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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm another one of those people bothering with the engine constantly on just to heat the car during the winter and was considering one of those electric cabin heaters.

Has anyone every tried this? Some has remote control, so I could start it before entering the car, which sounds pretty interesting...

My concern is that is usually consumes quite a lot of energy and I believe the sockets are fed by the 12 battery, so maybe I would kill the battery in minutes if that's the case.

Has anyone every tried one of those electric cabin heaters? Thanks.
 

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It takes energy to make heat, that energy comes from either your battery or your gas tank. If it's the battery, guess what...it's charged by your gas tank.

So in truth, it doesn't matter how you heat, it still takes the same energy source.

One problem using the battery is that you are stressing it and might kill it.

Can you find a 120 vac heater instead of a 12 vdc one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It takes energy to make heat, that energy comes from either your battery or your gas tank. If it's the battery, guess what...it's charged by your gas tank.

So in truth, it doesn't matter how you heat, it still takes the same energy source.

One problem using the battery is that you are stressing it and might kill it.

Can you find a 120 vac heater instead of a 12 vdc one?
The PHEV can take energy from the socket of my home, that's the advantage, I would not use any gas...

I bought this car because I would like to reduce to the minimum my usage of petrol... :(

In addition here in Europe we cannot use remote climate control, because it uses the ICE.

The perfect situation for me would be if the car could use the charging cable to heat itself from the mains (I heard the Outlander PHEV can do that).
 

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The perfect situation for me would be if the car could use the charging cable to heat itself from the mains (I heard the Outlander PHEV can do that).
The PHEV doesn't have an electric heater, so it can't heat from the mains. Yes, the Outlander PHEV has one. There's very few PHEVs that do, however. Offhand I don't know of any others, but perhaps there are more. And since you're in the UK, you have options we don't have here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The PHEV doesn't have an electric heater, so it can't heat from the mains. Yes, the Outlander PHEV has one. There's very few PHEVs that do, however. Offhand I don't know of any others, but perhaps there are more. And since you're in the UK, you have options we don't have here.
I know it doesn't, that's why I asked about the electric cabin heater, it operates connected to the 12V socket.

I'll put one example here, let me know if links are not allowed, so I'll delete it here.

My concern is how the Niro feeds the 12V socket, if it does only using the 12V battery I believe it will die pretty quickly, but if it uses the main battery it shall work well...
 

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In America we do have a selection of these rather inexpensive devices to do what you are suggesting.




I do understand you are in England and that the preference is to not use petrol. In the USA this is not that important as it is in England. Gas/Petrol is inexpensive compared to the prices you pay in Europe. Currently about $3.00 US per gallon.

As the one gentleman mentioned when you generate heat you must use energy whether it is gas or electric.

There are NIRO sites for the UK- maybe the members there have better suggestions as their situation is more like your own.
 

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Same exact concern here with PHEV. I think a heater that stays within the limits of the 12 volt socket and used when the car is on would work. Do you know where to get one? I need to defog the windshield inside mostly in the morning so I can't use the full battery ev mode yet I'm fully charged and can make it to work easily on EV where I get free charging.
 

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Same exact concern here with PHEV. I think a heater that stays within the limits of the 12 volt socket and used when the car is on would work. Do you know where to get one? I need to defog the windshield inside mostly in the morning so I can't use the full battery ev mode yet I'm fully charged and can make it to work easily on EV where I get free charging.
Also aside from using petrol this GDI engine does have issues with cylinder washing both from cold running and from bad fuel pumps in the cam cover. Plus when running in EV with ICE on for heat the ICE stays disconnected from the transmission and idles at 1500rpm using the limited motor starter generator msg to charge the battery. This does not bring the engine to full temp. Whenever ICE is running I like to ensure full operating temp before shutdown and that means going to HEV mode or sport mode. By the time all that happens I'm 1/2 way to work and only used a few miles of pure EV.
 

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Also aside from using petrol this GDI engine does have issues with cylinder washing both from cold running and from bad fuel pumps in the cam cover. Plus when running in EV with ICE on for heat the ICE stays disconnected from the transmission and idles at 1500rpm using the limited motor starter generator msg to charge the battery. This does not bring the engine to full temp. Whenever ICE is running I like to ensure full operating temp before shutdown and that means going to HEV mode or sport mode. By the time all that happens I'm 1/2 way to work and only used a few miles of pure EV.
Sounds to me like you are a perfect candidate for a BEV.
 

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In America we do have a selection of these rather inexpensive devices to do what you are suggesting.
That rather inexpensive device is a piece of junk...get what you pay for!!
Unfortunately the PHEV requires ICE operation to develop that heat.
If you really need some heat for defrosting, I would drill a hole through firewall (hate to do that) and plug in a "real heater" that can be plugged into a 120V receptacle.
 

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That rather inexpensive device is a piece of junk...get what you pay for!!
Unfortunately the PHEV requires ICE operation to develop that heat.
If you really need some heat for defrosting, I would drill a hole through firewall (hate to do that) and plug in a "real heater" that can be plugged into a 120V receptacle.
Those were examples to show the gentleman types of devices for sale in the US and as examples of options he might want to further explore from England, they were not recommendations.

The one device has over 1,400 reviews from people who actually bought the device and use it. About a third of those give it a five star review. An individual can do their own search of these devices that range from $15 to over a $100 and find one that suits their needs and their expectations.

People actually can have different ideas and approaches to solving problems. One approach does not have to be the final word or the only right approach.

VW owners used to buy propane heaters to put in their vehicles to compensate for the lack of heat generated by the air-cooled engines. Ideal -no- but a method some thought had merit and solved their problem in a way that was suitable to them.

Your approach to use an engine heater is another option someone could try and might be perfect for them ( tough to do if you park on the street or in an apartment lot) - all different and all having merit.
 

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My concern is how the Niro feeds the 12V socket, if it does only using the 12V battery I believe it will die pretty quickly, but if it uses the main battery it shall work well...
You are correct. The 12V battery in the PHEV Niro will not last long at all before it is dead and then you can't start without boosting.
There are numerous posts on this forum where people are having regular issues with a dead battery in the PHEV and they are not plugging anything into the 12V socket.
 

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I'll put one example here, let me know if links are not allowed, so I'll delete it here.
That particular unit only draws 1 amp at 12v, so well within the limits of the 12v outlet of the car. However, that's a total of 120 watts, which is very little heat. I'm not certain it would accomplish much.

As to the 12v battery, if the car is "on", the DC-DC converter will maintain the battery charge, so there really shouldn't be any issues with it going flat while using something like this. Of course, a 1 amp draw should still last for some time, even with the puny 12v battery the Niro PHEV has.
 

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That particular unit only draws 1 amp at 12v, so well within the limits of the 12v outlet of the car. However, that's a total of 120 watts, which is very little heat. I'm not certain it would accomplish much.

As to the 12v battery, if the car is "on", the DC-DC converter will maintain the battery charge, so there really shouldn't be any issues with it going flat while using something like this. Of course, a 1 amp draw should still last for some time, even with the puny 12v battery the Niro PHEV has.
A good heater would kill the 12V battery quickly.
I agree that if the car is "on" there will not be any issue. If the car is on, it will also run the ICE to create the heat so the 12V heater would not be required. I am assuming maybe the PHEV is parked in a garage where the ICE cannot be used?
 

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So the inexpensive US (and I'm sure UK) 12 volt devices are worth what you pay for them if they do what you want. At about 200 watts, they are not going to harm your 12 volt wiring and should go a long way to defogging your windshield, but very slow for cabin heat. The 12 volt battery charging is triggered by low battery voltage so such a draw should not make your battery go dead as long as the car is "on". That said, it will make the intermittent charging routine more frequent and thus potentially damaging the battery more. Ideally PHEV owners with or without a 12 volt heater, you will be maintaining your lead acid battery monthly with an overnight desulphating trickle charger to reverse said damage and extend battery life.

Running a portable room heater inside your car attached to your home mains sounds very risky.

There are other ways to deal with fog on your windshield. I put a wet bicycle in my car this morning and went for a 4 hour round trip in 40 degree weather (5 centigrade) today and not surprisingly quickly developed fog on all windows. In slightly warmer weather, cracking your windows is enough to clear them.

Too cold for that today so I simply set the cabin temperature near outside temperature so as not to trigger the engine at various points on the trip. Just like opening the windows, that was enough to clear the windshield in about 20 seconds by running the fan with vents set for the windshield. I did this two summers ago in warm weather with a friend in the passenger seat and used to modern cars where manual control is difficult, he said that fan without AC wouldn't work. A minute later he said he was surprised and wrong.

I've owned a Volkswagen Bug too. You do have to suffer in the cold (wear a good jacket, still good advice for HEV/PHEV owners who want to save fuel) and I did have to drive it in cold weather with the windows open. Kids and other owners of modern cars run AC (luxury cars only when I started driving) or heat or don't know any other way to operate a car other than set the temp on auto and let the car make HVAC decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys!
I bought this car planning to not use petrol the majority of the time, that's why I was looking into it...

But I'd better accept I'm still going to use it for a while... 😔
 

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I own a couple of these 12v “heaters” for use in my tiny tear drop camper conversion that I’m working on, and have used them in the past in a vehicle that had a bad heater core so it had no heat.

1. The one I have pulls 15 amps of current, yet puts out very little actual heat. This is borderline safe for the tiny wires connecting the power outlet to the battery. I can’t imagine one pulling only 1 amp doing much of anything considering

2. It has a warning on the power wire that states “Do not use fore more than 15 minutes continuously”.

3. On a cold(right at freezing temperatures) day, it will barely take the chill out of the air in a regular cab truck, raising the temp from 32 to almost 50 degrees.

4. It will defrost your windshield, but only directly in front of where the heater is at. You need to constantly move it around in order to keep the entire windshield defrosted.


So for heating a car interior, I do not recommend them. For heating the interior of my 5’X8’ tear drop camper, they do VERY good. However, it is insulated while the car is not insulated.
 

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The PHEV does have an electric heater. It is 1KW which will defrost the windshield but little more. Unfortunately there is no way to disable the ICE's contribution to heat even though it is quite efficient. It uses coolant and exhaust as well as charging the battery while providing heat but it does use petrol.

Heated seats, steering wheel and a jacket work well but she who must be obeyed won't like it. The HVAC in this car is superb but I don't like it at all because I don't have the control I want.
 
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