Towing 3200lbs with a Kia Niro EV - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Towing 3200lbs with a Kia Niro EV

Hi all,

After two months of prep work and preliminary testing, it was finally time to put our theories to the test. We loaded up 3200lbs of car/trailer to our Niro EV, and did a 160 mile test, evaluating both stability and range. Enjoy!


Best,
Matt
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 10:30 AM
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Interesting and well done Video.

Just for information --- does the manual give a tow rating for that NIRO ( my Hybrid says "Towing Not Recommended". I called Customer Service and was told towing would not void the warranty UNLESS the failure was due to towing.

In other words a vague answer GROAN, I assume their decision as to whether or not failure caused by towing.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PAULRIDES View Post
Interesting and well done Video.

Just for information --- does the manual give a tow rating for that NIRO ( my Hybrid says "Towing Not Recommended". I called Customer Service and was told towing would not void the warranty UNLESS the failure was due to towing.

In other words a vague answer GROAN, I assume their decision as to whether or not failure caused by towing.
That's reasonable. Usually you hear (if towing is not recommended) that towing will void your entire warranty. Which is a bunch of bull from an uninformed sales rep.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 11:34 AM
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Nice! Was fun seeing roads I've been on many times while working in California. I've done the same loop you did several times, and probably for the same reason: no tolls going that route in a clockwise direction. Worth the extra miles for that reason.

Curious if you could maintain or get up to speed on steep hills? I'm thinking specifically of the one entering Marin off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, traffic may not have allowed 55 mph there anyway.

On wheel chirping: reviews I've read or seen (such as Alex on Autos) say the car is software torque reduced at lower speeds. The Kona EV with the same exact same drivetrain has no such restriction and is easy to chirp or spin the front wheels.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAULRIDES View Post
Interesting and well done Video.

Just for information --- does the manual give a tow rating for that NIRO ( my Hybrid says "Towing Not Recommended". I called Customer Service and was told towing would not void the warranty UNLESS the failure was due to towing.

In other words a vague answer GROAN, I assume their decision as to whether or not failure caused by towing.
Yes, the manual in the EV model also states "Towing Not Recommended". Either too lazy to get the SAE standardized tow rating, or they just want to upsell their larger vehicles (no different from any other manufacturer). That being said, I bought the Niro because it is the only EV (aside from the Model X) that has a compatible hitch rated for over 2,000lbs. I specifically bought the EV because of the efficiency, but also the fact that it has a single gear reduction transmission, instead of the CVT in the plug-in model. I figured this would be better for towing and transmission reliability!

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Originally Posted by Spiritwalker2222 View Post
That's reasonable. Usually you hear (if towing is not recommended) that towing will void your entire warranty. Which is a bunch of bull from an uninformed sales rep.
Yes, they will have to directly prove that towing caused the issue. Which is one of the reasons I documented that the Niro did not recognize any "aggressive" driving habits while towing, and actually thought I was driving economically for over 80% of the trip!

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Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
Nice! Was fun seeing roads I've been on many times while working in California. I've done the same loop you did several times, and probably for the same reason: no tolls going that route in a clockwise direction. Worth the extra miles for that reason.

Curious if you could maintain or get up to speed on steep hills? I'm thinking specifically of the one entering Marin off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, traffic may not have allowed 55 mph there anyway.

On wheel chirping: reviews I've read or seen (such as Alex on Autos) say the car is software torque reduced at lower speeds. The Kona EV with the same exact same drivetrain has no such restriction and is easy to chirp or spin the front wheels.
Yes you are exactly right. Not only are the tolls expensive, but Fastrak (the toll agency) is a horrendous business and highly unethical. Believe it or not, when I sold my diesel truck this year, they sent toll bills to both myself AND the new owner. Not to mention other horrendous experiences I have had with them.

As for speed/acceleration on that grade after the Golden Gate, this was in the video, but you might have noticed traffic was a little sluggish, so I was indeed going less than 55mph up that grade. If there was no traffic? 55mph no problem, and 100% positive I would be able to accelerate as well. Really impressive. In my preliminary tests I did some 0-5mph tests on a MONSTER grade (probably 20%). Again, traction was the issue, not power, but it still was able to do it! Will demonstrate this in a later video.

Wheelspin - If I change to Sport Mode, the extra pedal responsiveness makes it more likely to spin the tires. But again, only happens at low/medium speeds when really pushing it. If there was an AWD/RWD model, it would be perfect! But I'll deal with the FWD for now
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 09:03 AM
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... I specifically bought the EV because of the efficiency, but also the fact that it has a single gear reduction transmission, instead of the CVT in the plug-in model. I figured this would be better for towing and transmission reliability!
Both Hyundai and Kia use a dual clutch transmission, not a CVT, in their hybrids. Of course, they still don't recommend towing, and the PHEV Kia has far less power than the EV. I think you chose correctly.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by atc98092 View Post
Both Hyundai and Kia use a dual clutch transmission, not a CVT, in their hybrids. Of course, they still don't recommend towing, and the PHEV Kia has far less power than the EV. I think you chose correctly.
Wow interesting, did not know that! Very cool, will have to look up a diagram of the parallel system at some point...


But yes, single gear reduction should still be more resilient than the DCT!

Glad everyone enjoyed the video!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-03-2019, 10:50 PM
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towing with an EV

we use basically the same technology for motors and inverters in CNC machine tools that we put together.


the biggest issue is heat. most inverter motors will output 50% more Hp than rated for a short time. In machine tools 30 minute ratings for that overload has an unofficial become standard. Then you need to back off the power to help cool the motor and the inverter.

I think the car will give you warning if the motor or inverter are getting too hot.
Maybe drive in cooler parts of day when its hot out there.
And braking put a load back into the inverter and causes more heating. Long descents on hills might be an issue. (but not in my neck of the flatlands)



Where did you get the hitch ???

BrentR
Niro SX Touring coming in Jan-20
have had Leaf 2011 since new

Last edited by BrentR; 11-03-2019 at 10:53 PM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 09:26 PM
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There is a separate liquid cooling system for the motor and inverter on all models. The EV also has liquid cooling for the battery. Shouldn't be a problem.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Brent, look up Niro EV hitch installation on YouTube (posted by our channel Ecobrap). It is a Curt Class III hitch, but worth watching that video because there are some issues that you should be aware of.

As for cooling, I was fortunate enough to race some EV's for a Bay Area racing team for a good few years. All had the same function, when motor/inverter/battery temps reach a certain point, you hit thermal cutback and get reduced power. Typically a linear power drop as the temperatures went up.

I am curious to see how resilient the Niro is, so the next time I am working at Laguna Seca, I will take it for some laps, full power, full regen, and see how long it takes for it to start cutting back. Should be interesting!
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