Complexity for a non-technical driver - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Complexity for a non-technical driver

We are planning on buying a 2020 Niro PHEV that my wife will be using mostly for her 15km commute to work during the week, and then various longer trips on weekends.

That said, my wife isnít the most technologically inclined person, so I have a question about monitoring driving modes. Can she just push an EV button and drive in electric, and the car will switch to ICE if there is no more battery, or will she have to monitor battery and manually switch to hybrid if the battery gets low?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 12:33 PM
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The car is completely automated in the way you are asking about. She will have to do nothing other than make sure the car is full of gas and if she wants to take advantage of the electric portion just plug it in to charge it up. This car handles everything itself, it will pick the most economical/practical way to propel the car and do all the calculations and switching itself. It really does require no driver input other than making sure it has gas in it and if you want to take advantage of the electric drive make sure it is charged up. The PHEV will run on gas only if she runs out of electric charge and she will never know the car switched over. A wonderfully engineered vehicle! Incidentally fully charged with a full tank of gas our 2019 NIRO PHEV shows a 545 mile range before we would run out of gas.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 12:48 PM
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How this works in a real world example - we took a 150 mile trip in our PHEV this weekend. It had a full tank of gas and a full electric charge. I pushed the start button and began our trip the car ran on electric for 31 miles and switched over to gas for the rest of the trip. I had to do nothing other than drive the vehicle the car did all the rest. On getting home I plugged it back in and the electric battery charged and the car is ready to run on electric for its first 30+ miles. If my trip was less than 30 miles the car would have run on all electric for the full trip.

You tube has some good vehicles on how plug in hybrids work.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply. That explains it perfectly.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 05:38 PM
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The PHEV does have methods to control when to use EV and when to retain charge. But as mentioned above it's completely optional. I took a 250 mile trip yesterday over mountains. I held charge (using Sport Mode) as soon as I hit the freeway, so when we reached our destination we motored around town completely in EV mode. I was down to about 8 miles when we headed for home, and again switched to Sport mode which not only maintains the battery charge, it adds a small amount. When I was about 13 miles from home I switched back to EV mode, and had about 5 miles remaining when I parked in the garage and plugged it in. Is it necessary to do this? Not at all. I just wanted to have EV at both ends of the trip so have a more enjoyable drive once off the freeway. The point is that the car gives you the flexibility to do something like this.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 06:36 PM
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Hands on management boils down to this:

1. Charge at every possible convenient time if you are not paying a meter.
2. Keep it in EV mode in city driving, and HEV mode on highways.
3. Try to arrive at a charging destination (usually home) with no EV miles remaining.

You don't have to do any of this, but this is how to get best efficiency out of a PHEV. If that is too much trouble, you are better off getting a plain HEV. Less weight, wear and tear on engine and components, and better overall mpg that using the PHEV only in HEV mode.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
Hands on management boils down to this:

1. Charge at every possible convenient time if you are not paying a meter.
2. Keep it in EV mode in city driving, and HEV mode on highways.
3. Try to arrive at a charging destination (usually home) with no EV miles remaining.

You don't have to do any of this, but this is how to get best efficiency out of a PHEV. If that is too much trouble, you are better off getting a plain HEV. Less weight, wear and tear on engine and components, and better overall mpg that using the PHEV only in HEV mode.
Other than point 1 I don't do any of that in my PHEV. I've tried maximizing efficiency manually but in my experience the car does a pretty good job and I've never been able to measure any significant improvement. I think the PHEV is a perfect fit for anyone whose normal drive is within the EV range but needs the essentially unlimited range compared to the full BEV regularly and can't afford or doesn't want another car for that case. I would say if you want to amuse yourself by trying to beat the computer rock on, but it's certainly not necessary for the PHEV to make sense for a lot of people.

Having said that, yeah, if you can't charge regularly for a good price then the PHEV is probably not a good fit. The plug-in part is kinda fundamental to the whole deal.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 07:41 AM
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What? The computer doesn’t know how long your trip is or what kind of roads you will be on at what times on this trip that only the driver knows will happen and when.

If you cannot increase your efficiency over leaving it in (I assume) EV mode 100% of the time, you are not doing it right. That mode means you will be in EV mode until that runs out and then HEV mode the rest of the trip. That is how dumb the computer is and that is not maximizing your efficiency.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
What? The computer doesnít know how long your trip is or what kind of roads you will be on at what times on this trip that only the driver knows will happen and when.

If you cannot increase your efficiency over leaving it in (I assume) EV mode 100% of the time, you are not doing it right. That mode means you will be in EV mode until that runs out and then HEV mode the rest of the trip. That is how dumb the computer is and that is not maximizing your efficiency.
that may be true for the hev but for the phev ev mode is best unless you are trying to reserve battery soc for some reason. Use up the cheaper ev miles first before using any more expensive hev miles.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 11:48 AM
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that may be true for the hev but for the phev ev mode is best unless you are trying to reserve battery soc for some reason. Use up the cheaper ev miles first before using any more expensive hev miles.
point is the hev has no cheaper ev wall plug miles. For the hev, all miles are ice miles.

In my case I'm paying 3.5/4 <1 cent per ev wall plug mile. $2.70/45 = 6 cents per hev ice mile.

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Last edited by charlesH; 08-21-2019 at 11:53 AM.
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