Originally Posted by Lake Sonoma Guy
...It seems always best to use about 1/2 the EV mode when you start out and 1/2 the EV mode at the end of the trip....
I share your thoughts on this aspect of taking maximum advantage of the PHEV battery, although I haven't reached any hard conclusions about whether it's better to use half up front and half at the end, or 1/4 up front and 3/4 at the end. In my neighborhood, I'm occasionally confronted with significant climbs/elevation changes, and so I kind of like to only use 1/4 up front. That affords some "room" to accept a charge from regenerative braking, but provides ample assistance from the electric motor when needed for a steep or extended climb.
You didn't mention much about "when the ICE runs". The Niro will happily start the ICE and run it for only 10 or 15 seconds any time you demand extra power, such as (perhaps) when making a quick left turn across a busy highway. In my mind, the problem with that is that some Niro owners (esp PHEV owners) might drive in a way that causes the ICE to start and stop several times during an outing, but never run more than a few minutes total, and more importantly, spend all of its time running (and most importantly: all of its time starting) at cold temperatures. There have been at least a few people on this forum who have noticed that the oil seems to get contaminated with gas (they base this on the increased level reported by the dipstick and also by smelling the dipstick). I suspect that at least some of the people who are experiencing that might be driving in a way that tends to start the ICE, run it very briefly, and then let it shut off, maybe several times during an outing. What I'm trying to suggest is that, in addition to the battery management techniques you've described, there is this other consideration that you might want to keep in mind: if you need to start the ICE, try to let it run long enough to warm up at least part way to normal temperature. That way, when it needs to occasionally start and stop after that time, it will be starting at warm temperature, maximizing fuel efficiency, and reducing the potential that it will be introducing surplus unburned fuel (which it needs when cold) into the engine oil.