Using an engine heater before starting the vehicle is a way to achieve greater energy efficiency and lower emissions in the transport sector. To preheat the engine may reduce the friction and this may lead to lowering the additional fuel use that occurs during cold starts.
The aim of the study is to find out how much the cold start effects can be reduced in the regional and national level, provided that the engine heater is used effectively.
The study is based on data on travel patterns, meteorological data, parking forms, existence of engine heaters, use of engine heater, start distributions regarding location, how long the vehicle has been parked as well as the time of year, day and hour. To conduct the study, the tool COLDSTART2014 been used and it has been updated to become more representative of the current conditions. The updated tool has been used to update estimates of cold start effects (fuel use, emissions and electricity consumption) for different environmental classes for passenger cars.
The report provides answers to how much the cold start effects can be reduced in the regional and national level, provided that the engine heater is used effectively. There is a difference between the different environment classes on how an engine heater is used efficiently.
There should be recommendations based on environmental class, parking time and ambient temperature, and not like today when they are solely based on ambient temperature. What constitutes an efficient use of engine heaters also depends on the cost perspective. If you look at socio-economic costs, engine heaters should be used much more frequently and longer than with a perspective of private economy.