is the heating in a electric vehicle instantly warm?


I’m curious, is the heating in a electric car instantly warm? Seeing as there’s no waiting for the engine to heat up.

In: 50

Mostly, yes. On a cold day, heating elements and ducting might need a few moments to warm up. But this happens far sooner than waiting for engine coolant to gather sufficient heat to feed your ventilation system’s heat exchanger.

In a gas-powered car, most of the time instead of adding electric heating coils that will consume a lot of electrical supply there is instead a “heater core” that blows air over pipes that have been heated by engine coolant. This helps cool off the coolant AND provides heat without using up the battery. So it takes a while for the heater to heat up because the engine starts cold, and it takes a while for the coolant to heat up. (My car’s heat is noticeably less strong if I’m idling!) (Some cars may have electrical coils to try and supplement this, but electric heaters use a LOT of power so they won’t be as effective or powerful as you’d think.)

Electric cars don’t usually generate as much heat as gas cars so that kind of heat generation isn’t practical. Instead they use electrical heating coils. Those heat up very quickly, in only a matter of seconds (it’s effectively the same technology as a toaster.) A downside is this consumes more battery, but there isn’t a practical alternative since there isn’t a gas-powered engine or other car part generating a ton of heat.

It’s not instant. They use a different system, which is a battery powered heating coil. That heats up much faster than the heating core in a gas powered engine. So warm air is blowing in seconds. It still takes a couple minutes for the warm air to heat a cold car though.

It’s a heating element, so it’s like a small fan-heater, basically. So yes, almost instantly.

ICE cars often use the engine heat, but I drove a Ford that didn’t… it had a heating element buried in the dash for each vent. I know, because one day they went wrong and one overheated and I had to change it out, and it was literally just a heating element in the airflow that was powered from the battery. It was great, I was so used to cars being freezing until they’d been driven for a few minutes, and had a subconscious habit of keeping the fans off and the vents closed until I’d got going, but that car was instant-heat.

It was fabulous for clearing the window too. Instant hot air so the window cleared in seconds just from the air alone. I’m sure there were other cars that had it, but it was the only ICE car I ever saw that had it.

That’s pretty much how electric cars do it, though probably in a slightly safer way than that one!

Gas cars use waste heat from the cooling system to heat the car with no wasted energy. Electric cars don’t have a hot engine so they have a ln electric heater that heats almost immediately. This can be a huge draw on the battery and greatly reduces the range when used.