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I have a new niro - one week old. Today, the "Inst Fuel Economy" bar was pegged all the way to 75mpg, even when i was going 70 miles per hour. The little hybrid "tree" was all blue, and the EV light was on most of the way home, even at 70 mph. So for a 28 mile trip it said i was getting 63.5 mpg. I did reset average mpg but that didn't make a difference. Any ideas as to way may be going on?
 

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Hello everybody,
you would be surprised about the required HP to maintain a steady 70mph on freeway (no acceleration).
If the wind is not against you and you are not uphill, it can be as low as about 20 HP (I have a friend with a BMW that displays in realtime the HP used, this is where I get those numbers).

Knowing that hybrid version of Kia Niro has a 43HP electrical motor, on ideal condition YES it can handle the constant speed on freeway ;) it is not going to be for a long time but if you are light on the pedal or on cruise control, it happens.
The main reason is that the Niro is very energy harvesting oriented. Which means that when you are on the highway running on ICE, if not all the power of the ICE is used for traction, the remaining HP are used to generate some electricity. After a while, to keep the EV battery to a constant level, the car is going to reuse temporary this stored energy. This is what I really like in this car, nothing is lost :)

I discovered that on my Plugin (I know, the plugin has bigger battery and the motor is 60HP instead of 43HP, but the principle is still the same).
When I'm on freeway in HEV mode, on a long flat cruise controlled freeway, I can see that the ICE is providing energy to the wheels AND battery.
Then after a while, I can see the ICE turning OFF and battery keeping the constant motion for a little while. It is like a cycle charge / discharge to use the excess of energy. The ratio is pretty low, I would say 1/10 (1 mile free for 10 miles ICE) but still appreciated.

Of course this increases our mpg. For example, my last 2 trips with about 250 miles (way above the 24 EV capacity) I did around 60mpg.
On the opposite, if I drive on a windy road where constant speed is difficult to keep, my mpg can go as low as 47 mpg, which confirms the 47mpg given for ICE only.

Christophe.
 

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Good stuff from multiple posters. Adding to all of the above: I occasionally drive a route that takes me up to 70 MPH for a brief jaunt (about 5 miles). It also involves a small number of around-town miles. I can do the whole round trip in my PHEV without ever starting the ICE (so long as I keep my acceleration in the green Eco zone), but I've noticed that when I'm doing that kind of driving, my 26 mile EV range at the outset is depleted significantly more than the new miles on the odometer would suggest it should be.
 

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I have a new niro - one week old. Today, the "Inst Fuel Economy" bar was pegged all the way to 75mpg, even when i was going 70 miles per hour. The little hybrid "tree" was all blue, and the EV light was on most of the way home, even at 70 mph. So for a 28 mile trip it said i was getting 63.5 mpg. I did reset average mpg but that didn't make a difference. Any ideas as to way may be going on?

Is this an HEV or PHEV Niro? When your in EV mode, the instant fuel economy bar WILL be at 75mpg. It will also do this if you take your foot of the accelerator pedal and "coast" as long as it goes into EV mode..........most of the time coasting forces it into EV mode AND also dips into "charge" at the same time.........however if the battery is low or it's very cold out coasting will not always immediately force it into EV mode. If you EV light was on most of your trip home I assume you must have a plug in/PHEV Niro??? because in an HEV/non plug in, the EV light wouldn't stay on for very long at ANY interstate speed.
 

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It is not a plug in. I know I’ve only had the vehicle for a little over a week,but this behavior was not present until yesterday. My commute is almost all highway and on a good traffic day I can go 65-70 mph for almost all of it (28 miles). Yesterday the EV light was on for almost the whole ride home, including one stretch of about 25 miles at highway speeds. Before yesterday it was on only when I drove on local roads. I’m taking it in on Thursday to have it looked at. Sudden changes in how a vehicle operates make me nervous.
 

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The Niro is much more likely to run EV when the battery gauge is well above half full. A brisk tailwind or slight downhill on the highway will also encourage a transition to EV. Cruise control can also help.

More than a mile in EV at highway speeds is unlikely though. You might be going in and out without noticing. But you know what? Doesn't matter on the highway. Average mpg will be what the conditions call for. Forcing EV is a plus in the city though - in large part just through just from normal gentle driving.
 

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I have found the exact opposite with Cruise Control. in every instance that I have driven along the highway with cruise control on, I have yet to get the motor to dis-engage. More like, it seems to want to run at far higher revs than it needs to and just wants to charge the battery up well above what is needed. If I have cruise off, I found I can better modulate the speed or accelerator to convince the motor to turn off and then swap over to EV mode.
 

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Why do you think you get better overall economy by tricking the car into EV mode at highway speeds? I can tell you that with the battery half full, it is more difficult under full manual for the car to go into EV at speeds of around 35 mph where it might matter. As best I can tell, at below highway speeds, a steady state speed/load is one of the variables the algorithm looks at.
 

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I drive at freeway speeds on EV all the time. As long as I have enough space to get up to speed without punching it, I stay on EV.
 

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Why do you think you get better overall economy by tricking the car into EV mode at highway speeds? I can tell you that with the battery half full, it is more difficult under full manual for the car to go into EV at speeds of around 35 mph where it might matter. As best I can tell, at below highway speeds, a steady state speed/load is one of the variables the algorithm looks at.

The motor is not awfully fuel efficient. It runs on gas and gains a certain level of efficiency at a particular RPM band and that is all known. Where I find in my car however is that the motor seems to want to run at the higher end of that RPM band even if it isn't needed to maintain the speed that I am driving at when in cruise control. I know that the battery needs a charge, and from driving around town it seems to like to keep the battery around the 50% (+15% -5% range) mark. By that the engine will run when pushed if you accelerate too fast or sometimes kick on to bring the battery up to the 60-70% mark on the bar display, before the EV mode kicks back in, as well the battery can drop down to the 45% mark before forcing the engine back on. We have roads through our town that are 80km/h (50mph) and I have no problem with the motor accelerating and can even in full EV mode bring myself from 60 up to 80 without a problem. But I am not driving in cruise control as this is still town/city driving.



I click into cruise control and suddenly the car wants to run the engine to get the battery from the working 50% to suddenly wanting the battery to be up in the 85-90% mark. You see the bar display showing the instant fuel economy in the 10-15 L/100km range of the display. You put on the console display and it shows that the engine is running and charging the battery. Why does it need the battery so high? I take it out of cruise control, and suddenly the engine fuel economy drops down to the 7 L/100km range on the display. I am not changing speed or not knowingly. The economy dial beside the speedometer drops down to a lower level and I can keep that at a pretty constant spot. I can have the motor even start to turn off and go into EV mode. The battery will stay around the 60-75% full mark. I assume that EV modes kicking in when I am going down grade, and the motor will be forced on if I am going up grade. I get that the ground is not dead flat horizontal.



Now I have not had the opportunity to give it a very good long un-interrupted run like driving from Toronto to Muskoka where you are on a long run with all the traffic going at the same speed. Hills going up, and back down the other side. I will give it a better try this weekend with my longer trip. It will be interesting as its the first really long trek out with the Niro since I bought it. I guess I will find out some more about how the car works.
 

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Hills are another matter all together. I get the engine kicking on to go up hills all the time, unless I putter up the 50mph street at 25-30 mph (lots of long steep hills in my area).



I do agree that in cruise control the engine is more likely to kick on. I think that's because it reacts to quickly get the distance from the car in front to the correct spacing. That translates to punching the gas. I tend to only use cruise control for long distance trips so I'm on gas engine already.
 

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You are reducing your overall efficiency by doing this. Let the car do its work. There's a reason it wants to run at a constant RPM regardless of demand.
 
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