Experiment concluded. I ran the battery down to 69%, then kicked it into Sport mode. It was about another 10 miles to the airport, with a little bit of a climb at the end. When I parked in the garage, I still had 69% charge. I saw as high as 71% and as low as 68%. When I left the airport, I switched back to Sport mode after I cleared the garage. This time I had some downhill to make up for the climb getting there. After about 10 miles I had enough battery range remaining to finish the drive in EV mode. When I switched back, I had 71%.
Based on this test, I don't believe the Niro PHEV has the ability to charge via the ICE. Most of the 2% improvement in SoC was from the downhill stretch that had a slight regen in effect. The rest is the same +/- 1% change I've seen just using the HEV mode (which is also labeled charge sustain mode in the manual). Perhaps the Ioniq will charge in Sport mode, and maybe, just maybe I did pick up 1% battery charge from the ICE in Sport mode. But with the severe drop in my average MPG display, there's no way it is of any value to use the ICE to charge. At the rate I might have seen, it would take several hours of freeway driving to add any useful amount of charge. Any power flow the display shows from the engine to the battery is solely to maintain the state of charge that was shown when the switch to HEV mode was made.
2019 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium
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