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Oh, and one more thing. Towing is going to REALLY increase power draw. This in turn is going to raise the temperatures of various components from the electric motor to the inverter to even the battery pack. If possible, get something to monitor these temps. Otherwise, if things overheat and trigger a check engine light, it will be really easy for KIA to pull up the code history and potentially void your warranty.
 

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Yes, we have lots of towing experience, and will be towing 3,000-3100lbs (our race car and trailer) with the Niro EV. Specifically we are on a mission to prove:

1. You don't need a 6000lb pickup to tow
2. EV's are capable tow rigs, with a few key details (55-60mph tops, low drag trailers, charging station availability, 240V hookups at the track, etc)

Once we have installed the 7 pin receptacle on our Niro to power trailer lights/brakes/turnsignals, we will be doing our first test runs. Our first documented tow will be at the end of October. Fully loaded with gear, and towing 3100lbs on a 180 mile round trip. Can't wait.

And yes, we will be making a video documenting what is required to do this safely, and legally.
Seems to me you may have left off the most important part, active brakes on the towed vehicle.
 

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Oh, and one more thing. Towing is going to REALLY increase power draw. This in turn is going to raise the temperatures of various components from the electric motor to the inverter to even the battery pack. If possible, get something to monitor these temps. Otherwise, if things overheat and trigger a check engine light, it will be really easy for KIA to pull up the code history and potentially void your warranty.
Active fluid cooling. Temperature gets too high, systems will shut down. However, they are going to be pulling about twice the car's rated towing capacity. I'm not sure that will be a problem with their stated parameters, low drag trailer, speed limited - except for hills or high headwind. Possibly even inclement weather could get the cooling system too hot.
 

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FYI everything was wired up yesterday, and we did our first towing test last night, 300lbs of tongue weight and the full 3100lb trailer. Unfortunately we were limited by a trailer issue (one brake drum got to 250 degrees after a 20 mile around-town trip at no more than 40mph), so I am in the process of investigating that before I do a highway test run. It is a 40-50 year old trailer with welded on backing plates, no parts available, so it is a challenge to retrofit new parts, but I think I found the issue and will try again this weekend. The trailer is just a placeholder until I figure out if the concept will work, then I will buy a new superlight 650lb aluminum car hauler.

Won't say too much yet about my testing, but as a sneak peak, the regen braking was impressive, and under normal driving conditions, my useless trailer brakes did not matter at all, the car was fully capable of stopping the trailer on its own, even on my very steep route that I took. I am a racing instructor at Laguna Seca, so when I get the occasional chance I rip the Niro around the track to test thermal capacities, and it has been very impressive so far. More impressive than that, is I have been monitoring the KW trace on the EV interface, and I have seen a full 150KW of regen braking at high speed. Very curious to know how efficient it is at putting that 150KW back into the battery? Does anyone have any numbers on regen efficiency for the Niro?



To respond to some others:

Yes TFL videos are interesting with their Model X, but they tow brick-like horse trailers and do 70MPH in the process lol. So we are hoping we can do better than that. Fortunately the speed limit for towing in California is 55mph so we are limited by that anyways, and being that we are towing with a small vehicle, we are going to be sensible and stick to that speed anyways. We should be able to achieve higher efficiency than the Model X given all equal variables, the Niro is a smaller car with a higher MPGe rating in the first place.

As for temperatures, yes this should be interesting. The car is supposed to enter a "limp mode" when things get too hot. I will continue my testing at Laguna Seca and see if I will hit that threshold. I would love to monitor battery/motor/inverter temps, so let me know if someone knows how? OBD2?
 

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Nice report! Obviously you do know what you are doing and are using trailer brakes. I've not customized my OBD app yet, but there are a ton of PIDs available with a quick Google. There are a few possibilities to use off the shelf PID collections, I've heard of a Kia Soul BEV app that works. If you use Android, Torque is your best bet. Here is the best page I know of for PIDs:
https://github.com/JejuSoul/OBD-PIDs-for-HKMC-EVs/tree/master/Kia Niro HEV
 

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Off topic reply coming.


Laguna Seca is my second favorite track in the world(the ‘Ring is my favorite). I’ve been to Laguna Seca a couple of decades ago and it was amazing to see the corkscrew in person. My racing days are over for now but one day I might slide back into a car for fun.
 

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well i bought a curt class III receiver hitch for my niro EV. it fit pretty good. there were two studs on the chassis for the under panel in the rear, that had to be removed. and had to trim panel to fit around hitch. the curt hitch had to be ground away at one of the bolt holes a little bit. otherwise it was an easy fit.
I too am contemplating of installing a hitch on my 2019 Niro EV. When 'I' contacted Curt, they said; "Wedon't make one for the 'EV' model". So, you can see, I'm a bit confused. I'm a retarded
retired Mekanix, so "slight" modifications won't pose a problem. What part number (from Curt) did you use? Any 'other' glitch's I need to be aware of? Again, THANX for ANY info you can offer.
 

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Not sure on an EV -- here's some detailed instructions on changes for a PHEV

 

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I too am contemplating of installing a hitch on my 2019 Niro EV. When 'I' contacted Curt, they said; "Wedon't make one for the 'EV' model". So, you can see, I'm a bit confused. I'm a retarded
retired Mekanix, so "slight" modifications won't pose a problem. What part number (from Curt) did you use? Any 'other' glitch's I need to be aware of? Again, THANX for ANY info you can offer.
Not sure on an EV -- here's detailed instructions on mods for a PHEV (mine worked like a charm FYI)

 

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Is there any official word on why Kia does not want people to tow with the 2018 Touring hybrid ? I'm curious because it seems from discussions here that small modifications make it possible to attach hitches, but there isn't a Curt or something that you can buy ready to fit on. What do Kia and Curt know that we don't? Local dealer is no help.

Another way to ask: Kia sells a hitch for the 2020. What did they change to make that possible?
 

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Is there any official word on why Kia does not want people to tow with the 2018 Touring hybrid ? I'm curious because it seems from discussions here that small modifications make it possible to attach hitches, but there isn't a Curt or something that you can buy ready to fit on. What do Kia and Curt know that we don't? Local dealer is no help.

Another way to ask: Kia sells a hitch for the 2020. What did they change to make that possible?
Usually a vehicle that is rated for towing has brakes and cooling (engine and transmission) that are improved over a non-tow version. We don't know if the US market receives slightly different configurations than other locations. Sometimes it's strictly up to the legal department, depending on the liability laws in a particular location. Our cars may be mechanically identical to the EU versions that allow towing, but the liability laws differ enough between the two locations.

Why does the 2020 have a tow rating when prior years did not? Only Kia can answer that question. There are some differences with the 2020, so perhaps there's something underneath that differs as well.
 

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Our cars may be mechanically identical to the EU versions that allow towing, but the liability laws differ enough between the two locations.
It may also be that passenger cars hooked up to trailers have a lower speed limit and no access to freeways. In the US, no way the Niro could go 80 mph with a trailer safely.
 

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The speculations from atc98092 have a good chance of being correct, as do the earlier discussions of load on the drive and brake systems. However, I am interested to hear from Kia. I presume they monitor this forum.
Ytcolev: who drives 80 mph with a trailer on any car? I don't want to meet that person on the road.
 

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The speculations from atc98092 have a good chance of being correct, as do the earlier discussions of load on the drive and brake systems. However, I am interested to hear from Kia. I presume they monitor this forum.
Ytcolev: who drives 80 mph with a trailer on any car? I don't want to meet that person on the road.
This forum is not associated with Kia in any way. Might they monitor it? I have no idea. But if you want to hear from Kia, you should contact them directly. Doesn't mean you'll get a clear answer, though. :D
 

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Ytcolev: who drives 80 mph with a trailer on any car? I don't want to meet that person on the road.
Stay out of Texas then. My point was that to do so is legal here, and may not be in Europe.
 

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It may also be that passenger cars hooked up to trailers have a lower speed limit and no access to freeways. In the US, no way the Niro could go 80 mph with a trailer safely.
Another factor could be what people tend to tow. In Europe it's likely a tiny popup caravan or the like. In the US it's a big boat or a hot rod. Kia might not want to deal with people in the states ripping the rear of the car off trying to tow their '67 Chevy to the car show. 😁

6322


Jeremy Clarkson notwithstanding.
 

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Yes, we have lots of towing experience, and will be towing 3,000-3100lbs (our race car and trailer) with the Niro EV. Specifically we are on a mission to prove:

1. You don't need a 6000lb pickup to tow
2. EV's are capable tow rigs, with a few key details (55-60mph tops, low drag trailers, charging station availability, 240V hookups at the track, etc)

Once we have installed the 7 pin receptacle on our Niro to power trailer lights/brakes/turnsignals, we will be doing our first test runs. Our first documented tow will be at the end of October. Fully loaded with gear, and towing 3100lbs on a 180 mile round trip. Can't wait.

And yes, we will be making a video documenting what is required to do this safely, and legally.
Hi,

What wiring harness did you use? I ask because, on the etrailer web site, they list two custom wiring harnesses for the Niro -- a Tekonsha brand, and a Curt. However, they both say "excluding plug-in hybrid and EV". I am far from an expert on vehicle wiring, but I'm guessing there is no actual difference between the wiring for the lights whether it's a plug-in or a regular hybrid. I suspect that the only reason it says "excluding plug-in" is that there isn't a hitch made specifically for the plug-in model, rather than it having anything to do with the wiring itself.

2020 Kia Niro Trailer Wiring | etrailer.com

Thanks!
Todd
 

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None of the Niro models are approved for towing. If you ever have a warranty claim that will be an issue, especially drivetrain related claims.
I have a 2020 PHEV Kia Niro Plug in hybrid. I called my Kia dealership warranty department. After researching it for several hours she came back to me and said that whether I had the hitch installed at my Kia dealership, she and those she emailed agreed that there was nothing in the warranty that indicated the installation would void any part of the warrunty unless it was caused directly by them drilling any holes into the Niro for installation. The reason I called was because I am looking at installing a trailer hitch to hold a hitch mounted bike rack. Information was received last week.
 
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