So, one of the smaller queries we had when we started this project was how would we heat the car. The loss of the internal combustion engine meant that the heater in the car, despite sporting a new and expensive heater matrix would be completely useless. Ironic, really. Having owned the car since the early ’90s, we finally fit a new heater, and then promptly plan to take it back out.
So, heating wise, when we started to plan this project there were various options:
– Non-electric heater (from fuel of various sources)
– Ceramic heater matrix
– Conventional air-conditioner/heater
– Peltier type heater
None of them were terribly efficient, and driving the iMiEV demonstrated the potential of the heater to suck electricity like a hungry vampire at the vein. Of course, there was always the option that was considered acceptable when the Morris Minor was introduced – no heater, you’re a tough Brit, just wear a coat.
But a while back we heard about air-source heat pumps. And indeed, the Renault Z.E. was going to ship with one. We hunted around and contacted a bunch of heat-pump suppliers, all of whom were unable to fulfil our needs. A couple of days ago Renault got back to us and said that yes, they could supply the complete heat-pump unit as a spare part. We’ve not got a cost yet, that’ll take a little while because we need to head down to our local dealer and find which bits we’d need to order. Which probably means taking a close look at a Renault Z.E. and the manual…
But it’s really good news, because a more efficient heater gives us more miles in winter.