bonus: you don’t have to put the lives of others at risk by pissing about with the lane-assist adaptive cruise control that that Afrikaner piece of shit has been yelling for over a decade will be ready next year! Win-win, right? You don’t even have to *buy* a goddamned stupid-ass inflato-mobile! Buses are bigger!

Drew
Drew
10 months ago

I wish I could take the bus to work. There was even a shelter for a stop out there when I started, but they stopped service years ago. Mostly because people don’t like to take busses around here, but also because the bus system has never been funded well or set up properly (which, of course, made taking the bus less attractive).

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
10 months ago

 There is no way there isn’t a bus route “

There absolutely is a way there isn’t a bus route.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 months ago

That would require actually wanting to ride the bus…

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
10 months ago

> You’re going downtown or to the industrial zone. You live in the suburbs. There is no way there isn’t a bus route that gets you there and back on time every single day,

You’re not from around here, eh?

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
10 months ago

Friend, I am all for public transportation. However, that view is short-sighted. I live in a major city and work in the suburbs. If I were to take public transit, I would have to take the bus to the commuter train to another bus and then walk. It would take approximately 20 minutes longer to take public transportation than to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic on one of the most congested expressways in the country.

My point is, there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer. With the advancement of EV and PHEV cars, that just means there are two more options to best fit people’s use cases in addition to bicycling, public transit, ICE, etc.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
10 months ago

Shit take. Would love to take the bus, but in my proggo-governed city, bus routes are politically determined by whichever city clowncil member is throwing the loudest fit at the moment. None of the routes make the slightest bit of sense for commuters (there is no where in the city that I cannot reach considerably faster by bicycle than bus), and even if they did no taxpaying, job-holding resident would dare set foot on one, as they’ve become rolling fentanyl dens. The bus driver’s union is actually threatening a strike due to the safety issues, which given their previous inclinations is a sign of how messed up the situation has become.

Last edited 10 months ago by Wuffles Cookie
Lokki
Lokki
10 months ago

Ride the bus: sounds so obvious and simple. I thought about it for my wife, who doesn’t enjoy driving and whose office is a mere 6 miles away. I knew there’s a bus stop a little more than a quarter mile from the house, so I looked into it.

Well… turns out the route doesn’t go from the house (local bus stop) to her office directly. Have to take the bus to a transfer location, wait 20 or so minutes and take another bus which eventually passes close her office another 20 minutes later. Basically, an hour in transit to travel 6 miles. – Two hours a day in transit.

Then, expense – her car would not go away even if she bussed to work and therefore would still require insurance. The only cost avoidance would be 12 miles worth of gas per day (she has reserved, covered parking at work). This destroyed the idea of saving any money – the monthly bus pass costs more than the monthly cost of gas.

Finally, comfort and practicality – sure it’s only a little more than a quarter mile from the house, but it was 105° yesterday at 6 pm. It’s not a pleasant hike home from the bus stop to the house, in an woman’s business suit and heels.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
10 months ago

Let’s see…
First, to follow up on the igloo scenario, how about stone lamps with a wick & whale blubber?
Then there’s always the upper Midwesterner with an air-cooled VW solution: remove the passenger seat & bolt down a kerosene heater

But, seriously, iirc from an HVAC course a few years back, the then-new generation of heat pumps are 3.2 times as efficient as straight electric-coil heater elements. So, you effectively get 320 watts of heat for every 100 watts used. However, that is heavily dependent on the ambient temperature. 20 year old heat pumps could scavenge very little from the outdoors when temps went below the low 40°sF. Current ones work much better, but below 0° F, efficiency drops way off. I don’t have any firm figures to offer (and note that all this info is regarding stationary systems like the one your house has), but I would bet that there’s not much real gain-if any-below -20° F.

Let me put it this way: in SW Virginia where I live, I’m planning on putting in a nice Mitsubishi mini-split in my abode, but I’m not getting rid of the propane heating I currently use because I’d be damn chilly on the few nights it gets below zero here. I’m from the Midwest, and well remember a week in Iowa City that temps never got above freezing, and windchills hit negative 30s some nights. Our old car’s bias-ply tires froze flat!

>corrections with sources referenced welcomed<

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
10 months ago

Perhaps an air curtain instead of solid partitions.

Kinda noisy though

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
10 months ago

And you’d be surprised at the amp-draw on even a VFD blower for said air curtain.
Newer package units (big rooftop box combining both ‘indoor’ & ‘outdoor’ units) have blowers that typically use about 1/3 the amps that their compressors use.

And, I just realized, you could then run into wind-chill in your own vehicle. Not optimal

JunkerDave
JunkerDave
10 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Maybe the blower draws big power. But, as with most electrical things, that’s mostly turned into heat. Make sure the blower is located such that its heat losses are cab heat gains.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
10 months ago

My college girlfriend had a Pinto in which the heater was defunct, and she would stop at the Howard Johnson’s restaurants on the New York State Thruway, and buy baked potatoes to put in her pockets in the winter.

Thevenin
Thevenin
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

I hear there was one weird trick to get a Ford Pinto to generate a LOT of heat for a few seconds.

Frederick Tanujaya
Frederick Tanujaya
10 months ago
Reply to  Thevenin

If i were not wrong, its like one of those disposable hand warmers, just tap the back a with a slight bit of force and it’ll emit heat for a good few hours

A. Barth
A. Barth
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Fun fact: if you plug two 9-volt batteries together by their connectors, they will act as a nice hand warmer.

I’ve only tried this with nearly-dead 9Vs, btw, and would not recommend trying it with new batteries. 😐

Chewcudda
Chewcudda
10 months ago

Any wire or hose connection between suit and vehicle needs to have a breakaway. People WILL get out of the car and forget to disconnect. This would lead to injury lawsuits unless the connection comes off.

A better solution would be to use wireless cellphone charging technology to implement a connection between the wearer’s ass and the seat of the car. Preferably heated underwear so that people whose jobs have a dress code can wear their job clothes over EV gear.

Chewcudda
Chewcudda
10 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

BRILLIANT. Just add a heat exchanger to Jason’s fart-powered car.

Thevenin
Thevenin
10 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

I went to label the thing on the sketch as the ‘ass hole’ I figured, no.

Coward.
Show us the “ass hole.”

Last edited 10 months ago by Thevenin
Nic Periton
Nic Periton
10 months ago

Most people do not realise that the rear seat footrests have a box inside them. Before venturing out on a brisk sort of day, get your man to ask one of the parlour maids to fill said boxes with glowing coals from the fire and slide them onto the footrests. They warm the whole car up quite well, for extra toasty feet, just slide the slats to expose the vents.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

Ah.. the campfire boulder at the bottom of the sleeping bag approach.

Nic Periton
Nic Periton
10 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

It was Dacia, when BMW tried to make heated seats a£15 a month subscription thing Dacia offered free branded hottlebottles with a new Sandero,

Masterbuilder
Masterbuilder
10 months ago

Just a couple of random thoughts here:

What about defrosting the windows / windshield? Humans expel moisture when they breathe out. That moisture condenses on the windscreen and side windows. A steady stream of heated air over those surfaces keeps them clear of this moisture.

As the temperature drops, heat pumps become less efficient. When they get near zero (F), heat pumps become REALLY inefficient.

Just thought I’d make the mention…

Last edited 10 months ago by Masterbuilder
Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
10 months ago
Reply to  Masterbuilder

Do heat pumps provide any heat at 0 degrees? My impression was they became very inefficient around 30 degrees. I can’t imagine they provide any heat in a Minnesota winter (I used to live there and the worst I experienced was -33; I imagine there is very little heat to pump when temperatures get that low).

Dest
Dest
10 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

I do not have any exact stats but heat pumps have come a loooong way, even moreso overseas.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
10 months ago
Reply to  Dest

They really have-but you’ll find that the places that have the highest percentage of adoption tend to be those that have dry & monsoon seasons rather than summer & winter

Ben
Ben
10 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

They can function down to a surprisingly cold temperature (I want to say -5? It’s been a while since I watched the video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J52mDjZzto

In Minnesota you would need a resistive heater to help out on those bitterly cold days, but it’s not nearly as common for it to get below -5 here as some people would have you believe. Probably 90% of the winter (at least in the southern half of the state, up by Canada things are different) you’d be fine with just a heat pump and if you’re only running the resistive heater 10% of the time that’s a huge energy savings.

MrLM002
MrLM002
10 months ago

Unironically this is a big reason why I like single cab and extended cab pickups so much. Less interior space in the car means less space to heat/cool which means heating and cooling times are lower.

*edit: Also heating in winter is another good case for ACTIVELY air cooled battery packs. air has less ability to cool than liquid coolants, so where liquid cooled BEV battery packs in winter have to expend a ton of energy to get the massive amount of coolant they have up to optimal battery temp then it can be used for heating with an ACTIVELY air cooled battery pack you can just shutter off the cold air from outside, the air in the battery pack heats up fairly quickly, then you can vent it into the cabin and suck in cold air from the cabin till the cabin reaches the optimal temp, then you open up the external air vents (if necessary) for extra cooling air.

Last edited 10 months ago by MrLM002
A. Barth
A. Barth
10 months ago

When I was zipping along the highway in February – on the way to David’s leaving-Detroit party – I passed a Tesla that appeared to be going about 50mph on a road marked 70mph. I assumed this was to conserve energy while keeping the car’s interior warm, but it seemed pretty impractical (and really not desirable) to need to do that.

Oddly enough, the ChangLi approach and the partition approach use the same principle (reduce the volume affected) but only one is easily reversible. 🙂

I’m a little surprised that Torch didn’t mention the gas/petrol/benzin-powered heaters that were available in the Volkswagen Type II buses. A modern equivalent might not be a bad idea: pour in a bottle of Everclear [or something even less drinkable] and be warm without affecting the car’s range.

GenericWhiteVan
GenericWhiteVan
10 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Chinese diesel heaters… they run on diesel or diesel/kerosine mix + some 12V electric power…. safer than gas as fuel… cost less than $150. Available all over the internet…

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=chinese+diesel+heater&sprefix=chinese+di%2Caps%2C93&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_10

Basically, these are knock offs of Espar/Webasto over the road truck sleeper heaters. The German brands can be had with in either gas or diesel setups.

I have one in my van. 5KW output. For comparison, the vehicle heater that uses coolant from the gas engine is rated at 10.6 KW.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
10 months ago

What we do is even easier than your simple and elegant solution, The Bishop. 1) Pre-warm the car and battery while it’s plugged into the charger in the garage. 2) use the seat heaters. With those precautions, we only lose 10 to 20% of our range here in Colorado. I know we don’t get Minnesota cold, but a little preparation goes a long way. Thinking ahead is the key to enjoying the EV life.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Thinking is not on the average American driver’s list of priorities.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
10 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Ach! You found the gaping flaw in my logic! Honestly, this is the biggest impediment to EV adoption in the US, imho. (Well, that and the seeming inability of automakers to offer affordable EVs.)

Last edited 10 months ago by Dar Khorse
Lokki
Lokki
10 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

I’ve often used a variation of that theory when I’ve had too much to drink and have (ok, decide to) to drive home.

If you know you are too drunk to drive safely, you should drive really fast so you can get home before the tequila really kicks and and you’re too drunk to drive at all.

Thevenin
Thevenin
10 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

That’s what I’ve been doing, but the windshield defogger ends up munching through battery anyway. Is that just a me problem, or do you have trouble with that, too?

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
10 months ago
Reply to  Thevenin

I leave the climate control on and set to around 70 F, which keeps the cabin reasonably warm and, if the windows start to fog, I just take it out of “Eco climate” mode and they clear right up. Since the car was pre-warmed, it doesn’t have to work too hard to keep up. I honestly think the battery conditioning takes the lion’s share of the energy.

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
10 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Put reservoirs in the doors for sodium that is melted while charging.

I see no drawbacks to this plan.

Kody Dagley
Kody Dagley
10 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Re: #1 – What if there is a several-day long power outage due to a winter storm so you can’t charge or pre-heat your EV? And, like most people, you don’t have a generator or solar at your house?

Windchaser
Windchaser
10 months ago
Reply to  Kody Dagley

Then I use the inverter kit to run my house’s heat and the medical devices here from my car’s traction battery. I can get about three days of ‘warm enough the pipes don’t freeze’ out of it.

No, I can’t drive the car while it’s doing that, but if I can’t get out of the driveway to go charge somewhere else, that’s kind of a moot point.

A less smartass answer: If the power’s out, I get in and drive and just deal with the range loss from running the heater.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
10 months ago
Reply to  Kody Dagley

if you live in a place that has multi day long outages in winter and don’t have a generator, then 1) you’re an idiot and 2) the car is the least of your worries. I lived in the mountains of Colorado (unincorporated township) for more than a decade and never had an outage that lasted more than 12 hours. Usually, they were an hour or two at most. And even then, I had a generator just in case although I rarely had to use it. Also, if you live in such a place maybe EV ownership isn’t for you. At least not as your only vehicle.

Last edited 10 months ago by Dar Khorse
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Man, where is Uncle Fester when you need him?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago

Joint venture idea.
Somebody get the people at Rumpl and Snuggie on the phone.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago

I know an EV motor doesnt make the heat an ICE motor does. But you cant tell me it doesnt generate any heat. Tires on pavement, axles constantly spinning, brake friction, that could be used. I had a diesel that had a plug in block heater. Zero degrees out? No problem started right up and no delay for warm air. Well heat the block so no loss at first, run a trickle heater that has the cabin already toasty and a solar roof or other heat retainer should work on city commutes.

Thevenin
Thevenin
10 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

EVs that use liquid thermal management systems (at least the ones I’ve looked into) typically route coolant from the motor and inverter into a heat exchanger where it can be transferred to the batteries or cabin. That also covers regen braking, though not hydraulic braking.

Thevenin
Thevenin
10 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

Not really, no. The inverter+motor combo is typically over 95% efficient, meaning it provides a little under 1/15th of the heat of an engine (and zero when idling).

These systems recycle the motor heat because, hey, it’s it’s free and every little bit helps. But if it’s that cold out, the system needs a PTC or heat pump for the cabin.

Uberscrub
Uberscrub
10 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I also plugged in my diesel (golf) with a heater that circulated the coolant through the block so it was nice and warm, until I got on the highway. when below about 0 degrees I just planned on being cold. I’d get enough heat to defog windows, but thats about it.
decent trade for 50+ mpg.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
10 months ago

One more argument for carbon neutral liquid fuels and ICEs.

A man is allowed to dream…

106
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x