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Heat engine?

Ran across a letter to the editor in Feb 09 Road and Track. The letter writer made reference to the “heat engine” used in the Chevy Volt the editor made no comment that he did not know what a “heat engine” was.I conclude the writer was talking about the 1.4L gasoline engine that comes with the Volt.

Is it common with todays hybrids to refer to the IC engine that the car is equipped with as a “heat engine” (possibly making reference to the great lost energy from the IC design)?

Maybe I am missing something

“Heat Engine” must be the latest buzz-talk for a reciprocating piston, internal combustion engine.

The Chevy Volt uses no “heat engine” as it’s not in production and it very well may never make it to market. This car is unsellable unless gasoline is priced in the $3.50-$4.00 a gallon range…A global depression means .75 cent gasoline in 2010 when the bankrupt General motors is supposed to introduce the Volt…

The “Wikipedia” defination is very broad but does include the IC engine along with many others.It does sound like a “buzz word” usage.

I’ve always wondered about electrically-driven cars sold in cold climates. Where does the heat for the interior come from?

I know full well that the current crop of hybrids get interior heat from their gasoline engines. But what about a car like the Volt, which, by the way, is not on the market yet (so there is no “1.4L gasoline engine that comes with the Volt,” because there is no Volt).

Be that as it may. In theory, the Volt’s gasoline engine will only run when the car’s propulsion batteries need to be charged. So what does the driver do when it’s below freezing outside? What’s providing heat for the driver and passengers? I have yet to hear this issue addressed.

I don’t see how pure electrics will work in colder climates. It will take a LOT of battery power to provide interior heat, and this will significantly reduce the useable range of the car’s batteries.

Maybe that’s why they call it the “heat engine!” Because it provides heat for the interior of the vehicle.

Just guessing.

They could add a fluid fueled heater like they did in the old VW’s. They could use a heat pump (A/C), They could include the instructions to wear a heavy overcoat in cold weather.

GM’s first electric car, EV-1, used a heat pump to provide heat in winter and A/C in summer.

At times, this heat pump would consume half the vehicles power, limiting range to under 50 miles…Now add the headlights and sound system, the GPS, the rear window defroster…That 1.4L engine will be very busy…

In the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, there was a battery powered car available called the Citicar. It had an optional propane heater for colder climates. From what I’ve read, this unvented propane heater did cause the windows to fog. Perhaps one solution would be for GM to reintroduce the compact pick-up truck of this era–the Chevrolet LUV. “I’ve got my LUV to keep me warm”.