Charging your Niro PHEV when outside on a raod trip - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Charging your Niro PHEV when outside on a raod trip

Hello everybody,
I post this message to share my experience and also get your feedback.

This weekend, I went for a tour on the Pacific coast (Monterey to be exact).
The Niro behaved magically, 62 mpg on the way and 54 mpg on the way back through HWY 1 (gusty wind) for ~200 miles each way.

When I was at Monterey, I reactivated the EV mode and spent my whole afternoon from one site to the other one in 'green' mode.
Then I wondered how to charge my car to get a second 'green' day. But this is where it started being difficult.
Finding a level 2 charger in the city is pretty easy, 2 parking lots with 2 level 2 charger each (one free at Downtown West Garage and one non-free at Parking Lot 7).

I thought "Good", but that ended up there, because 4 chargers for a city like Monterey is far from enough, all spots were occupied!

What I found a bit disappointing is that there are multiple Tesla charger at Monterey, but half of level 2 charger where occupied by Tesla owners. I like Tesla, they opened the way to electrical cars, but they created a Tesla dedicated charger network closed to others and they are now occupying other's chargers too.

So I thought that the best option is like at home, I need to charge on a regular plug for the night at the hotel. But I could not. Even if the Hotel's owner showed me the garden's plug and authorized me to plug-in there, the plug was not reliable enough and the 110V charger went "Faulty" each time I tried. So I ended up my 'green' weekend at this time and came back on dirty ICE for the next day.

This is a shame, because we have the technology to stay greener than usual but can't use it simply because : no level 1 or level 2 charger available ....

I had a talk with the manager of the Hotel the next day explaining that Plugin and Electrical are going to be more and more common and they should get prepared to welcome it for the sake of the city. He agreed with me and said that he would talk to the owner about that. (I also mentioned that they could have rebates on installation costs).

But my main concern is that if I had an electrical car (which sometime I'm thinking about, especially knowing that Kia Niro EV is close to come out), I would have been in serious trouble ...

So my question to all of you who owns a Niro PHEV, do you charge it outside from home ? How easy do you find available level 2 chargers ? And finally did you ever charge it at any Hotel ?

Christophe.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 04:18 PM
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We charged for free at Legoland while at the park and I have seen chargers at a hotel before (San Diego), but for the most part we just charge at home. I will use EV mode until we get on the freeway, then HEV mode for the rest of the trip pretty much. I like to keep as much charge in the battery as possible for going up big hills at freeway speeds. (IE coming up the Grapevine even in HEV mode will eat up pretty much all of your battery range when driving 65-85 mph.

When on shorter trips around town, I can usually use EV before AND after exiting the freeway, it just depends on the nature of the trip. And if it does "run out" of battery, the nice thing is the PHEV will get you home on gasoline alone!

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:34 AM
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I've only ever charged at home. There was a grocery store parking lot in northern California that I visited over the past Christmas holiday where I could have plugged in if I had an account with the service that ran the charger, but I didn't expect to be in the grocery store long enough to get much of a charge, so I didn't bother trying to figure it out. There were also a few charging locations where stopped along the highway from southern CA to northern CA on that trip, but the spots were all occupied.



As I understand it, there are two plagues that affect public charging: non-EV vehicles parking in those spots, and EV vehicles parking in those spots for many hours after they've absorbed a full charge. Metering the spot, rather than the electrical usage, might go a long way toward solving both problems, but only if there is parking enforcement to back it up.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:37 AM
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I've had fair to middling luck charging up while on the road. Living in Washington DC there are a fair number of chargers around but like deltasmith said unless you're going to be there for a while it really doesn't make much sense to plug in. On longer trips I've never considered charging as it just takes too long unless you're at an overnight stop and the benefits are so marginal. I've noticed that at rest stops where they have chargers they tend to be BEV focused, which makes sense. In my Niro I can just fill up the gas tank and go about my merry way. If you have a Tesla or especially a Leaf, you need to plug in. Not much demand for topping up PHEVs on the highway.

I've never tried charging at a hotel, but I've seen people who have. I think most hotels would let you use an external wall socket if you asked, but as you discovered, the quality may be iffy. I've charged at big shopping malls and even once at the MGM National Harbor Casino (for free even!) but that can be frustrating as there are several companies that manage the stations and invariably you have to install yet another app in order to use them.

I think the opportunities for charging your PHEV on the road will increase a bit over time. However, I think in the end PHEV owners are in a weird niche, we'd love to be able to plug in and take advantage of the EV range we have, but it probably makes more economic sense for communities and providers to focus on the needs of BEV owners, as they are completely dependent on being able to charge when they need to and are more likely to make travel decisions based on if they can plug in when they get there.

I guess the ultimate answer is to buy a BEV Niro.

Jim
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padonion View Post
Hello everybody,
I post this message to share my experience and also get your feedback.

This weekend, I went for a tour on the Pacific coast (Monterey to be exact).
The Niro behaved magically, 62 mpg on the way and 54 mpg on the way back through HWY 1 (gusty wind) for ~200 miles each way.

When I was at Monterey, I reactivated the EV mode and spent my whole afternoon from one site to the other one in 'green' mode.
Then I wondered how to charge my car to get a second 'green' day. But this is where it started being difficult.
Finding a level 2 charger in the city is pretty easy, 2 parking lots with 2 level 2 charger each (one free at Downtown West Garage and one non-free at Parking Lot 7).

I thought "Good", but that ended up there, because 4 chargers for a city like Monterey is far from enough, all spots were occupied!

What I found a bit disappointing is that there are multiple Tesla charger at Monterey, but half of level 2 charger where occupied by Tesla owners. I like Tesla, they opened the way to electrical cars, but they created a Tesla dedicated charger network closed to others and they are now occupying other's chargers too.

So I thought that the best option is like at home, I need to charge on a regular plug for the night at the hotel. But I could not. Even if the Hotel's owner showed me the garden's plug and authorized me to plug-in there, the plug was not reliable enough and the 110V charger went "Faulty" each time I tried. So I ended up my 'green' weekend at this time and came back on dirty ICE for the next day.

This is a shame, because we have the technology to stay greener than usual but can't use it simply because : no level 1 or level 2 charger available ....

I had a talk with the manager of the Hotel the next day explaining that Plugin and Electrical are going to be more and more common and they should get prepared to welcome it for the sake of the city. He agreed with me and said that he would talk to the owner about that. (I also mentioned that they could have rebates on installation costs).

But my main concern is that if I had an electrical car (which sometime I'm thinking about, especially knowing that Kia Niro EV is close to come out), I would have been in serious trouble ...

So my question to all of you who owns a Niro PHEV, do you charge it outside from home ? How easy do you find available level 2 chargers ? And finally did you ever charge it at any Hotel ?

Christophe.
I only charge at home. I tried a L2 charger once just to see it it worked. It did.

When I'm on a road trip I just use HEV mode and use EV mode to run the AC when I sleep at rest stops.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jmurphEV View Post
I think the opportunities for charging your PHEV on the road will increase a bit over time. However, I think in the end PHEV owners are in a weird niche, we'd love to be able to plug in and take advantage of the EV range we have, but it probably makes more economic sense for communities and providers to focus on the needs of BEV owners, as they are completely dependent on being able to charge when they need to and are more likely to make travel decisions based on if they can plug in when they get there.

I guess the ultimate answer is to buy a BEV Niro.
Hi,

I agree with you and all the previous comments.
PHEV are kind of a 'plus' on top of the Hybrid principle and therefore it is often seen as: "I do EV as much as I can where it makes sense".
Of course, with the PHEV, using EV on freeway does not really make sense (except if you have a short few miles of freeway).
I also agree on the fact that charger should remain available to BEV in priority because they can't rely on gas when the battery is depleted.

But I also consider that if you spend multiple days in a city hopping around, we can also be considered as BEV with 24 miles autonomy and therefore charging, like the other BEV, makes sense to me.

I think that hotels should start having some infrastructure ready for EV and plugins vehicles.
No need for DC fast charger as it will be used overnight, but level 2 chargers will be handful.
PHEV can be completely recharged in around 2h30 which can be handled by plugin on arrival and then freeing the charger after this time (no need to occupy the charger overnight).
BEV can be complete recharged in around 9h which makes it doable overnight.
And I don't think that lvl2 charger plugged on 240V plugs (in the US) is that complex to install for an hotel compared to the added value.

Doing so would be, in my opinion, a huge advertising for PHEV and BEV and it would show to everyone that actually PHEV and BEV are viable solutions for city driving and help to decrease air pollution in cities.

(After all, we all charge our smartphone overnight without wondering if we will find a plug or if we will need to stop by the grocery to charge it, don't we?)

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:43 PM
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I've had my PHEV for 7 months now, and in all that time I have charged it away from home precisely 2 times. The parking garage at my airport has "free" (if you don't count the $20/day cost of parking there) level 2 chargers (plus they're very convenient parking spots!). Those are the only ones I've used.


I suppose if I had an EV, I'd constantly be scouting out all the public charging stations, using the apps, and memorizing all the best ones, etc... but since I don't have to, I don't. Also, I refuse to use the not-free stations, because a full charge is only worth about $2 (gasoline cost equivalent) so it's really just not worth it for me unless it's free.

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Last edited by cockedandglocked; 04-24-2019 at 05:46 PM.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:08 PM
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Just read that Google Maps will now show you if the charger is open. Haven't looked into it since I only charge at home. Hubby will park blocks away to charge for an hour so he'll probably start using it.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cockedandglocked View Post
I've had my PHEV for 7 months now, and in all that time I have charged it away from home precisely 2 times. The parking garage at my airport has "free" (if you don't count the $20/day cost of parking there) level 2 chargers (plus they're very convenient parking spots!). Those are the only ones I've used.


I suppose if I had an EV, I'd constantly be scouting out all the public charging stations, using the apps, and memorizing all the best ones, etc... but since I don't have to, I don't. Also, I refuse to use the not-free stations, because a full charge is only worth about $2 (gasoline cost equivalent) so it's really just not worth it for me unless it's free.
I agree with you that cost is also part of the equation. As you said, full charge is about $2:
- Electrical ($0.22/kWh * ~9kWh ~= $1.98)
- Gas ($3.60/g * 24miles / 47mpg ~= $1.83)
Therefore, some parking are reasonable like Monterey with $0.75 / hour (it is just over but green side of the force win ) but some other like a parking lot I saw in SF with [$1.50 activation + $0.5 per kWh] on top of expensive parking rates !! no way
Of course, there are free chargers available right and left but having them available is like tossing a biased coin

I will go to the conclusion that these difficulties to charge a PHEV are equivalent to a NO GO for an BEV. And people are not ready to sacrifice their day of vacation running after a charger available.
This is why, on top of these sporadics lvl2 chargers in cities, Hotels need to move forward to create a better future for PHEV and BEV with overnight (and 0 stress) charging while sleeping.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 10:52 PM
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More out of curiosity. If your hotel did offer you free charging for your vehicle, but the charging stations were at the far end of the propery rather than right beside the building where you say, would you still use them?

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