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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently in January 2022, a snowstorm caused a shutdown of I-95 in Virginia. People were stuck in their vehicles OVERNIGHT in cold winter conditions. This has prompted me to wonder again, how exactly does my 2017 RAV4 heat the cabin. Does it use waste heat from the ICE as do traditional ICE-only automobiles? Is that the only source of cabin heat? Is there an electric heater? Is there a heat pump? Can my 2017 RAV4 Hybrid generate cabin heat on battery power alone?

I believe knowing how your vehicle works can in rare instances be a matter of survival. This is especially true if you had to know how long the cabin heat would last. I live in the California desert, but on a mountain top where we do get snow and sometimes HEAVY snow and ice where the highways and mountain passes do get shut down. Parts of these roads have long stretches with no exits where even trying to walk out would be hard. It's rare but I prefer to know and be prepared because, sh!* happens. Also, I do travel interstate by road sometimes, where even if you plan and check ahead of time you can get into weather situations and conditions you didn't expect because you are not familiar with the territory.

For that matter, does the A/C work off of the ICE or by battery power, or both?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For the 2017 Hybrid the heat is
coming from the ICE. There are versions with a PTC heater but that is just to provide a tiny amount of heat during the warm up cycle. The ICE does not have an electric waterpump so without the engine running the heater stops quite quickly because there is no circulation of coolant anymore when the ICE is off.

The AC is electric and works with the engine off as well but when the battery gets low it starts the ICE again.
Wow. So no heat in my 2017 RAV4 Hybrid without the gasoline engine running. That seems how it is because I don't notice much heat at startup. Thank goodness I have seat warmers. They work off of the battery. I know that.
 
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