car news

How much energy does seat heating cost in your car?

January 23, 2024

Energy guzzlers

Your car obviously contains the necessary systems that all require energy. Consider the heater, the radio system or a USB port to charge your smartphone or power your navigation system. But seat heating also consumes energy. It varies from car to car how much impact all those systems have on fuel economy.

100 watt power

According to the German Road Service, fuel consumption per 100 watts of power shoots up by 0.1 liters per 100 kilometers. That energy consumption can quickly add up to 500 watts, for example, if you turn on steering wheel heaters, seat heaters and the heater to warm yourself up during the winter months or on a cold morning or evening.

A mathematical example

Thus, those who drive continuously with these systems enabled should expect higher fuel consumption. On average, all these 500-watt systems cost you an extra 0.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Suppose your car drives 400 kilometers and the fuel costs 1.90 euros, these systems will cost you about 3.80 euros. So if you refuel every week, that can add up to just under 200 euros on an annual basis.

Differences by car

This is obviously the theory, moreover, so it is different for each car. Because some cars have more efficient systems on board compared to older models. So it gives purely an indication of how much energy a system like seat heating costs. The German Wegenwacht looked only at fuel-engine models, but it may be clear that even with a battery-electric car, energy consumption increases when you turn on systems.

Also for motorcycles

Motorcycles can have seat and handlebar heaters. Motorcycles also cost extra fuel when you activate these systems. Again, 100 watts of power equals 0.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.

Upgrading to a car with seat heating

Do you have a car without a seat heater or steering wheel heater? But would you want to upgrade to a car that does have these amenities? Then, of course, you can sell or trade in your car at a dealership. Selling the car privately is of course an option, but you may not be waiting to have people over to your home. You can sell your car through OSW. You then register your car within 5 minutes and within 24 hours you will receive bids from companies that are seriously interested in your car. This can include damaged and scrap cars. Selling your motorcycle is also possible, of course. The same sales structure applies to that. Chances are then you’ll quickly sell your car or motorcycle and get that vehicle upgrade quickly. Because admit it: during the winter months, seat or steering wheel heating is extra nice.

Extra benefit if you choose electric?

The only question then remains: do you buy an internal combustion engine car? Or will you drive electric anyway? Know that some electric cars allow you to preheat the interior even while the car is on the charger? This is called preconditioning. Cooling the interior is also possible, of course. The advantage of this feature: no precious energy is lost along the way to get the interior to the desired temperature. Because the energy needed to heat or cool the interior is taken directly from the charging station, without reducing the battery charge level. In that case, turning on a system like seat heating has even less impact on energy consumption. And that, of course, is the best case scenario.