PHEV - What happens when 0 miles left of gas? - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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PHEV - What happens when 0 miles left of gas?

When I run out of electric and the gauge says I have 0 miles left till I run out, how much more driving is left? Any? It looks like there are still some white bars left on the EV part of the gauge. Will the car use up the gas and then switch back to EV till it runs out in a few miles?

I ask since I am at work with 22 miles to get home and I have 17 miles left on the gauge - never filled up yet with about 1060 miles on the odometer.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 02:21 PM
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When it says you have X number of miles left on battery, that is referring to EV-only driving range.


The remaining white bars are reserved for HEV driving (gas/electric combo).


So when your EV meter drops to 0, the car simply switches over from EV mode to HEV mode.


Even when it hits 0 miles remaining, you could theoretically stretch another 8 miles or so out of the battery by driving in HEV mode really, really conservatively so the gas engine doesn't kick on. But I say "theoretically" because in practice it's almost impossible to prevent the gas engine from coming on once in a while in HEV mode, and once you drop to about 2 white bars remaining, the car tends to run the gas engine whether you want it to or not, to keep the battery from completely discharging.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I should have mentioned what happens when I have 0 miles left of both electric and gas. But interesting point about getting more EV even if there is 0 EV left.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardavis View Post
I should have mentioned what happens when I have 0 miles left of both electric and gas. But interesting point about getting more EV even if there is 0 EV left.

If your tank is empty and your battery is dead, then your car stops.


I think you mean, if your battery is totally 100% drained, and no longer even has enough power to run the hybrid system (but you do have gas left)... in that case, your car will probably go into "limp mode" and scream all kinds of warnings and errors at you about damaging the hybrid battery.


That shouldn't ever occur - the car makes sure the battery always maintains at least *some* charge. One or two people did report total battery drain (which resulted in the above symptoms), but it's usually only in extreme circumstances - using lots and lots of battery power without ever regenerating any. For example, maybe flooring the gas pedal for a very long time to climb a very steep mountain.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 05:02 PM
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My PHEV has 7,000 miles on it now, and my battery meter has never once dropped below 1 white bar remaining. Even during a 400 mile trip where I crossed the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 10:59 PM
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Depending on your tank fill technique, you have some miles left at zero range. I've yet to run out of gas, but I have several times been a couple miles (7 miles was the most) below zero and filled the tank to its rated capacity, in the case of my HEV, 11.9 gallons. I fill to the brim, so I still have whatever is in the fill tube above the rated capacity, perhaps 15 miles? I'll find out some day. In addition to that, depending on the SOC, you might be able to limp 6 miles or more past that on EV only. Perhaps even more, as there is a hidden additional 20% that serves as a buffer, both to avoid damage from getting really low, and to disguise ordinary battery degradation from affecting your displayed EV capacity and range. As an additional safety, I suspect the range remaining is very conservative, pushing you to fill up before absolutely necessary.

At some point, I will run out of gas and limp into a station. My nerve and opportunity hasn't allowed that yet. Then I will know for sure how big the safety margin is when remaining range is zero.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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OK. After work I did make it to my main gas station near home.

I had 0 EV and 0 HEV and 4 white EV bars. I then drove about 4 miles to the station and filled up with 11.64 gallons - I still had 4 white bars so I assume I was still using gas and probably had several miles of gas left plus some EV.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 01:06 PM
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Good job! You have confirmed what I suspected that you can put more gas than the tank rating. In your case it was a quarter of a gallon over the 11.4 gallon rating of the PHEV tank. That means about 12 miles on gasoline alone when your range is zero. Did you fill completely to the gas cap?

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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No, not to the gas cap top. I filled to when it clicked off and then pulling the spout out a bit, filled again till the next click off.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 08:33 PM
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Might have been room for more! I fill a lot more after first click. I also try to optimize car attitude: away and down from pump. I try to eliminate air pockets and tediously slow topping off (which happens when car attitude is not great). Impressive you were able to exceed rated capacity with just your two click technique. For me, reaching rated capacity requires topping off.

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