Question for PHEV users only... - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Question for PHEV users only...

Hello all,


Quick and tricky one this morning. I have the PHEV since one and week and when my battery is charged, i am on the EV 110%.!


BUT, when the battery goes empty, the system pop's into the HEV mode, and the system goes on EV mode, comes back to engine mode etc.. same ting if like when i had my HEV.. only 2 lines of battery are displayed on the dash panel, and i can see that the PHEV battery is not charging with the engine, and tells me that i have 0km left. (sometime's i get 1 or 2 km up but no more = regeneration ??)



Some people told me that i need to go on the sport mode too charge up the PHEV battery.



1- If i get a full battery and i go on HEV mode, does the PHEV battery goes down or it os not affected on the charge left. (HEV battery vs PHEV battery)


2- Can the HEV system recharge the PHEV battery ?




** HEV battery is the one under the back seat and the PHEV is the one under the cargo space.



Thanks.!

Eric, The Canadian Guy !!


Kia Niro 2019 - PHEV SX - Snow White Pearl (13000 km)

Kia Niro 2018 - HEV EX 9000 km - Ocean Blue (Deep Cerulean) 6 months of pure pleasure.!!!



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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 01:53 PM
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Hi there, fellow PHEV owner here.


What you are describing is normal - the car will NOT try to recharge itself much beyond what is used for normal hybrid (HEV) driving. With agressive downhill driving, you might get it to charge up 1-2km worth of battery, but generally it will maintain it a 0km of battery (25% battery charge) once the extra energy (from plugging the car in) is depleted.


There's a very good reason for this.


Using the gasoline engine is a VERY expensive and inefficient way to charge your battery. You are FAR better off using 100% of the gas engine's energy to power the wheels, as it's only maybe 25% efficient at using that energy to charge the battery. This translates to wasted gasoline and money.



It would take probably at least 1-2 gallons of gasoline just to charge the battery to 100%. If the gas engine was an efficient way of charging the battery, Kia wouldn't have installed a plug in the car.


This is why your PHEV has a plug. It's designed to be charged up using electricity from your wall. This is, by FAR, the most efficient and cost-effective way to charge your battery. Then, when you drive, use all that PHEV charge to drive until it gets depleted, then let the car drive as a normal HEV until you're able to plug it in for another recharge.

If you attempt to recharge the battery above 25% while driving (by using the gas engine, sport mode, etc.) you will generally find that the car is far less efficient and more expensive to operate.
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Last edited by cockedandglocked; 12-17-2018 at 02:02 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 02:14 PM
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To answer your specific questions:


1- If i get a full battery and i go on HEV mode, does the PHEV battery goes down or it os not affected on the charge left. (HEV battery vs PHEV battery)


If you force the car into HEV mode when the battery is full, the charge level will be mostly unchanged while you drive in HEV, but it will likely change a little bit. It might drop by a couple miles, depending on lots of different variables. It's still using the battery for regular HEV drive, just to a much lesser extent than it would in EV mode. It also charges (through regenerative braking, etc.), so you may not actually lose much or any charge. It depends on how you drive, and other factors.

2- Can the HEV system recharge the PHEV battery ?


The HEV and PHEV battery is all one big battery, despite your dashboard meter making it look like it's 2 separate batteries. Yes, the car can charge the battery enough to add EV miles, but it usually won't charge the battery much after it achieves 25% charge (which is when your dashboard meter shows 100% HEV battery and 0% EV battery). For the reasons explained in the post above this one.


On very long, very steep downgrades, I have gained as much as 4-5 miles of EV battery range from the car recharging itself, but this is VERY rare. In 7,000 miles of driving my car, that's only happened one time. Usually, the meter will sit at "0 EV miles remaining" indefinitely until you plug it in. The car usually only tries to maintain about 25% battery charge to keep the hybrid system operational, it does not normally try to recharge itself much beyond that, because that isn't efficient, but on the rare occasion when the car is regenerating excessive amount of energy from downhill braking, it will indeed dump it into the PHEV battery. Just don't expect that to be a common occurrence.
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Last edited by cockedandglocked; 12-17-2018 at 02:21 PM.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thank you cockedandglocked,

Since i am in a "lets test the PHEV" mode, i realise that i am still on the "HEV process" mode since i had one for 6 months.. In my head it was.. i'm rooling and rooling, and i keep getting 2 bars instead of see it getting 3 bars and 4... etc..


Your anwsers are very clear and i do now "catch" the "How it works" process on the car.!


It's cool to know that when at 0 mile or KM for me, the battery is at 25% in HEV mode... and the 75% missing is that PHEV battery that is placed in the cargo ares. And dont worry, i wont drive it in Sport mode to recharge it! hahaha


Thanks again for the helpfull info


Eric

Eric, The Canadian Guy !!


Kia Niro 2019 - PHEV SX - Snow White Pearl (13000 km)

Kia Niro 2018 - HEV EX 9000 km - Ocean Blue (Deep Cerulean) 6 months of pure pleasure.!!!



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Last edited by lafe005; 12-17-2018 at 03:01 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 10:35 PM
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Glad I could help!


To clarify further, there are not separate PHEV and HEV batteries. It's all one big single battery. The meter on the dashboard makes this confusing, I know. The car treats the first 25% of the battery as the HEV drive battery, and treats the other 75% as the EV battery. The car will always default to EV mode when the battery is over a 25% charge, otherwise it reverts to HEV mode and generally maintains a 25% charge after that, except in extreme circumstances - namely, during long inclines it might drop well-below 25%, and during long declines it might go up above 25% (but probably not above 50% unless you're driving down Mt Everest).


Where sport mode comes in handy for charging the battery, is when your battery level is REALLY low. Like, dangerously low. You don't really want it to get below "1 bar remaining" on the meter, or else you'll get some really threatening warning messages on your dashboard about damaging the battery. And if, God forbid, you actually do hit 0% remaining on the battery, you could actually potentially damage the battery. This is where people have switched to Sport Mode to give the battery a little juice, not because they want to add EV miles but rather because they don't want to damage the battery. This all sounds scary, I know, but rest assured this is really rare and doesn't even happen at all to most people. It has never happened to me.
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