05 January 2010

Heated seats and blankets

When we visited Ken last week to charge at his place on our trip, he mentioned that a heated seat would be nice in the Mini E and probably use less power, thereby not reducing the driving range as much as the cabin heater.

Now, I like to brag that I don't use the heat on my 120 mile commute but I admit it is getting a little old.  And it turns out there are many 12 volt electric blankets and heated seat cushions on the Internet for sale.  The hard part is finding one that specifies the amount of power it draws.  The Mini E has only one 12 volt outlet that I can find, which is limited to 200 watts.

Here are some that do specify power drain:

60 watt heated blanket

45 watt heated seat cushion

80 watt 12 volt blanket

I think I am going shopping.  I might have to retire my hot water bottle if one of these work.  But then I won't be able to call myself a Manly Man anymore, using a sissy heater...

Does wearing wool underwear qualify one as a Manly Man?


  1. This is awesome. I've been thinking for a while that heating the whole cabin is a waste of power; we just happened to do it with gas engines because there was so much waste heat around.

    Can you heat up the engine or the car seat before you unplug from the wall? The specific heat capacity of solids going from 0C to 100C is not as good as the energy density of batteries, but they are within an order-of-magnitude, so it seems worth it to warm things up.

  2. Dan

    I wrote a lengthy reply and blogspot crashed. Drat.

    I think the 12 volt outlet will stay powered while charging from shore power if the car is "on" meaning accessory power is on. This won't run the internal cabin heater. Need to leave the key fob inserted of course, but take out the emergency key and lock the doors.