Don wrote:If you're looking for a simple way to add heat and extend the car's range in the winter and you want to do it electrically, why not keep it simple . . . . really simple?
Buy 40 of the Headway 38120S 10 amp screw tab LiFePo4 cells (about $17.50 each) connect them in series for a 128 volt auxiliary battery pack (1.28KW) and then use them to run a standard household ceramic 10 amp 120 volt heater? If you replaced the fan motor in the heater with a DC motor, you wouldn't even need an inverter. Attach a voltmeter to monitor the pack and shut off the heater when the voltage drops to 90V (2.25 volts per cell) so you don't harm your battery pack
Don, funny you should have mentioned this, as that is exactly what I have but more powerful: two 4P8S Headway (LiFePO4) packs made up of 12Ah cells. Total capacity is 64*12Ah*3.33v =~2.5kWh. I use this 48V (nominal) system to power my electric outboard or 48v electric bicycle or my 48v-->120vac 2500W inverter or 24v electric scooter. I load-tested this system using... wait for it ... an electric heater
! Worked like a charm. To greatly reduce cost, a couple of 12v Group 31 (~100Ah) batteries and a 1000W 12v-->120vac inverter and a 600W ceramic heater should be good enough for most commutes in the iMiEV, and certainly cost less and be less-complicated than a Webasto or Eberspächer (Espar) heater.
Besides, isn't there something immoral about consuming fossil fuels in an electric car?
I heated my 10m catamaran using a 600W electric heater in each hull when cruising southeast Alaska and was toasty. Even with all the conductive and radiated losses of our almost un-insulated iMiEV, I would expect a 600W heater sitting on the passenger's side aimed at the footwell to at least keep toes from turning blue ... but, being in California, what do I know about seriously-cold weather?
Off-topic and maybe a candidate for a new thread: when I used my Headway packs to run the 48v-->120vac inverter, it charged the iMiEV just fine for the ~10 minutes I tried it. When I tried the same thing using a 48v-->240vac 2500W inverter feeding the EVSEUpgraded EVSE set to 6A, the $200 eBay inverter blew up!
Hmm, as I write this, I have to wonder if I remembered to reprogram the EVSE to 6A?