ive been raking through the forums here to help me decide if i'm getting a niro or something else. lots of great info -- and that community is a big factor in buying a car.
so i've found on my two test drives, that the salesperson knew almost nothing about the PHEV niro, including simple charging and transmission gear facts.
i have two questions which might only come from living with the car.
1. i tried to get a Niro with a half-full battery into ev mode when test driving. just did not work. salesperson had no idea, except to say what i think it said on the dash -- it needed to be charged more. is that true?
2. if i can't charge it for a week (out of town use, etc), how well does it work as just a regular hybrid? the sales person tells me it only charges the battery when braking and if in low gear (?). but if anyone has some mpg numbers for extended non-plug in periods, please let me know.
1) if the battery shows any
EV capacity, the car will default to EV mode. Even if the EV range is only 1 mile, it will still default to EV mode. Only when the EV range is 0 will it revert to HEV mode. This requires no user input, it's all automatic (though, you can override it).
You probably pressed the gas pedal too hard on your test drive, and/or the cabin heater was on.
The car has a lot of combined gas/electric power, but in order to use all
of it (such as during full-throttle), both the gas and electric motors need to run simultaneously. Therefore, even in EV mode, when you mash the gas pedal, the car assumes you want MAX power, and so it gives it to you - by activating the gas engine.
Also, the gas engine runs when the engine is cold and you have the cabin heater turned on. This is because the cabin heater uses engine coolant heat, and if the engine is cold, it needs to warm it up so you get hot air.
2) it works fine as a regular hybrid. I often go a week or two without charging. No big deal. If you don't plug it in, then it works exactly like a regular hybrid. You literally never
need to plug it in, if you don't want to. The car charges the HEV battery just fine by itself. This is completely not a concern whatsoever.
The PHEV is exactly
the same thing as the HEV, but with a bigger battery and a power jack. Whether or not you use the bigger battery and power jack is optional. It works exactly the same as a regular hybrid if you never plug it in.