My 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid (HCHII) is equipped with an engine block heater (EBH), it allows me to plug the car into any standard household outlet to pre-heat the engine coolant allowing the car to reach operating temperature more quickly as well as to provide heat for the cabin and defroster much more quickly. Some people use their EBHs in the summer to get that extra percentage point of fuel economy, a car at operating temperatures gets better fuel economy than one that is warming up.
As you can see in the photo after the jump, this was a frosty morning, for my car and electricity rate it is marginally better to warm the vehicle by plug rather than running it but only marginally so. My issue is that my setup isn’t convenient to plug the car in and unplug it so I only use my EBH on cooler days where frozen water is involved, of course there are exceptions for or against plugging, for example competitions or laziness for instance.
As of this writing I’ve only used my EBH three times I have quite a few more uses to go before I’ve recouped my investment with fuel savings, but having instant heat is worth it.
It would be really nice if this could interface with either the starter battery or the IMA hybrid battery and top them off, but current production hybrids don’t offer this function.
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for the Midlands Hybrid Club
"Choose green personal transportation."
The Midlands Hybrid Club, is the home of the hybrid and hypermiling club of the Carolinas, based in Columbia, SC
My fuel economy, tracked at every fill-up since purchase, your mileage will vary.