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The Mobile Space Heater
Eric Peters

Have you ever run an electric space heater in a room with no other source of heat – when the air temperature is say minus 10 (or lower) as it is right now in many states? You stay warm, sort of – but you can almost see the dollars burning in the red hot glow of the coils.

The good news is the space heater doesn’t have to move the room down the road at 60 MPH, too.

It’s also connected to the grid – not a battery. So while it costs a fortune to run, at least you won’t run out – of heat, that is.

Range, on the other hand . . .

How long would the space heater continue to provide heat if it were connected to a battery?

And also had to keep the room moving down the road at 60 MPH?

Electric heaters cost a lot to run – in energy and so dollars. Anyone who has ever run one for any length of time knows this, or comes to know it – after receiving that month’s electric bill.

It is no different in an electric car, which is heated electrically – except that the heater draws power from a battery rather than a grid.

Your mileage – your range – begins to vary.

It would be interesting to know exactly the effect on EV range of keeping the interior of an EV warm – not survivable, but comfortably warm – on a minus 10 degree day. How much range does one lose? How much time will one have to spend shivering at an outdoor recharger – assuming it’s not blocked by the snow and assuming your EV has a built-in system to keep the battery warm, so that it can be charged.

Bet you didn’t know about that, either.

Electric car batteries can’t be recharged if the ambient air temperature is below freezing – it’s a function of battery chemistry – which means that the EV must also heat its battery during the winter months, which will cost energy (battery drain) and further reduce the range.

The EV’s defroster uses heat, too – obviously.

But also the AC, not so obviously. Many people don’t know that, either. The AC doesn’t just cool the car’s interior in the summertime; it also dehumidifies the air, without which the defroster doesn’t work very well.

In which case, you can’t see very well.

So, another drain on the battery; a big one. AC compressors are energy hogs. It takes a lot to power one, whether mechanically (as in a non-EV) or electrically (as in an EV). The difference is that the non-EV can just fill up when the tank runs low – no matter how cold it is outside. But the EV’s got the double-pronged problem of reduced range – because of the power draw of accessories such as heat and AC, as well as lights and everything else that is electrically powered, which is everything in an EV – and having to find a place to recharge in time.

When it is minus 10 degrees outside, waiting can be more than merely inconvenient. It could be fatal. A discharged EV is a cold EV. No heat, until the battery recharges. Imagine sitting in a dark – and very cold – EV for the 30-45 minutes it takes to recover a partial charge at a “fast” charger . . . assuming one’s available.

This is a real danger – yet it’s not being talked about, much less under regulatory scrutiny by the government bureaucrats and pols who are so very concerned about our “safety”… when that excuse is a convenient pretext for mulcting us or abusing our once-upon-time liberties.

But when our physical safety runs counter to some broader agenda – as here – then we see how much the pols and bureaucrats actually care about our “safety.” (Other examples include the force-feeding of air bags, including ones known to be defective, and run-amok – or just run-stupid – automated cars).

EVs are being sold as if they were just like other cars – but they aren’t. EVs have functional characteristics – and deficits – that are unique to them but which are largely unknown to the general public because they’re purposely not being told about them.

Where’s Ralph?

Imagine the alarums which would erupt if any non-EV car had the potential to leave its owner freezing to death if they used a necessary accessory such as heat on a minus 10 degree day.

Or which needed to be heated in order to be “refueled.”

There is a reason why EVs are sold almost entirely in warm states such as California and Arizona – where there is little to no risk of freezing to death – and being stranded is just an inconvenience rather than physically dangerous.

Unless, of course, you run out of juice in Compton.

Jokes aside, it’s serious thing – and not being reported by the mainstream car press or warned about by “consumer” press.

Arguably, because the EV thing – like the “climate change” thing – has become a matter of faith and not to be questioned.

But with half the country experiencing record-breaking cold, it might be worth thinkingabout… .


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Eric started out writing about cars for mainstream media outlets such as The Washington Times, Detroit News and Free Press, Investors Business Daily, The American Spectator, National Review, The Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal.

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