PHEV Battery Charge questions. - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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PHEV Battery Charge questions.

Hi,

Just got 19 Niro. Can you guys share with me your battery mileage when supposedly it's at 100% Mine shows 25 miles range? I know it was rated to be at 29 miles.

Also when driving on EV mode does the battery regenerates or just depletes? What would be the benefits of going hybrid instead?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dk74 View Post
Hi,

Just got 19 Niro. Can you guys share with me your battery mileage when supposedly it's at 100% Mine shows 25 miles range? I know it was rated to be at 29 miles.

Also when driving on EV mode does the battery regenerates or just depletes? What would be the benefits of going hybrid instead?

Thanks in advance.
On the '18 PHEV full charge range is listed at 26 miles. If you have the climate control on (even just the fan) the range drops to 24. Obviously these are just estimates, and I've gotten as much as 30 miles out of a full charge.

When driving in EV mode the battery regenerates while braking exactly as it does in hybrid mode. The only possible benefit to forcing hybrid mode with a full battery is if you have a route that has lots of high speed highway driving at the start, where EV mode is not optimal followed by a bunch of slower driving at the end where you could best use the EV range. I've tried it a few times, can't say I've noticed any difference in overall efficiency.

Jim
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 09:29 PM
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I agree with jmurphEV.


I've never tried to drive my 2018 PHEV in HEV mode with a fully charged battery, but my guess is that the computer will forsake some regen opportunities if you do that, because it doesn't want to overcharge the battery. If you draw down some of the electric range and then switch to HEV mode, then yes, the battery regenerates. In fact, the computer will try to maintain it at whatever charge it had when you switched to HEV mode (when regen increases the charge by more than one or two miles range, it shuts down the ICE and switches to electric until the range returns to where it was when you switched).


On a long trip that will exceed the electric range, I like to use up about 1/3 of the range, and then switch to HEV. If I encounter stop and go traffic, then I switch back to EV so that the ICE doesn't have to keep starting and stopping as traffic creeps along a few feet at a time. I also try to conserve some of the electric capacity for climbing hills, because even in HEV mode, the computer will take advantage of the additional battery capacity to deliver more climbing power. On the last leg of a trip like that, I switch back to EV mode when I'm close to home so that I fully take advantage of any remaining charge in the battery to maximize overall MPG for the trip.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 11:33 PM
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I agree with jmurphEV.


I've never tried to drive my 2018 PHEV in HEV mode with a fully charged battery, but my guess is that the computer will forsake some regen opportunities if you do that, because it doesn't want to overcharge the battery. If you draw down some of the electric range and then switch to HEV mode, then yes, the battery regenerates. In fact, the computer will try to maintain it at whatever charge it had when you switched to HEV mode (when regen increases the charge by more than one or two miles range, it shuts down the ICE and switches to electric until the range returns to where it was when you switched).


On a long trip that will exceed the electric range, I like to use up about 1/3 of the range, and then switch to HEV. If I encounter stop and go traffic, then I switch back to EV so that the ICE doesn't have to keep starting and stopping as traffic creeps along a few feet at a time. I also try to conserve some of the electric capacity for climbing hills, because even in HEV mode, the computer will take advantage of the additional battery capacity to deliver more climbing power. On the last leg of a trip like that, I switch back to EV mode when I'm close to home so that I fully take advantage of any remaining charge in the battery to maximize overall MPG for the trip.
I've played with this stuff very similarly to the way you describe it. Regarding starting in HEV mode with full battery, I've tried that. It seems to pull off some power off the top to leave a little room. For example at first propulsion will come from the ICE yes but along with a little boost from the battery as well as the battery providing the electrical loads (such as A/C) until there's a little headspace. If you think of the HEV battery of 1.5kwh then 500wh would be 1/3 and probably plenty for regen space on the PHEV if you leave that little bit open. So my cars behavior seems to indicate in the PHEV version it'll burn off half a kwh or so to allow room for regen.

There's a max speed for all EV mode which I believe is around 72 mph. If I jump out on the interstate with a full battery and set the cruise at 80 then the ICE comes on, BUT so does the electric propulsion. They both feed the wheels. The battery will tend to slowly burn down presumably because it's providing a small amount of boost as well as supplying power to all the normal electrical loads such as headlights. In that fashion the ICE engine isn't tapped out to the max and can burn somewhat more efficiently. Try it at 85 and you'll see it goes away pretty quick. You're near top speed on that thing and cranking virtually full rpm.

At those highway speeds (cruise at 85...think South Dakota where speed limit is 80) you'd actually be much better off with a VW diesel. Don't hate me bro. That thing will pull amazing mileage at those speeds whereas your kia is only going to pull sub-30 mpg. My wife did a 100 mile trip in this fashion starting with a full battery and the combined mileage was 35 when she was done. Holy fright she must have had that pegged hard because that number also includes the electrical so yeah. 3 gallons of gas for 100 miles when you start with '25' in the EV 'tank' and at normal speed would only have 75 miles in ICE? Nasty.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 01:18 AM
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I hope your wife didn't have the e-brake on


I rarely get above 75, and I was thinking I was paying a price for driving that fast, but on a recent long trip, I didn't see any difference in MPG reported by the trip computer for the first hour cruising between 65 and 70 and the second hour maintaining close to 75. Maybe it all falls apart north of 75 though.



I have noticed something similar to what you described: just because I toggle into HEV mode doesn't necessarily mean that the car will immediately stop using the battery for propulsion. It clearly has a mind of its own about this, but it kind of makes sense: even a pure hybrid switches back and forth between using the battery and using the ICE. So even if I did attempt to switch to EV mode with a full battery, probably the computer would still draw down the battery a bit before it started relying on the ICE.


One thing I continue to wonder about is whether there's any disadvantage to retaining a partial change in the PHEV battery during a long trip. I've previously described the advantages that I perceive, but conceivably, there might be a disadvantage in that it's easier to drive energy into a depleted battery than it is to drive the same amount of energy into a 2/3rds charged battery. So a light tap on the brakes here and there when the battery is depleted might effectively store more regenerated "juice" in the battery than the same tap will accomplish if the battery has a stronger opposing charge.


My driving experience suggests that what I'm doing is benefiting my overall fuel economy though, but my experience is still pretty limited at this point, and there is probably more to learn about the best way to optimize this.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 11:40 AM
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At those highway speeds (cruise at 85...think South Dakota where speed limit is 80) you'd actually be much better off with a VW diesel. Don't hate me bro. That thing will pull amazing mileage at those speeds whereas your kia is only going to pull sub-30 mpg.
I can't agree more on diesels, I've owned 3 VW TDIs over the years. In fact I currently own a 2001 VW Golf TDI and that thing gets 50+ mpg all day long with over 230,000 miles on the clock.

Diesels are fantastic at long highway trips, and are even pretty decent in stop and go with traffic. Gas engines can't compete without the additional complexity of stop-start tech or hybrid systems. It's telling that a modern hybrid with all of the regenerative technology barely exceeds the efficiency of a 17 year old diesel. Now, when you factor in emissions the diesel starts to lose out significantly, which is why they've pretty much been abandoned in favor of hybrids and EVs.

I will disagree on the performance of the Kia at highway speeds though. I've taken the Niro on a couple of long highway trips and while I haven't been cruising at 80+mph I been doing in the 70s for many miles. On those trips, even starting with a depleted battery, I've averaged ~50mpg. So while the hybrid may not be perfectly suited for long high speed cruises, it's not a total liability in that case.

Jim
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