European fuel saving gizmo helps battle frigid winters

By LARRY GRARD

MADISON — It’s not just the cold. Like most of us in the United States, Canadians and Europeans have always dealt with frigid winters. But long ago, fuel prices eclipsed $2 a gallon in Europe. And if that wasn’t enough to keep people from running their vehicles to warm them up on cold mornings, anti-idling legislation sealed the deal. In Europe and in Canada, you either scrape and get into a cold car, or you find another way to get it heated. As usual in such times of need, the business world came to the rescue. For years, Europeans and Canadians have used a fuel-saving, environmentally friendly heating device known as the BlueHeat heater. Now manufactured in Michigan by Webasto Product North America Inc., the timed devices defrost windshields and heat vehicle interiors in half an hour. Mounted on the dashboard and hooked up to the car battery, the BlueHeat heater consumes a tiny amount of fuel compared to what would be used during idling.

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