How does a Prius warm the inside of the car or de-ice the windshield on a cold icy winter morning?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, it really depends on what market the Prius was built for... but in general:

    The Prius is a low emissions vehicle first, and the great fuel economy is just a nice side benefit... So, when started from cold, the gasoline engine is run to warm itself (such as oil and coolant) and emissions components (such as the catalytic converter and O2 sensors) up to proper operating temperatures. Heat for the passenger compartment is provided by blowing a fan over the warm engine coolant coils and this now warmed air is piped into the passenger compartment. So, the gasoline engine may run more often in the winter (not go into full EV as often) just to provide heat. (I'll note that the batteries operate best at what humans would consider to be "room temp," and the batteries below the rear cargo area are warmed by sucking heat from the rear seat area of the passenger compartment, so of course the Prius will be sure to keep the passengers happily warm...) So, the Prius provides heat to the passengers just about the same way that any other conventional gasoline car would, from "waste" heat generated by the gasoline engine. However, since the Prius doesn't normally produce much "waste" heat because it would normally turn itself off and let the electric motors propel the car, the gasoline engine may run more often just to provide heat.

    (Some Prius sold in cold weather climates/countries also have some small PTC electric heaters to help pre-heat the air blown at you while waiting for the engine to warm up. NHW20 (current hatchback model) Prius sold in North America also have a small thermos-like flask (CHHS - coolant heat storage system) that stores some warm engine coolant at shutdown (makes some whirring noises when the car is off, concerns some new owners), and re-pumps it back into the system at startup to help warm things up faster.)

    As for blowing warm air at the front windshield, the Prius will also turn on the air conditioning compressor to dehumidify the air. On a Classic NHW11 (2001-2003 US model years, sedan), the gasoline engine would have to come on to provide power via a belt to drive the AC compressor (though it would not light up the AC button). On the current NHW20 Prius, the AC compressor is electrically-driven (powered by the hybrid traction battery), so the gasoline engine is not required to help dehumidify the air. (However, the electricity has to come from somewhere, so eventually when the hybrid battery's SOC (state of charge) gets low enough, the gasoline engine will come back on to recharge it.)

  • 1 decade ago

    The prius has the same basic controls as any other vehicle and will warm the car and de-ice the windshield in exactly the same way. The only difference is whereas a conventional vehicle will be burning your $3-$4 per gallon gas to achieve this goal, the prius will be using the electric motor in conjunction with it's engine and saving you a small fortune in running costs over the years. But then again some people have more than enough money to burn.

    Source(s): Prius owner
  • corina
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The controls and electronics used to regulate the engine on your vehicle have come an prolonged way interior the final 10 years. definite, you may definitely start up the vehicle, buckle up and be on your way although that's maximum suitable to be user-friendly on throttle inputs because of the fact the engine is warming up for the 1st few mins or couple of miles. if it is chilly, properly provide it one greater minute formerly pulling away as i'm optimistic you will sense the stiffness interior the vehicle because it starts to flow. you will no longer injury it by no longer letting it idle for some mins, yet you is in basic terms no longer doing the engine any favors in case you're aggressive with it whilst that's soaking up warmth and warming up.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with the first answer but to add to it. there is a coolant tank that has a pump and a heater in it to keep the coolant moveing when the engine is not running.

    Source(s): 6 year toyota master technician
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    same way a normal car does, it still has an engine in it.

  • Fred C
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In really cold climates, they come with a fireplace!

  • Dave
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It is a big secret and we cant tell you.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.