Taken to the limits up and down grade - Page 2 - Kia Niro Forum
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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The low fuel warning is rather ominous mentioning damage to the battery. It came at 22 or so miles left, a bit after the initial low fuel light. Shortly thereafter it took 10.86 gallons so the remaining miles were just slightly pessimistic.

I tried the HEV mode at about 37% battery and it seemed to try to maintain that but when I shut down, I think it switched back to EV and used my 4 remaining EV miles.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 01:50 PM
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The last fill on my HEV showed 30 miles of range remaining, yet topping off showed over one gallon left in tank (likely more than 70 miles remaining). So yes, Kia doesn't want you to run out of gas.

I'm actually hoping to run out of gas and waiting for a good situation to do that safely (with stations nearby). I have several times filled up within a hundredth of the rated tank capacity of 11.9 gallons so I still don't know how much reserve capacity I have in the filler tube or how far I can really go on a single tank. Two reasons I want to know, one to minimize how often I have to buy gas, and two, for better timing of buying gas when I pass by the best price.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 08:47 PM
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With only limited experience (purchased 2/1/2019), I have an extreme down grade from home to work and the reverse to return home. I generally charge at work, because of lesser cost per kWh than at home. My experience is to use as much of the EV mode going up the grade up to the expected miles to return to work and then use HEV mode. And reverse the process on the way to work the next day. Using the EV mode all the way to work giving me somewhere around 4EV miles left. Once a week a make a 170 mile trip with an overnight stop. I charge fully when I leave and the night over. 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've done this now for 3 weeks. The mileage is at 1300 and according to the Accumulated mileage and MPG as of this time I'm averaging 74 miles to the gallon and have only used the initial fill up, plus about 1/4 of the newest fill up.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lake Sonoma Guy View Post
...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.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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I have also worried about the short duty cycle of the ICE. Conventional wisdom is that's extremely hard on an ICE. I particularly worry when the cold engine is called upon for near max power in a passing or short interval merge situation.

At the same time, I have to think that is part of the design. Not much power and total computer control of the engine makes it possible to largely counter the effects of a short duty cycle. I think oil dilution is a red herring. With computer control and fuel injection; this isn't my old Oldsmobile.

Bottom line is that I'm going to, like with the battery, trust KIA's design. The designers don't know how long a trip I might take or when I'll have a mountain to climb but they sure know I'm going to need sudden bursts of a cold ICE occasionally.
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