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Discussion Starter #1
So I've had my 2019 Niro LX for a couple of weeks now...and I'm wondering why there is such a difference between the battery range gauge on the dashboard and the (apparent) actual battery charge level? I drive 19 miles to work each day. When I get to work, the dashboard gauge says I have about 6-7 miles left on battery power. That seems reasonable and in line with the estimated 26 miles max on battery power alone. But if I go to the menu showing the battery charge level, it says I have about 50% power left, and when I plug into our Level 2 charger at work, the battery is recharged to 100% in about an hour and 20 minutes. That's quite a discrepancy. Is there a simple explanation, or is there something miscalibrated in my electronics that should be corrected by Kia?
 

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There are a lot of overlapping numbers. I'm not a PHEV owner, but your 50% charge level might refer to your total battery charge (it is actually less as there is a "buffer"). The 6 mile estimate would just be the remaining initial plug in charge. Those are two different concepts. Takes a while to wrap your head around it. The battery contains both your plug in charge and the HEV minimum in one pot. Those numbers are just different ways to visualize the same exact state of charge.
 

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There are a lot of overlapping numbers. I'm not a PHEV owner, but your 50% charge level might refer to your total battery charge (it is actually less as there is a "buffer"). The 6 mile estimate would just be the remaining initial plug in charge. Those are two different concepts. Takes a while to wrap your head around it. The battery contains both your plug in charge and the HEV minimum in one pot. Those numbers are just different ways to visualize the same exact state of charge.

I am a PHEV owner, and I concur.


The algorithms Kia uses to calculate battery % are unknown by us consumers - all we know is that a full charge = 26 miles (give or take), and an "empty" (0 EV miles remaining) charge really equals a 25% charge remaining, which is the amount that the car allocates to the HEV drive. The battery could theoretically drive the car about 32 miles on battery alone, but during the last 6 miles-worth of battery life, it switches to HEV mode. The calcs on the meter, the calcs on your app, and other calcs will not necessarily coincide, as a result. The meters would be quite accurate for an EV-only car, but for a PHEV it gets really complicated.


Based on what you're describing, it sounds like nothing is wrong. The calculations aren't jiving, but that's ok. Generally speaking, the "miles remaining" on the meter on your dashboard is accurate - when it says 13 miles (1/2 of 26) remain, it means that the EV portion of the battery is at 50%, but really the battery has about 63% usable capacity remaining (with 13% reserved for HEV mode), and further, the battery ACTUALLY probably really has 72% remaining because it only allows for about an 80% charge to preserve battery life.


For what it's worth, the 26 mile range is a real number, based on all those factors. I have almost exactly measured 26 miles per charge on my PHEV. Some trips I get 24, some trips I get 30, but on average I get exactly 26 miles of EV from each charge.
 

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I've only checked into this on a couple of occasions, but my impression is that my PHEV indicates a zero mile electric range when the state of charge falls to 20%. So if 20% is zero miles and 100% is 26 miles, then every 10% above 20% would constitute 3.25 miles of range (8 * 3.25 = 26). 50% would be 3 * 3.25 = 9.75 miles, which the range gauge would report as either 9 or 10 miles. That's kind of in the ballpark of what you're describing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the info. I LOVE my Niro and am happy to learn that these numbers do sort of make sense. :)
 

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It would be nice if we could change the PHEV to HEV battery allocation. But I doubt that would ever happen. I noticed the same thing and was wondering why as well.
 

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My experience with a 2019 Niro EV is that the GOM indicated the mileage fairly accurately from the beginning as long as I’m not going crazy with speed. I even did a 225 mile trip up the mountain to 6000 feet elevation from sea level and back and it was fairly accurate to within 2 to 3%. That level of difference on accuracy can be an adjustment of using or not using the climate alone.
 

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It would be nice if we could change the PHEV to HEV battery allocation. But I doubt that would ever happen. I noticed the same thing and was wondering why as well.
How do you mean? You can toggle between EV and HEV mode if you battery miles remaining. Are you asking for something different?
 

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How do you mean? You can toggle between EV and HEV mode if you battery miles remaining. Are you asking for something different?
That post is almost a year old. But what he is trying to say is that it would be nice if he could use HEV reserved miles exclusively in EV mode, thus gaining EV range (by removing the bottom buffer). What he wasn't understanding is that that damages the battery, hence its collapse to HEV mode when plug in miles are exhausted to preserve continued function as a hybrid after that point.
 

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@jmurphEV
What yticolev said is correct. I wanted to use more of the battery and have less provision. If I drive very slowly I can get my battery level down to 13%, but if I drive normally I can only get my battery down to 17% left as the ICE kicks on and off to keep the battery level between 17 - 18%. It would be ideal if I could use that last 4%, or more under normal driving. I guess the other solution would be just to have a bigger battery.

I don't know at what % the battery would start to be damaged/degraded. Probably not much point second guessing the manufacturer who know best. But not necessarily doing best as they could be overly cautious to limit their lability on the battery.
 

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Kia's BMS algorithms are designed to make the batteries last longer. Yes, you could hack a few lines of code into the BMS to get more EV miles, but at the expense of battery life. Optimal range is achieved by buying the EV with the size of battery you need. Comes at the cost of increased weight and less efficiency so you don't want a bigger battery than you need.
 

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@jmurphEV
What yticolev said is correct. I wanted to use more of the battery and have less provision. If I drive very slowly I can get my battery level down to 13%, but if I drive normally I can only get my battery down to 17% left as the ICE kicks on and off to keep the battery level between 17 - 18%. It would be ideal if I could use that last 4%, or more under normal driving. I guess the other solution would be just to have a bigger battery.

I don't know at what % the battery would start to be damaged/degraded. Probably not much point second guessing the manufacturer who know best. But not necessarily doing best as they could be overly cautious to limit their lability on the battery.
Gotcha. I think one reason they switch to HEV a bit early is to maintain performance. Even at 0 miles if I give it the beans the electric motor still kicks in to provide full power. Can't do that if the battery is fully depleted.
 

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Just as it does in my HEV with no plug in miles. What is left in your battery when plug in miles are exhausted is similar to the middle of the battery charge in an HEV. Doesn't mean no EV assist.
 

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From what I've read, the only PHEV that suffers from loss of performance with a depleted battery is the BMW i3 REx. It apparently leaves no reserve in the battery for EV assist when the range extender fires up. This was one reason (of several) I never gave it serious consideration when I was looking for a plug-in. But from what I understand, it's quite a kick to drive as long as the battery is charged. Of course, it's not really a PHEV. It's a pure EV with a low powered gas (motorcycle) motor to allow the car to be driven if the battery is depleted.
 

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It is a serial BEV with range extender. There is no mechanical assist, it operates as a generator only.
 
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