Odd mileage behavior? - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Question Odd mileage behavior?

Hi all..I have a 2018 Niro PHEV (Deluxe or whatever the higher trim version is).

I bought about last May or June, I think. I've been mostly happy with the car, but have started noticing something odd the last few months.

I'd heard that the battery performance was diminished in colder months, so I was kind of expecting that. I assumed the way that would manifest is that instead of it showing 26 miles of battery (or 24 with heater on), it would show a lower number. Let's say, 16 or something.

But what I've noticed, ever since the weather started getting colder (and I'm not 100% sure this is the cause...but it seems to have started about the same time) is that the battery still shows 26, however....I notice that gas miles are going down along with battery miles. The rate isn't consistent, but there are times when it is almost 1:1 meaning the battery isn't really being used at all.

Additionally, and this is the part that really bothers me the most...the car NEVER shows that the engine is on even when it obviously is. It still shows it's in EV even though gas miles are going down and I can hear the engine.

On a side note...I took car in for oil change the other day, and explained this problem to the service rep and he did some research and said that they had never heard of this behavior.

My question(s) to you?
Is this normal?
Is this how the cold weather battery performance manifests?
If so, why does it misreport the status of the car as being in EV mode rather than HEV mode?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 08:57 PM
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Our cars can be in EV mode with the engine on. Mine does it on every cold morning and some temperate mornings. Besides the sound, it is easy in the HEV to tell as the instant mpg gauge will be very low (burning gas with no motive power supplied - similar to idling mpg), and the EV light is on.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 11:23 PM
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I just have a regular Niro so I'm not that familiar with the Plug in. Could it be that the ICE is on ONLY to make heat and not at all to power the car. Is that why it shows that the ICE is not on?

Gene Daytona Beach Beach, Fl.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 12:11 AM
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When I'm driving my 2018 PHEV in EV mode and I turn on the heat, the ICE starts but the EV light stays on. I have the impression that the car is a bit more responsive to the accelerator pedal when this is going on (suggesting that in addition to generating heat, the ICE might be charging the traction battery).

Most of the time I turn on the seat heaters and leave the Climate heat off. Or, if I decide that I want Climate system heat, I tend to put the car in HEV mode and turn the climate heat up to max temperature setting until the car feels comfortably warm, then I dial it back to a reasonable temp and (depending on how far I'm planning to travel) maybe put the car back in EV mode. When the ICE is running just to generate heat and not also power the drive train, the Climate system doesn't seem to really get warm enough quickly enough to satisfy me. But I don't know how good or bad my practices are for overall fuel economy because I haven't needed to run the Climate heat that much so far.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 06:13 PM
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The ICE is charging the battery almost always when running I believe. I've not set up PIDs yet in my OBD reader to view this directly, but the the power flow diagrams and the battery level gauge offers a delayed view of charging in my HEV that suggests this. Charging can be turned off if the battery becomes too full, but this would be a very unusual event. More likely to involve regen than ICE with the possible scenario being someone who lives on the top of a long hill and charges battery fully before leaving home. Anecdotally, this has been reported in the Ioniq forums several times where regen cuts off and leaves you dependent on engine braking and physical brakes.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 11:39 AM
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Yes what’s said is correct. Your ICE comes on to generate heat in the winter. It’s the only way the car has to generate heat. But since it’s just idling and not driving the wheels, the car still shows “EV” mode. The HEV does the same, but idling does use gas so your gas miles will go down too.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 10:37 PM
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Same here with the 2017 Niro EX HEV............COLD here in Northern NY (near Canada) and EV will display while the engine is running during initial startup when car is warming up. It is not driving per se and I have read that less engine is used for the idling/warm up process than is used for actual driving.........once the car starts moving EV goes OFF, and wont come back on until car is fully warmed up and ICE/EV/HYBRID modes will then alternate as usual.............if your interested bring up the car display on the radio/head unit (big screen) and when your EV light is on the dash area behind the steering wheel, look at the FULL car display...........you will see the little dots moving from the engine to the battery, and CHARGING will display above the car..........(while in idle mode)..........EV with ICE engine OFF will show the word IDLE on this large display, and while driving this display will show CHARGING (ice/engine being used) or ELECTRIC (all electric battery drive) or HYBRID mode (gas/electric)..............this is how is works on the 2017 EX, not sure if changes have been made to this display after that however.
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