Kia American Executive discusses the Niro - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Kia American Executive discusses the Niro

Here is a video with a fascinating discussion of the Niro with a KIA American Executive. They discuss the Niro journey from a concept to design to manufacturing to selling it. The discussion is in the first 30 minutes of the video in the interview with the Kia Executive. Discussions begins about 3 minutes into the video

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for posting, that was a cool interview. I laughed out loud though when they claimed how smooth the launches were with the DCT. That's been a common complaint I've read about on the FB groups and by reviewers on how launches can sometimes lurch or stall. That's my only pet peeve with the car. I'm used to driving e-CVT hybrids and single reduction gear EVs. They are all so much smoother than the DCT in the Niro. I know they were going to sportiness and wanted to differentiate themselves from the Prius, but there's a reason there's millions of Priuses out on the road. Sometimes a little imitation is healthy.


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 11:40 AM
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Really enjoyed it. I can't imagine complaints over the launch other than a high performance start. Those can be a little rough. The DCT trait that I really like is the fact that it is always directly connected, no slush pump. That's why the launch is always electric. The PHEV does have a bit more powerful electric so a moderate to heavy launch might be smoother than the HEV.

KIA seems in a good position. The new Prius IMHO, is no less than butt ugly and the CVT just feels inefficient. I think the body shape hit the mark perfectly between efficency and utility. I just wish they made it in the US plant.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 03:38 PM
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Since the electric motor is going through the DCT on the PHEV (and likely the HEV as well), I can understand where it doesn't work as well as a CVT. My only complaint about the PHEV drivetrain is running out of EV power when climbing a hill while also attempting to accelerate. One example would be an uphill freeway on ramp, while another is just climbing the hill I live on from a dead stop at the bottom (3 way stop). I often notice the DCT changing gears attempting to keep the power flowing, but it's often shifting later than it should. A CVT would most likely be able to match the available motor power to the demand and stay out of the ICE more often.

My experience with a CVT was the Subaru Outback I traded for my Niro. Since it had the 3.0 six, not the 4 cylinder, the CVT was silky smooth and rarely revved the engine excessively. When I test drove the Honda Clarity, that CVT was particularly annoying if the ICE had to start.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 03:58 PM
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It doesn't matter which gear you are in or how fast you are going, the motor is capable of putting out max power. None extra from downshifting. The PHEV has a small motor relative to most EVs, and is just not capable of maintain speeds under some demands without backup.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
It doesn't matter which gear you are in or how fast you are going, the motor is capable of putting out max power. None extra from downshifting. The PHEV has a small motor relative to most EVs, and is just not capable of maintain speeds under some demands without backup.
True, but a lower gear in the transmission can increase torque at the wheels, which would improve acceleration. And I have absolutely felt it downshift under electric power.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 10:21 PM
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True, but a lower gear in the transmission can increase torque at the wheels, which would improve acceleration. And I have absolutely felt it downshift under electric power.
Yes, for max acceleration one wants max HP. HP is torque x rpm. Most motors, including the niros, have a flat torque curve so one wants max rpm for max HP. This means lower gearing than the niro typically selects. Would be nice to have an EV only sport mode.

The other rpm limiter is max Kwatts from the battery. The HEV and PHEV motor is the same, same torque rating. The difference is the PHEV has a larger, higher power rated battery which can drive the motor to higher RPMs thus more HP.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 02:58 PM
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I'm confused, probably because "motor" seems to be used interspersed with "ICE".

Electric motors typically put out max torque at all reasonable RPM's, if called for. From what I understand the HEV motor puts out 43 HP and the PHEV 60 Hp. If it weren't for the ICE, a transmission would likely be unnecessary.

The ICE puts out 0 torque at 0 RPM so it needs a transmission of some sort. If the trannie is direct drive, it can't even run with the car standing still.

From what I understand, the launch is always electric because the DCT is direct drive. The ICE starts almost immediately if needed. The DCT shifts as needed by demand. It seems to me that it shifts as if the ICE were running even when it isn't. Since the motor can provide all or no torque as required, it doesn't need the trannie and doesn't change the torque it delivers anyway. Road speed and demand therefor keep the trannie in a gear that will suite the ICE.

A Sport mode at 60 HP wouldn't be very sporty.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal View Post
I'm confused, probably because "motor" seems to be used interspersed with "ICE".

Electric motors typically put out max torque at all reasonable RPM's, if called for. From what I understand the HEV motor puts out 43 HP and the PHEV 60 Hp. If it weren't for the ICE, a transmission would likely be unnecessary.

The ICE puts out 0 torque at 0 RPM so it needs a transmission of some sort. If the trannie is direct drive, it can't even run with the car standing still.

From what I understand, the launch is always electric because the DCT is direct drive. The ICE starts almost immediately if needed. The DCT shifts as needed by demand. It seems to me that it shifts as if the ICE were running even when it isn't. Since the motor can provide all or no torque as required, it doesn't need the trannie and doesn't change the torque it delivers anyway. Road speed and demand therefor keep the trannie in a gear that will suite the ICE.

A Sport mode at 60 HP wouldn't be very sporty.
Actually, an electric motor has 100% torque at zero RPM. Transmissions are necessary to match the RPM range of the motor to best fit automobile use.

I think you're understanding the flow well. I'm certain the PHEV is shifting the transmission when it feels the electric motor power is insufficient to supply what the throttle pedal is requesting, but feels a lower transmission gear would increase the torque multiplication of the motor to make it unnecessary to fire the ICE. That's the feeling I get when I push hard up a hill, but try to stay out of the ICE. There's a bit of a lag/hesitation, then the transmission shifts down and I can feel an increase in pull up the hill. It's not that the motor isn't putting out it's peak torque, it's that by using the transmission in a lower gear they get more applied power at the wheels, which is what acceleration is all about. Yes, a more powerful electric motor would eliminate the need, but there's a cost/benefit trade-off for a PHEV. A pure EV that has only the electric motor for power, so it has to have more available.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 04:36 PM
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I haven't seen any posts using the terms ICE and motor interchangeably or in the wrong context. The DCT can slip a clutch I believe under certain circumstances, for example shifting from reverse to forward without coming to a full stop. It is not clear if it is programmed to slip under other circumstances. Certainly the ICE clutch can slip.

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