From June 2009 to June 2010 I had the privilege of Driving an All Electric MIMI E for a year, it was a great experience, and got me hooked on electric cars. I've since moved on to other electric cars which I will blog about.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Heater News article

I saw this article on the MINI E's Heater while browsing the web

They say that this new electric heater developed for just for the MINI E, produces more heat then a standard car heater

They have a heat output of 3,000 watts and weigh about 1.8 kilograms. In comparison: a Beru cabin heater for internal combustion engines weighs about 0.8kg and achieves a heat output of 500 to 2,000 watts depending on the product line.

There is just no way this is true, the MINI E's heater is barely luke warm even at Max after its had time to warm up, and uses a lot more energy then the AC does. Something about this article just isnt right.


  1. Robert,
    Try lowering the fan setting. I know it sounds crazy, but I've found that the car heats up the best on the second or third fan setting, but if you turn it up to the fourth or fifth(highest), the volume of air increases, but the temperature gets cooler. I think the fan blows so much it actually cools the heater coils and reduces the heat. I almost always use the heat on the first or second fan setting. If I leave it on the second or third fan speed too long my car gets so hot I shut it off for a while.

  2. I have the fan set to low, and it is no more then slightly warm, if I turn it all the way up I'm just blowing in cold air. Maybe there is a problem with my heater, Ill see about getting it serviced.

  3. Last night it was the coldest I've driven the car in so far. The outside temp was 30 and my battery temp was 50. I had the fan on the second setting and the heat turned all the way up. I had a 45 mile drive to do and after about 5 minutes the cabin started to feel warmer and ten minutes in it was comfortable. I left the fan on the second speed the whole trip and it was fine, not "hot" but comfortable. I can see now that in really cold conditions the heater is just barely sufficient. If you turn up the fan to the fourth and highest speed, it literally blows cold air as the fan must overpower the heater coils. I can definitely see your concern now that I have paid closer attention to it.

  4. I have measured my heater at over 100 degrees F, I think yours is broken. I'll measure again to be certain. We use the heater on short trips, and it is toasty even when it is in the 30's outside.

    To save range, try preheating your cabin with this:

    On long trips I wear long underwear and when the weather is in the 30's, I also put a blanket over my lap. So far I'm still not using the heater on long drives until I get close to home and I am sure I have the range.

    Not using the heater is not unusual in cold parts of the county where people dress warm in case their car breaks down, which might be lethal in casual clothes. If one dresses warm anyway, why bother turning on the car heater? Hybrids also get lousy mileage when the heater is on.

  5. Robert

    With the car at 50 degrees F, fan on lowest and heater on max, my thermometer said 105 degrees after one minute. I am reading one inch from the heater vent by my feet with the control set to floor vents only.

    Fan up to #2, the thermometer was past the limit of 130 degrees after another minute.

    Fan up to #3, after another minute I read 125 degrees.

    Fan at max, after another minute it read 123 degrees. This is total of 4 minutes now.

    I had the windows open, car in garage, recirculate off.

    The last reading was 119 degrees after 6.5 minutes total with the fan on max since minute 3.

    Call the dealer, they will fix it for you.

    I'm going to let my heater run until the battery is down below 50% if I have time. I'll post the time results on my blog.

  6. I didnt have a thermometter handy but I would say It feels like about 80 degrees with my hand over the vent, with the outside temp in the 40's Outside temp makes a big differance.
    My MINI E is going in for the regular service at the end of the week and I'll ask them to test the output of the heater.
    Anouther anoying thing about the heater is that on a cold day you cant really turn it off, or you'll be blown with cold air even with the fan off, pressing the recirculate button every two minutes doesnt count as a reasonable course of action. Also I think the MINI's ventalation system fails to heat your lap no matter how you turn the air flow dial, even when I can feel a little warmth on my toes my upper legs are always cold in this car.

  7. Robert, I'm having very similar issues as you are having!
    Forest Hills, NY