Plugging in your devices? - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Plugging in your devices?

Back in the day of GAS only cars, it really didn't matter if you plugged anything in as the engine was running all the time with an alternator that would be generating excess power all the time. Why not plug in your near-dead cel phone to charge it back up. It is free power that would otherwise be going to waste.


But now with the Niro, the car is effectively an EV with a gas-powered backup battery. When the main battery is running low, your engine kicks in to give it a bit of a top-up. So as you are running on electric, the more things you are running, the more it affects the car. Turn on your power heated seats and yes your butt gets nice and toasty, but the power to warm you has to come from somewhere and ultimately it costs you in the distance you can travel.



So I wonder? Has your plug in habits changed since you got a Hybrid? Do you still plug in your phone to simply top it up, or do you decide if you can manage with the charge you have? Do you turn on the radio just to get some background distraction noise, or leave it turned off to save the energy?



Curious.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:08 PM
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I only plug in my phone when I'm streaming, and not always then either. But I don't do it to save energy - cell phone energy use is relatively trivial. I do watch my headlight usage, no running lights, and shift to neutral at stops to avoid several hundred watts of energy going to the creep function.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 03:48 PM
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Since you have to connect to use CarPlay, I still connect my phone. But I agree that the cell phone charging is so minuscule that it really doesn't impact anything. I usually connect even if I'm not using CarPlay, but that's mostly because my work phone (iPhone 6S) appears to have a degraded battery. Fortunately they are issuing me a new cell phone because they say iOS 13 isn't compatible with it. Since Apples says it is, my guess is there's some app they use to manage my phone that won't work correctly on this older phone with the new update. Speaking of which, iOS 13 is really going to improve CarPlay usability. I'm really looking forward to it. I just bought a new iPhone XR on Monday to replace my personal cell, and I can tell how much more powerful it is from my 6S.

I can't think of anything else I ever plug into the car. I leave my headlights and HVAC on Auto, as I've done with my past several cars with the same functionality. About the only change I've made is altering my driving habits to see if I can squeeze out more electrons from each charge of the battery. A little bit of a game, actually, to see how economical I can drive. I do wish we had a dash display that showed the real-time energy use while in EV mode. The power meter is meaningless without some sort of annotation as to what that swinging needle is actually telling us in real numbers.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 09:21 AM
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It has not changed my habits at all, but my Niro is an LX so it doesn’t have heated seats, and that is how I like it. I didn’t want all the features the higher end models come with.


As to plugging things in on a typical ICE vehicle and not worrying about them since they are using wasted power, that statement is not true. It takes power to produce power, no matter how small the load is. Granted, you will not notice a change in MPG due to plugging your phone in due to the load being so small. The load is so small that any change in MPG can be attributed to atmospheric and load changes. A load of less than 1 amp at 12 volts while the vehicle is running is nothing to worry about.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 10:46 AM
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I love using Apple CarPlay for navigation and podcasts so my phone is always plugged in. I wish the Niro had wireless CarPlay so that I could take advantage of my Niro's wireless charging pad, but alas I'm tethered to the cord. I have the PHEV Niro and the drive battery is always monitoring and trickle charging the 12V battery so I'm not concerned about a 1 amp continuous draw on the accessory line.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Today, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
and shift to neutral at stops to avoid several hundred watts of energy going to the creep function.

I have been thinking about this comment and wonder where you pulled this number from? It seems to be rather high. If you think of it, a 100watt light bulb gives off a whole lot of light and you will burn your hand if you tried to hold onto one for any amount of time. A lightbulb is a shorted piece of wire that gets very hot to the point it gives off light. But we are talking about a motor. So if you are feeding it 200watts of power, but the motor is not turning when you are stopped with the break on, so that 200watts will be converted into heat. That is quite a bit of heat to dicipate. I know from my work (woodworking) if you stall a motor, then you can burn out the coils inside.



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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Today, 08:36 AM
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I've only had my hybrid Niro for a month, but I haven't changed my plugin habits at all. I'm curious to see how the battery fairs through the winter and just what effect the heater seats, steering wheel, and mirror will have, as I will be using them regularly.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Today, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadkill401 View Post
I have been thinking about this comment and wonder where you pulled this number from? It seems to be rather high.
A forum poster who actually measured the draw (can't remember, he may have read it off the OBD). Seems like a lot to me too, but consider the power requirements to move from full stop. Or to go 6 mph without touching the throttle. When I first got the car, I just assumed there would be zero draw at a full stop with brakes engaged as that seems logical enough to program that way. But clearly it is not zero after gaining experience with the car and reading on the forums.

Try this: let go of the brake at a stop, and gently apply brakes after car starts to creep. As best I can determine, all braking below 6 mph is mechanical. You will find that the car continues to move while gently braking. That is another indication of some real power draw.

With some EV/hybrid cars, creep is a user option and I wish we had the option. I'd delete creep in a heartbeat!

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Today, 08:13 PM
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I wonder about this 'creep ' function also. We have a PHEV and a driveway with just a very small rise. When I stop on the driveway then remove my foot off the brake the car moves back a little before it catches itself and goes forward. My impression is that with the car fully stopped it has no creep if the pedal is depressed for any period of time. This is just my experience and feeling it has no technical or researched information to substantiate it.

In theory I think that type programming would make sense. If the brake pedal is depressed with the car stopped say for more than one second, disable any motor/electric draw.

Again I do not know the programming I am just basing a guess on what I have experienced.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Today, 09:25 PM
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There are two different possibilities here. One is that you came to a full stop hard, or a slow stop and then depressed your pedal a little harder. Both those cases will engage hill stop and delay releasing the mechanical brakes. The other case happens to me often as my driveway is inclined, and often my garage door doesn't open fast enough. So as I'm slowing gently, if I have time, I take my foot of the brake before a complete stop. The car continues to stop as gravity is still working, stops, and then creep starts the car up the incline and into the garage.

This second can be explained by just physics and a steady state creep (momentarily, the braking deceleration and gravity overcame the creep). I didn't explain this earlier as it is a little complicated and as we don't know for sure exactly how the creep function is programmed, this is confusing. It took me a long time to wrap my head around it and separate the braking functions from the creep.

The authoritative post about creep power draw at a full stop has pretty much convinced me. At least enough to shift into neutral at stops that last more than a few seconds! For a lifelong owner of cars with manual transmissions, I find that an easy habit to fall into. I like being able to take my foot off the brakes at stops, although this car rolls so well, I have to stop on a nearly perfect flat spot to take my foot off.

Oh, just thought of one more way for anyone to confirm power draw at a stop. I've posted this before on other threads. At a stop with your foot on the brakes, shift into neutral. And back into drive. You will feel the car's attitude change with each shift. Proof positive of energy consumption!

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