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I keep seeing posts about driving around in Sport Mode to recharge the battery like it is something of a great thing. I am to gather this is something particular to the Plug/In version of the Niro and not something that HEV versions would want to do. I gather that driving in sport mode forces the engine to run and locks out hybrid electric mode. So this will then I gather force any of the extra power that the motor has into regeneration mode on the electric motor.


Can someone please explain why this is a good thing to me? Are you not just robbing from Peter to pay Paul? So sure when you get off the highway you can now have a whole bunch of electricity in your battery that you can now spend on EV running. But are you not robbing yourself of fuel on the highway that would otherwise not be required? So, you are driving up an incline, and as you are in sport, the motor now needs to run far more rich and use more gas as it had to produce more horsepower to keep the car going, were in ECO mode it would be able to run at a lower fuel usage and get added support from the electric motor. Going down an incline, the motor is running, giving the excess power to regen, where in ECO mode, it could simply be turned off and using the electric motor exclusively. On a flat, you again are running the motor all the time where on ECO it could be spending 50% of it's time running on EV.


Do you really feel that the motor gets far better fuel economy at highway speeds running far richer in order to regenerate a battery than what you'd get using a hybrid motor electric balance?
 

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From a perspective of straight energy savings, it costs more to burn gas to charge the battery, no matter what your gas and electricity costs are. It will always cost more to convert gas into electricity at the car level and then into motion, rather than converting gas into motion directly.

Some trick to put the car in an appropriate gear for a short time, well maybe. But that is a failure of the algorithm and should be fixed and will not provide results that can be noted over a full tank of gas anyway.
 

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Driving in Sport mode does not lock out the EV motor. But it does depend mostly on the ICE for moving the vehicle, with some electric assisted acceleration.

I've generally used Sport when I have a significant amount of high speed driving (i.e. freeway) and want to have as much EV range as possible when I get close to my destination. Going to work each morning, I have a short section of freeway (about 4 miles), and I'll use it to maintain my range and to provide some additional performance as I maneuver the traffic. Even at 4:30AM there's a lot on traffic on the Seattle freeways. By saving those few miles, I can return home in the afternoon solely in EV mode.

The best example I have was back in August when I drove from my home to Ellensburg WA. This required crossing two mountain passes (one lower than the other) and about 110 miles of freeway each way. By using Sport mode, I had plenty of performance for climbing the passes, and arrived at Ellensburg with about 20 miles of range available. I spent a couple of hours looking around the town (we are planning on moving there when I retire), and this was all under EV power. I was down to about 6 miles of range when we started home, but between Sport mode and some regen coming down the two passes I got it back up to about 18 miles. When we were about 15 miles from home, I switched back to EV mode. When we pulled into the garage, I was around 3 miles remaining, and the total MPG on the dash display for the trip was just over 60 MPG. Since it's a touch optimistic, I figure the entire trip was about 57 MPG. Not bad at all for such a long trip and climbing mountains, and remember the EPA gas only rating for the car is only 46 MPG combined. So it really didn't appear that using Sport was much of an impact to the gas usage over the entire trip.
 

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Nope, perhaps not discernible over a full tank as I said. But it cannot be better, and your car has enough power for mountain passes in either mode.
 

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, and I'll use it to maintain my range and to provide some additional performance as I maneuver the traffic. Even at 4:30AM there's a lot on traffic on the Seattle freeways. By saving those few miles, I can return home in the afternoon solely in EV mode.

But that comes back to the simple question. Do you really find that you get better performance in EV mode than you do in HEV? I do not own a plug in personally and have never driven one so I don't have any point of reference. I don't in any way feel that my Niro is under powered when driving around in city street traffic. Off the line, I can make it move just as well as any other car. Now, that said, it takes a hit on gasoline as you are using the motor for that, and the HEV version doesn't have as large of an electric motor as the PHEV does. I can from a full stop with enough charge in the battery, you can keep the Niro in EV mode as long as you are slow in accleration, but that is playing the system on the HEV.


So we look at your senerio. You are forcing the car to sport mode I gather so that is minimizes the amount of Hybrid motor/electric that is does while driving on the highway, so that you get more exclusive EV mode when driving on city streets. I know with my car, when you shut down it gives you a display of the last trip time/distance/fuel economy just before the car shuts down. This is different than the running total that is displayed as you drive. I am curious if your car does that too? and if you'd for an experiment see if that displayed number is about the same for each trip to and from work to get what your actual trip baseline is. Then see if you didn't use sport mode on the highway and let the car run with the motor if needed in HEV mode around the city, if you really get any difference in the trip efficiency.
 

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But that comes back to the simple question. Do you really find that you get better performance in EV mode than you do in HEV? I do not own a plug in personally and have never driven one so I don't have any point of reference. I don't in any way feel that my Niro is under powered when driving around in city street traffic. Off the line, I can make it move just as well as any other car. Now, that said, it takes a hit on gasoline as you are using the motor for that, and the HEV version doesn't have as large of an electric motor as the PHEV does. I can from a full stop with enough charge in the battery, you can keep the Niro in EV mode as long as you are slow in accleration, but that is playing the system on the HEV.


So we look at your scenario. You are forcing the car to sport mode I gather so that is minimizes the amount of Hybrid motor/electric that is does while driving on the highway, so that you get more exclusive EV mode when driving on city streets. I know with my car, when you shut down it gives you a display of the last trip time/distance/fuel economy just before the car shuts down. This is different than the running total that is displayed as you drive. I am curious if your car does that too? and if you'd for an experiment see if that displayed number is about the same for each trip to and from work to get what your actual trip baseline is. Then see if you didn't use sport mode on the highway and let the car run with the motor if needed in HEV mode around the city, if you really get any difference in the trip efficiency.
While the PHEV has about 50% more EV power than the HEV, it's still only 60 HP. The PHEV Prius has about 90. Yes, any acceleration that engages the ICE has better performance than pure EV mode. And Sport mode has even more. But, I generally don't need that additional power unless I'm climbing a hill or on something like an uphill freeway on-ramp that requires more than normal acceleration. Under most driving conditions the EV acceleration is just fine.

Sport mode is still just HEV mode, with improved throttle response curves and provides a little extra current back into the battery then normal HEV mode. And yes, HEV mode also sends power from the engine to the battery.

Yes, my dash has almost identical displays as the HEV. It's the EV that has some more significant differences. While I can't quote specific numbers, I do find that running in Sport mode overall makes little difference in overall MPG compared to the normal HEV mode. While it does spend just a hair more fuel to supply some charge back to the battery, it really doesn't seem significant.

The problem making comparisons with my work trip now is the need for the ICE to provide cabin heat. It's been freezing (30-34F) each morning this week, so the ICE is firing up. I can't tolerate the cold enough to try with just the seat and wheel heaters. Look up Raynaud's disease. :) And since even in HEV mode it's putting a little power back into the battery, my EV range is being skewed right now. I went 34 miles this morning (with a 10 mile top off in between two trips) and still had 12 miles left after returning. I only used Sport mode once, climbing a long hill (a little over a mile) at 55 MPH. But the ICE was probably running about 50% of the time. Still showed 100 MPG when I returned home. :D
 

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The problem making comparisons with my work trip now is the need for the ICE to provide cabin heat. It's been freezing (30-34F) each morning this week, so the ICE is firing up. I can't tolerate the cold enough to try with just the seat and wheel heaters. Look up Raynaud's disease. :D
Would it get warm enough to drive on seat and wheel heaters if you preheat the car (assuming you have that option)? I think the app will do 10 minutes of climate control. My step mom has Raynaud's and has a hard enough time here in CA. Can't imagine dealing with it in cold states.
 

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Mine sux but I drive mostly all interstate 70 mph best I can get in summer going to work is 50 mpg coming home 42 mpg. Winter time usually around 35-38 mpg.
2017 HEV touring.

Average Fuelly this summer 42MPG
 

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Would it get warm enough to drive on seat and wheel heaters if you preheat the car (assuming you have that option)? I think the app will do 10 minutes of climate control. My step mom has Raynaud's and has a hard enough time here in CA. Can't imagine dealing with it in cold states.
My problem is with my feet. They just get so cold. But pre-heating the car just fires up the ICE, so doesn't really help in that regard. Saves range, yes, but at the cost of burning gas without any movement. Really drags the MPG down fast. :) Plus, I hate that the four way flashers engage when you are using the remote to pre-condition the interior.
 

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@Roadkill401, to address your original question: does driving is sport mode save you cost? I don't think it saves anything, but from my experience it doesn't seem to cost anything either. For me, I feel it's worth saving the EV range for in-town driving. Might be different for other drivers.
 

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Isn't that what the HEV mode button is for?
I'm not certain, but I think HEV mode is simply a battery maintain mode, while Sport mode will slowly add to the battery SoC. But I've never used just HEV mode for long enough to test that. When you switch to Sport, the HEV dash indicator lights up, so it does act similar.
 

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My problem is with my feet. They just get so cold. But pre-heating the car just fires up the ICE, so doesn't really help in that regard. Saves range, yes, but at the cost of burning gas without any movement. Really drags the MPG down fast. :) Plus, I hate that the four way flashers engage when you are using the remote to pre-condition the interior.
I've only used it to cool down the car, which run on EV. Had no idea preheating turned on the engine, but that makes sense since it turns it on when you're driving with heat.
 

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I'm not certain, but I think HEV mode is simply a battery maintain mode,
Yes, which preserves your plug in range for city driving. Sport mode reduces efficiency, kind of crazy to use it for charging your battery. HEV mode will directly convert gas to forward momentum rather than going though a very inefficient step of charging your battery and then using it for momentum.
 

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Yes, which preserves your plug in range for city driving. Sport mode reduces efficiency, kind of crazy to use it for charging your battery. HEV mode will directly convert gas to forward momentum rather than going though a very inefficient step of charging your battery and then using it for momentum.
From my limited experience with the car (6 months), I concur that it decreases fuel economy in Sport mode. But that decrease seems to be very minor. But again, I don't really use Sport as a means to charge the battery. For me it's the improved throttle response as well as controlling the gear the DCT is in when climbing hills or at high speed (freeway). If I could manually shift the DCT and stay in HEV mode, that would work for me too. I've noticed in HEV mode the car chooses a lower gear than really necessary when climbing a long grade. Sometimes it's two gears below what's necessary. I don't like the high speed droning of the engine, and by upshifting myself not only does the engine racket quiet down, but I can see the energy use gauge drop, indicating I'm using less fuel/electricity to maintain my speed. Just me being a little anal about controlling my car. :D
 
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