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Hi guys. We just traveled from Winnipeg to Moose Jaw yesterday and from Moose jaw to Calgary and i noticed that the battery level goes downs as low as 1 bar or charge. I noticed that it wont charge more than 2 bars while traveling at 120 km/h, temp of 32°C. Anyone has the same observations? Thanks in advance
 

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Hi guys. We just traveled from Winnipeg to Moose Jaw yesterday and from Moose jaw to Calgary and i noticed that the battery level goes downs as low as 1 bar or charge. I noticed that it wont charge more than 2 bars while traveling at 120 km/h, temp of 32°C. Anyone has the same observations? Thanks in advance
hev or phev?

The niro uses regenerative braking to recharge the battery. The ICE is not used to charge the battery. Using ICE generated electricity is very expensive.
 

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On a hybrid, the battery level should never drop as low as two bars. You generally see it vary between around 30-70%. The system is designed to keep the battery within that range. On my son-in-law's Ionic HEV, I think the lowest I've seen the battery readout is about 4-5 bars, but his battery display doesn't have the same number of bars that my Niro has.

On a PHEV, yes you can take it down to "nothing", although the battery is still around 20% when the car switches to hybrid mode. Looking at the battery level on the EV info screen, I've never seen mine go below about 16%. This is due to the fact that it's very bad for a battery to be completely discharged, so the engineers ensure that it's never drained completely. Same at the top end. Even when it shows 100%, there's still a little headroom before actually reaching the maximum charge the battery can hold. And as Charles mentioned, the Niro cannot charge the battery with the ICE. Switching top hybrid mode will save the battery at it's current charge level, but not add anything to the battery. Regen is the only way to add energy to the battery while in motion.
 

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I have seen two bars of charge twice in my HEV. Once was a very steep five mile climb at 25 mph (the five mile descent was the only time I've seen the battery charge graph full). The other was 40 miles highway in heavy rain.

The Niro can and does charge the battery without regen. Just watch the flow diagram, not to mention the battery charge level, while the engine is running and speed is constant (not slowing or going down a hill). As far as the PHEV goes, effectively the plug in energy is partitioned from the HEV energy, and under normal conditions the normal up and down charge running ICE in HEV mode does not affect that virtual (software) partition. However, you can charge the plug in partition by running Sport mode. Hard to imagine how that could benefit, running the ICE specifically to recharge the portion of the battery reserved for plug in is very inefficient.
 

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Any time I manually enter HEV mode, say for climbing a long hill, I switch to sport mode because I prefer to control which gear I'm in. In normal mode it will downshift when it's not really necessary. According to the manual, and based on my observations, it is only a charge sustain mode, and will not charge the battery. I've never seen any increase in range while running in Sport mode. The range might increase by a mile, but then it might go back down, so I never see any net gain in range.

My only experience driving a HEV is my son-in-law's Ioniq, and I have to admit the display is not as bright and visible as the Niro dash, so I might have overlooked how low the battery gauge has dropped. That's another reason I prefer my Kia over a Hyundai, the dash display is overall much nicer. Anyway, for my 65 year old eyes it's better. :)
 

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If you want to try an experiment, leave your car in Sport for a long drive. Many report that adds EV miles. This includes one (sort of nutty) Ioniq PHEV owner (exact same drivetrain as the Niro PHEV) who seems to prefer fully charging his PHEV in Sport mode versus plugging in.
 

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I have to pick my son-in-law up at the airport this evening, and the round trip is beyond my EV range. Once I get down to about 5 miles remaining, I'll kick it into Sport mode and see what happens. I'm going to have to burn a little gas anyway on the trip, so I may as well test it.
 

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Experiment concluded. I ran the battery down to 69%, then kicked it into Sport mode. It was about another 10 miles to the airport, with a little bit of a climb at the end. When I parked in the garage, I still had 69% charge. I saw as high as 71% and as low as 68%. When I left the airport, I switched back to Sport mode after I cleared the garage. This time I had some downhill to make up for the climb getting there. After about 10 miles I had enough battery range remaining to finish the drive in EV mode. When I switched back, I had 71%.

Based on this test, I don't believe the Niro PHEV has the ability to charge via the ICE. Most of the 2% improvement in SoC was from the downhill stretch that had a slight regen in effect. The rest is the same +/- 1% change I've seen just using the HEV mode (which is also labeled charge sustain mode in the manual). Perhaps the Ioniq will charge in Sport mode, and maybe, just maybe I did pick up 1% battery charge from the ICE in Sport mode. But with the severe drop in my average MPG display, there's no way it is of any value to use the ICE to charge. At the rate I might have seen, it would take several hours of freeway driving to add any useful amount of charge. Any power flow the display shows from the engine to the battery is solely to maintain the state of charge that was shown when the switch to HEV mode was made.
 

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I've experimented with the Sport mode recharging rumor floating around. My PHEV Niro did not recharge the EV portion of the battery on a 60 mile road trip on relatively flat terrain in sport mode after depleting the EV range and switching to HEV mode. It seems odd that some report that it recharges the battery and some report that it doesn't (myself included).

I know the Outlander PHEV will recharge the battery once depleted but you have to switch that feature on using a dedicated button otherwise it will default to charge sustain mode. Charging the battery fully using the ICE seems extremely inefficient which is why most Outlander PHEV owners don't do it. Source: I creeped on the Outlander PHEV FaceBook group for several months when shopping/researching.
 

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Of course the Niro can charge the battery using ICE, your flow diagram will show that. The question is more about if the software PHEV partition of some of the SOC can be overridden in some circumstances. We seem to have some credible reports both ways. Not knowing the exact methodology and not owning a PHEV myself to test, I'm not sure what is going on here. We also have a number of reports of HEV owners who report charging the battery unusually high by running in Sport. I almost never use Sport, but in my experiment to determine the true gas tank capacity, I did run in Sport for about 20 miles trying to run out of gas faster, and indeed my battery charge went up to three quarters or so, a seldom seen charge for me.

It doesn't really matter one way or the other as running Sport to charge the battery is clearly inefficient to say the least. But it is still interesting. Got to wonder about the conflicting reports.
 

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When I use the phrase "charge using the ICE", I mean adding a useful amount of charge back into the battery. I don't believe the Niro is capable of adding significantly to the SoC solely from the ICE. I believe all we see on the flow diagram is the low level charge that keeps the battery at the selected level (sustain mode). I had to make a 2nd trip this morning beyond EV range, and the results were about the same as last night. On the return trip I did see a small positive gain in the SoC (about 5%), but since there was significant opportunity for regen on the return, I believe that was responsible for the gain. On the outbound leg, the SoC gain was zero. I had the same battery percent shown when I switched to Sport mode as I had when I exited the freeway 15 miles later and switched back to EV mode.
 

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When I use the phrase "charge using the ICE", I mean adding a useful amount of charge back into the battery. I don't believe the Niro is capable of adding significantly to the SoC solely from the ICE. I believe all we see on the flow diagram is the low level charge that keeps the battery at the selected level (sustain mode). I had to make a 2nd trip this morning beyond EV range, and the results were about the same as last night. On the return trip I did see a small positive gain in the SoC (about 5%), but since there was significant opportunity for regen on the return, I believe that was responsible for the gain. On the outbound leg, the SoC gain was zero. I had the same battery percent shown when I switched to Sport mode as I had when I exited the freeway 15 miles later and switched back to EV mode.
I think this is correct, and it makes sense. As you mentioned, charging the PHEV pack from the ICE is absolutely the least efficient use of energy you can imagine. I'm sure the system does not allow for significant charging of the traction pack from the ICE as a general rule for that reason alone. However, I can think of one edge case where I'm pretty sure you can gain "useful" amounts of range from the ICE charging the battery. That's in the winter when you need to heat the cabin which requires the ICE (unless you have the heat pump option). I can imagine that using the load from the HSG / battery charging circuit would be useful in speeding up the warmup of the engine and could add some 'useful' range to the battery.

I've seen the same behavior when I manually shift to HEV mode with significant range left in the battery. The range may increase by a mile or two at most, but in general it stays where it was when I changed modes.
 

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Someone posted here in another thread that Kia advised them that when heat is called for, and there is sufficient charge in the traction battery for movement, the engine will start but remain near idle. It doesn't offer any propulsion, just heat for the cabin. How much power it supplies to the battery is unknown, at least to me. I figure I'll find out this fall when it gets chilly enough here in the Seattle area that the heated seat and steering wheel aren't enough to keep me comfortable. Since I have a medical condition that makes me feel cold while others are still comfortable, I know I'll be calling for heat long before most people. We'll see if it helps at all with sustaining the battery under those conditions.
 

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Someone posted here in another thread that Kia advised them that when heat is called for, and there is sufficient charge in the traction battery for movement, the engine will start but remain near idle. It doesn't offer any propulsion, just heat for the cabin. How much power it supplies to the battery is unknown, at least to me. I figure I'll find out this fall when it gets chilly enough here in the Seattle area that the heated seat and steering wheel aren't enough to keep me comfortable. Since I have a medical condition that makes me feel cold while others are still comfortable, I know I'll be calling for heat long before most people. We'll see if it helps at all with sustaining the battery under those conditions.
You are exactly right, when the ICE is on in EV mode for heat only the engine clutch remains disengaged so it's just running at idle. As yticolev said, if you watch the energy flow diagram power is flowing from the ICE to the battery and from battery to the wheels. I guess that the engineers at Kia did the math and figured that was the most efficient way to go. My suspicion is that they use the HSG to load the engine a bit to warm up the engine quicker and prevent that energy from going completely to waste. I didn't pay attention to battery range last winter so I can't say how much it matters. My guess is measurable but not a huge amount.
 

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Well my Niro PHEV will certainly recharge the battery in sport mode. I do so every week when I go to the gun club witch is 30 miles from by home. I drive it in EV mode till I get down to 5 miles EV range and then put it in sport mode for the last few miles and by the time I get to the range I'm back to 10 mile EV range. Yes the mileage goes down to approximately 40 MPG during this phase of driving be that's a small price to pay. AS the last 5 miles of my drive is up hill and windy I just have a ball zipping along the curves etc. in sport mode all the ehile recharging my battery.


On some of my long trips to my kids home where the speed limits are 50 MPG I run it in sport mode and in the 40+ minutes drive I'm back up to 20 to 24 miles EV or more and at 40 MPG who cares as I'm still doing better mileage than my older Rav-4 and then I go back into HEV mode and continue the trip with a almost full battery etc.


What more can you want I really ENJOY my PHEV Niro. So far in the first 9,000 miles Zero problems..... My second KIA and I really enjoying the driving. My first was a 2011 Kia Soul. Good fun too but lots of road noise. The Niro has much less road noise...................
 

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Tom, what model year is your car? I'm wondering if perhaps they had it on the '18s but removed it for the '19s. Mine absolutely will not charge the battery via the ICE. It will only sustain the battery charge, and that is all the manual says it will do. I'm not doubting you, just wondering if they made a change in the model.

And I agree that the Niro PHEV is an excellent car. I just reached 3000 miles this morning, and I haven't needed gas for 5 weeks. Plus, it's still almost full. If I didn't have an upcoming trip across the Cascade Mountains next week, I'd probably go another month or more without visiting a gas station. :)
 

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Tom, what model year is your car? I'm wondering if perhaps they had it on the '18s but removed it for the '19s. Mine absolutely will not charge the battery via the ICE. It will only sustain the battery charge, and that is all the manual says it will do. I'm not doubting you, just wondering if they made a change in the model.

And I agree that the Niro PHEV is an excellent car. I just reached 3000 miles this morning, and I haven't needed gas for 5 weeks. Plus, it's still almost full. If I didn't have an upcoming trip across the Cascade Mountains next week, I'd probably go another month or more without visiting a gas station. :)

It a 2019 EX Premium

:)
 

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It a 2019 EX Premium

:)
That's exactly what mine is. I wonder why yours will charge in Sport mode while mine doesn't appear to.

Oh well. I'll be taking a couple hundred mile trip next week across the mountains and back. Plenty of opportunity to see if I can get some charge back from just the ICE running.
 

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I'm not sure either of you are stating all the parameters here. Sport mode is available in both EV and HEV mode, right? Which one are you using to get your results? HEV sport mode should actively add charge (if function is the same as the HEV car), where EV sport mode does not.
 

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Hello everybody,
I have a 2019 LX PHEV here in California with about 7500 miles.

What I observed in my previous long trips (~400 miles) in HEV mode: car tries to maintain the same EV mileage along the road, which includes using EV when too much is regenerated.

What I saw:
- the car is cruising at constant speed on ICE
- after a couple of dozens miles, the ICE stop, the car glides in EV for few minutes
- and then ICE comes back and cycle start again.
So I conclude that cruising with ICE on (never in "charge" on the meter), the car still grab some EV miles and re-use time to time as it considers it as a bonus to decrease your overall MPG.

I never had to use Sport mode to generate EV miles.
I'm just considering that normal HEV management is handling my EV miles saving, maximizing the MPG of the HEV mode in the meantime.

Anyway, my average with this car on long trips ( > 200 miles, HEV mode, no EV mode) varies between a minimum of 47mpg to > 65mpg!
Difficult to get close to that with any gas-only car, even with a small one.
Therefore I'm assuming that some EV regeneration-compensation are done even while cruising in HEV mode.

The job done on this car for the energy management is just amazing.

Christophe.
 
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