Some Interesting Observations at 3 Degrees Fahrenheit - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Some Interesting Observations at 3 Degrees Fahrenheit

So yesterday and today were the two coldest days of the year so far. 3 degrees F. or -16 C. Our Niro Hybrid is parked in a garage so my starting temperature was close to the freezing point until I pulled outside.

Yesterday, by the time I reached my destination (9 kilometers or 5.6 miles away), my fuel consumption was 8.1 liters per 100 kilometers and the Internal Combustion Engine had been running the entire trip, as were the heated seats and heated steering wheel. According to the instrument panel display, the engine had reached Full Operating Temperature by the time I reached my destination and the interior heat vents (Driver Only) were blowing VERY hot air. Also, my blue battery state of charge indicator was the highest I'd ever seen it at about 90% AND the Energy Flow Display indicated that the engine was no longer charging the battery, just powering the drive wheels directly, although Regen still appeared to function according to the instrument cluster display. The gasoline engine did stop immediately when I turned the heater off.

Today, I repeated the same trip and managed 6.1 liters per 100 kilometers. So what were the differences? I only activated the heater when travelling downhill and/or the Yellowish Orange INSTANTANEOUS Fuel Consumption Bar indicated I was using less than 5 liters per 100 kilometers. Also, under these conditions, the Energy Flow Display indicated that the Internal Combustion Engine was NOT powering the wheels directly but flowing to the motor/generator, then back out to the wheels whilst also charging the battery. I'd never noticed that before. As soon as that display indicated that the engine was powering the wheels directly, (and the battery state of charge was high), I shut off the heater until the engine started again anyway to recharge the battery. Obviously the heated seat and steering wheel were much appreciated during the early stages of the trip. I also discovered that I could actually achieve what appeared to be lower instantaneous fuel consumption by switching to SPORT mode and manually shifting to the highest gear it would allow (6th gear was achievable by 60 kph) with the engine virtually idling. In NORMAL mode, the vehicle seemed to be automatically holding on to a lower gear with the attendant higher revs, presumably to achieve faster warm-up.

I also discovered about a week ago, when the temperature was about -5 Celsius or 23 Fahrenheit, that running the heater causes VERY little fuel economy degradation on a long trip after the engine has reached full operating temperature. The gasoline engine is going to cycle anyway so rather than exhausting heat out the front radiator, we might as well use it to heat the cabin and then turn off or lower the heated seats and steering wheel to reduce electrical load. On a 225 kilometer round trip with a few stops, including one complete 2 hour cool-down period, we achieved 4.9 liters per 100 kilometers on dry roads. That same trip in the summer time would have yielded about 4.6 litres per 100 kilometers, so not much of a hit to stay warm. To be fair, I'm running 205/60/16 Michelin X-Ice Winter Tires as opposed to the 225/45/18 Michelin Summer Tires, and narrower tires are supposed to be more efficient.

It's those short trips in winter that can eat into mileage pretty dramatically. At any rate, if approximately 8 liters per 100 kilometers is the WORST I'm likely to see, that's still more than double the fuel economy I can expect out of our other ICE vehicle under similar conditions. I can live with that. In the summer months, the Niro is nearly 3 times more efficient in the city but only about 1.6 times more efficient at highway speeds. Once I get that 4,600 pound ICE vehicle rolling it does pretty well but getting it moving in the city takes a lot of fuel, plus the complete waste while sitting idling at stoplights.

Last edited by achr; 01-21-2019 at 11:08 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 05:28 AM
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FWIW to bring kids to school and back on cold freezing morning I went up to nearly 16l/100km... full ICE during 5km (3 to go 2 to come back), arived back home with batery unusually full as the electric was just used to start up to 10km/h (but with ICE running non stop heating up itself and ourselves and recharging the battery)... I think I did match the efficiency of my subaru

worth noting that in the afternoon to pick them up it was much warmer it has been done almost full EV

so the average of the day wasn't so bad
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 07:48 AM
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I'm always wondering. How do you turn on and off ICE ?


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 10:32 AM
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simple: you don't
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nounounounou View Post
simple: you don't
Yes, I am not asking if I should. I am asking how.
I have no intention to actually turn it off, but knowing how to do it, if it possible, can't hurt.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilauea View Post
Yes, I am not asking if I should. I am asking how.
I have no intention to actually turn it off, but knowing how to do it, if it possible, can't hurt.



The You don't answer should have been You Can't.


It is not possible for the driver to tell the engine to turn on or off. Thats the computers job.




Not to say that there arent things that you can do to "make" the computer act differently that it should, but that isn't really the same thing.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 12:03 PM
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In the case of the post in question, turning on the heat caused the engine to turn on under specified circumstances. You have indirect control of ICE turn on by a sharp push on the accelerator, switching to Sport mode, or depleting the battery. In the PHEV, you can switch to hybrid mode from EV which makes ICE on more frequent.

Turning the ICE off is more interesting and a potential mpg increaser. Climate off, foot off the accelerator usually does it. In CC, going down gradual downhill, dropping the set speed by a couple mph often turns off ICE before the car computer. But the best way to increase mpg is very gentle throttle and speed in slow city conditions. I've managed three miles in EV at top speed of 35 mph. Mind you in a hybrid, the battery has to be recharged so it might appear to be a zero sum game. However in the hybrid or PHEV, trying to stay in EV mode in the city and letting it run on most ICE on the highway is a winner. I only pay close attention to driving technique in the city at the ends of trips, on the highway I'm on cruise control.

For dilettantes though who are just playing around occasionally, letting the car computer algorithms decide how to manage efficiency is easier and probably better. Just focus on the same driving techniques that pay off in ICE only cars for good mpg: coasting long before a full stop is required, and slow acceleration. Both are best down when it won't annoy other drivers. Not driving at all (walking and biking) is even better, but while it saves you money, your mpg won't change!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilauea View Post
Yes, I am not asking if I should. I am asking how.
I have no intention to actually turn it off, but knowing how to do it, if it possible, can't hurt.

it seems you did not understand me I meant you can't turn it off.
not unless you switch all the car off... otherwise the car decides when tio turn it on or off...even though you can help sometimesadjusting your driving or settings but it is still the car that decides when the engine kicks in or not.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 02:31 PM
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You can run the car out of fuel - that would prevent the ICE from turning on

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cockedandglocked View Post
You can run the car out of fuel - that would prevent the ICE from turning on

hahahaha.! but can we still drive after we are out of fuel on our phev !
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