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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up our Niro on October 11th in Vancouver BC. It was a real scramble to get the model and the color we wanted with the small initial Canadian shipment. Love it so far, now comes the dance to choose a home charging station. Any suggestions from other Niro phev folks?
 

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Love it so far, now comes the dance to choose a home charging station. Any suggestions from other Niro phev folks?
I've been happy with the included Level 1 charger so far actually. We've had our PHEV since April and the 7 hour charge time has been fine almost all the time since we mainly use the car for commuting. I am planning to pick up a Level 2 charger sometime soon, just so I can take advantage of the 2.5 hour recharge on the weekends when we've got a bunch of shorter trips. The times when I've been able to use the car over a weekend several times without using any gas have been great, so I think the investment is worth it. Amazon has them for as little as $200 for the 16A version which is perfect for the Niro so the cost is pretty minimal.

Unless you have a use case where you really need the faster recharge time I would stick with the Level 1 for a while and see how you like it.

Good luck with the car and welcome to the forum!
 

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I could've sworn that I read somewhere in the manual that doing level 1 charges all the time hurts the battery life after a while? I could be mistaken.
The only downside is the longer charging time. The actual charging of the battery is handled by the on-vehicle charge controller so there's no other effects from the lower charge voltage.

I've attached the relevant pages from the Features and Functions Guide and the Owner's Manual and it is interesting that the full manual says to only use the trickle charger as a backup (no reason given, but from the context it's a cautionary note on home wiring capacities as opposed to a battery issue). Conversely, the FF guide says the opposite, calling the trickle charger the normal method for charging the PHEV. :confused:

In any event, I would use the trickle charger with confidence, it's designed to charge the vehicle safely and as long as your home wiring is up to the task you should have no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info, we have been using the supplied standard wall power charger and it works just fine but as we learn more about battery longevity it might be convenient to charge a little quicker. Found some research where this type of battery with 100% to 0% cycles lasted 500 Cycles. 70% to 20% lasted 6000 Cycles. Seems that the best best compromise would be to leave the battery at 80% overnight. Lots to learn. We are running in hybrid mode during the break-in period, otherwise with I wear driving needs the motor would be gathering cobwebs.馃榿
 

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You are correct about battery degradation (although the cycle count sounds exagerated) but the 100% charge indicator on your dash does not correspond to the actual battery charge. It is unlikely that Kia allows more than around an 80% charge. But there is no harm in charging to 80% indicated if you do not need the range in a particular post charge interval.
 

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Indeed, Kia does NOT want to replace everyone's batteries every 1 or 2 years. The charging controller almost certainly automatically keeps the battery inside the optimal range that results in the best battery lifespan. ie, when it says it's dead and it turns off EV mode, it's really at 20%, and when it says 100%, it's really at 80%.
 

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Interesting to learn about the indicated charge percentage fudge. I'll keep that in mind. Out of curiosity, when running in EV mode, at what low charge level does the system default to hybrid mode to recharge the battery? Thanks for all the pearls of wisdom.
 

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Interesting to learn about the indicated charge percentage fudge. I'll keep that in mind. Out of curiosity, when running in EV mode, at what low charge level does the system default to hybrid mode to recharge the battery? Thanks for all the pearls of wisdom.
It doesn't go into HEV mode until the EV battery (the one that only gets charged by plugging it in, which is different from the HEV battery that charges from driving) hits 0%, then it switches to HEV mode. It doesn't switch into HEV mode before that, except when you temprarily need more power because you're cruising or accelerating faster than the EV motor only can handle (roughly 75-80mph or 50% throttle). But when you back off of the pedal or slow down, it goes back into EV mode until either the EV battery drains, or you toggle EV mode off manually.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks. North Shore Kia was very helpful. 100% indicated charge equals 80 to 85% actual charge. At 15 to 20% charge, the car switches to hybrid mode to recharge everything.
 

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While I don't own a PHEV, I suspect that when you run down the battery and it switches you to hybrid mode, the battery charge indicator will not change much (it will not attempt to fully recharge the battery). In other words, it will behave just like a hybrid (and my hybrid) and under most conditions the battery charge will remain in a narrow range. If it switches at 20%, it will stay centered around 20%.

PHEV's larger battery have an advantage in mountainous terrain. Larger capacity means they can recover more energy on a downhill (depending on charge status) than the smaller hybrid battery. And it is mountainous terrain that causes the largest swing on my hybrid battery, discharging deeper as it adds torque to the engine output on uphills, and charging higher than usual during long downhills.
 

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While I don't own a PHEV, I suspect that when you run down the battery and it switches you to hybrid mode, the battery charge indicator will not change much (it will not attempt to fully recharge the battery). In other words, it will behave just like a hybrid (and my hybrid) and under most conditions the battery charge will remain in a narrow range. If it switches at 20%, it will stay centered around 20%.

PHEV's larger battery have an advantage in mountainous terrain. Larger capacity means they can recover more energy on a downhill (depending on charge status) than the smaller hybrid battery. And it is mountainous terrain that causes the largest swing on my hybrid battery, discharging deeper as it adds torque to the engine output on uphills, and charging higher than usual during long downhills.
This seems correct to me, based on my experience with my PHEV. My charge level for the EV portion of the battery has never gone up unless I plug it in. I even drove about 50 miles, all downhill from about 9k feet elevation down to 0 feet elevation, and the EV meter never got above "0 miles remaining". I am pretty sure the only way to add EV range is by plugging it in.
 

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Each time I've driven my PHEV on a trip out of town, I purposely ration the electric mileage for the city portions of the drive. I especially pay careful attention to the remaining electric miles I have left for the last few miles to my home. Each time without fail while driving a stretch of miles in the HEV mode before reaching our city limits, I gain one to two miles of electric range. The road terrain is flat - no hills when the increase occurs. Now I anticipate this happening and figure it into my electric range needs for the home stretch of the drive.
 

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This seems correct to me, based on my experience with my PHEV. My charge level for the EV portion of the battery has never gone up unless I plug it in. I even drove about 50 miles, all downhill from about 9k feet elevation down to 0 feet elevation, and the EV meter never got above "0 miles remaining". I am pretty sure the only way to add EV range is by plugging it in.
This has not been my experience. The ICE is never used to recharge the PHEV battery, but regenerative braking going down hill definitely will recharge the battery thus adding to EV range. I'ts possible your down hill drives are not steep enough to have a net recharge of the battery.
 

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If you use the UVO Eco app, there is a Information screen accessed through the Remote>Battery view. It does discourage use of Level 1 chargers to keep battery in "optimal condition."
Pretty bizarre advice on that page. Appears to be advice for nicad batteries. Either it is old boilerplate, or there is more than on mistranslation.
 

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This has not been my experience. The ICE is never used to recharge the PHEV battery, but regenerative braking going down hill definitely will recharge the battery thus adding to EV range. I'ts possible your down hill drives are not steep enough to have a net recharge of the battery.
Again, all one battery, just different modes with a misleading display that makes you think there are two batteries. If the ICE is on it is charging the battery by design (slowly) unless the battery is over about 90% of total capacity. That charging isn't likely to register on the EV miles remaining though but it does depend on how they programmed it to display.
 
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