MIT heater prototype uses minimal battery

MIT heater prototype uses minimal battery

So, it is getting close to that time again to turn the heaters on in our EVs.

Some BEVs like the Nissan LEAF are offering heat pumps as an improved method of heating the cabin, as well as proper radiant heated seats and steering wheels.

EREVs like the Chevy Volt have enabled the ability to run their ICE at any time in order to heat the cabin while providing thermal capabilities to the batteries with this inefficient bi-product (heat) of running the ICE.

We are also eagerly watching our esteemed engineers at MIT as they work on scaling their ingenious discovery to fit in an EV.

Meanwhile, I am still in search of a complete radiant heat solution. Pardon me if I find it a bit ironical that in our EV community, we become anxious with why the global market does not comprehend faster the advantages of the EV, and at the same time we hold on to our old forced air approach to keeping ourselves warm.

In colder climates, it is quite acceptable to heat a home through radiant methods and at least until the MIT engineers provide such a product, the best methods are found in keeping our extremities warm.

heat mat
Heated seats are accepted quite well, and heated steering (or gloves) are generally accepted at least in the EV community. So, why are we so slow to accept warming our head and our feet? I suppose some people’s hair grooming does not allow them to wear the proper head gear but it certainly is an easy solution to the problem.

But for me, it is warming the feet which is the final and simple stage to keeping the body warm and maximizing energy efficiency. Not double socks or electric socks, it is an electric mat that I seek. What is simpler than a heated mat?   Now, certain dead end ads exist,  but I have yet to find a reputable product that works on a timer with maybe two heat settings.   Not a single OEM offers this simple integration  even as an option. This could be a one, two, or four mat option for the OEM. But even more frustrating is that no aftermarket products exist. OK, maybe the mat is over simplifying the issue but I can't believe engineers have exhausted efficiencies just yet.

We are quite prepared to let the ICE go and for many good reasons, but we just can't seem to let go of their method of heating. For the ICE, forced air is a given. For the EV, at least for the present, I hope this winter produces some improved options.