From: Paul Geary, ENN
Published September 8, 2005 12:00 AM

Innovative Environment-Friendly Products: BlueHeat

ENN brings you stories about the very latest environment-friendly products on the market today. Our news sections provide daily coverage of the developments that companies and organizations large and small are working on. And periodically, we bring you stories about innovative products from forward-thinking companies that aim to make your choices as a green consumer more varied. As the market for greener products expands, companies will fill that demand with more and better products that are good for the environment.

If you know about an interesting, innovative product that you'd like us to know about, e-mail us at

In this incarnation of our innovative product series, we're featuring BlueHeat, a product that performs many of the heating functions in your car, but without having to idle the engine. Idling engines spend fuel, and burn that fuel less cleanly than fuel that's being burned when your car is moving.

BlueHeat is made by Webasto, a company that makes components for cars. Webasto sells its products to major car companies ("original equipment manufacturers," or "OEMs") and to consumers. The company makes and sells typical automotive features such as sunroofs.

But BlueHeat is far from typical. BlueHeat pre-heats your car's engine, defrosts the windshield, and makes the interior of the car warm independent of the engine. The inside is comfortable before you even have to start the car. For folks in northern climes, the days of waiting in the cold while the engine warms up enough to power the heater would be over.


The BlueHeat device, which is mounted usually in the engine compartment, is powered by the car's battery and from fuel from the fuel tank. (It uses one eighth the fuel that an idling engine uses.) So in that sense, it's like a miniature engine that performs the heating function much more efficiently.

A digital timer can start BlueHeat, or a remote electronic key can start it. The device currently retails for less than $1,600.

There are several environmental benefits to using BlueHeat. It uses much less fuel to heat a cold car than an idling engine -- an idling engine gets zero miles per gallon, after all. That of course saves fuel, and results in less fuel being burned at idle, where the gas is burned less completely and causes higher emissions than a moving car. Also, it saves on engine wear caused by idling and driving a cold engine. Worn engines burn more fuel, and burn that fuel less cleanly.

You can learn more about BlueHeat on Webasto's website here.

There are a number of environment-friendly products and services to check out on ENN Expo, where companies feature information about their cutting-edge offerings to help make your life greener. Visit ENN Expo.

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