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Heating of hybrid and electric vehicles - how and what is the performance?

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by ghpup, Jan 18, 2013.

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    ghpup GLFBGGY

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    On my way into work this morning at 4* F in freezing fog that was precipitating (that means it was snowing, but the radar couldn't detect it and it doesn't really accumulate), I wondered how a hybrid or electic vehicle gets the heat for the passenger compartment. Does anyone know? Also, how does this solution work in the brutally cold weather that our intermountain west location of Southwestern Idaho is currently experiencing (lows close to 0 and highs only to about 20 for the last two weeks)?

    Is there any heating performance to be considered of other vehicles with the 'start/stop' feature?

    This is a pragmatic consideration as my wife and I are now looking into what general type of vehicle we will replace her '00 e39 5er in a couple of years.
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    MGarrison

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    I don't have any insight, but, great question, & I hope we have someone who can say something about it!
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    To answer you question simple there are things in place both in the hybrid and in the standard vehicle's with MSA (automatic start stop) for climate control. In our hybrids and diesels we use electric heater grids to produce heat when the vehicle is cold. These will then shut off when the engine is able to produce heat of its own. So really the diesels and hybrids have instant heat compared to other cars where you have to wait for the engine to warm up (though with our electric water pump it's actually quite fast. As for the MSA vehicles the engine is not allowed to shut off if the interior temperature can not be maintained to what the driver has it set to. On MSA vehicles there are a lot of requirements that have to be completed in order for the engine to shut off when you come to a stop. Hope this helps and good luck with your search for a new vehicle.
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    ghpup GLFBGGY

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    Any idea of how heating an EV on a brutally cold morning and day (read 5* F or colder as a low and 20*F as the high) would affect the battery life (read distance available)?
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    Now that depends on what type of vehicle system we are talking about. Full electric vehicles yes it does take more from the battery than if you weren't using it, but shouldn't be enough to effect battery life. In a mild hybrid vehicle like all the ones BMW makes, the battery has a intelligent sensor that can determine the charge of the vehicles batteries. Off thats state of charge is can tell the DME (digital motor electronics how to vary the charging system voltage for what the battery needs.) If the battery voltage is well charged and the other parameters are met then the motor can shut it self off and run off pure electric power. On really cold days the engine may not shut off at all. The electric heater I mentioned above is for customer comfort and quick heating of the cabin. It is only used until the coolant temperature is hot enough to supply heat to the cabin. Hope this helps.

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