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2020 KIA Niro EX Premium "NON-PHEV - Saved $10K and the extension cord for the Christmas lights."
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone ever gotten the dash message that regenerative braking is disabled because the battery is full?
PHEV thing?

6435
 

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Yep. I drive down hill for most of the first two miles and get this once in a while in my PHEV.
 

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If I go down the hill after leaving my garage, I have a 1/2 mile of pretty steep slope. I can go about half way, and then the ICE will fire to offer compression braking. I've never seen that message on my display, though.

To avoid the ICE coming on, I can "zig zag" by taking a left turn just before the ICE would start, and I use 1% of the battery to reach the next downhill street. I can then regen the rest of the way down, bringing the battery back to 99% and no ICE needed.
 

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Today I noticed for the first time that the battery was completely full but from what I could tell there were two bars of regeneration shown on the dash while coasting. I didn't try the left paddle shifter to increase regen. braking to see if I got that message but I'll be sure to do it the next time this happens while mountain driving.
 

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Also, I have a few general questions about regenerative braking after taking a Denver foothill drive today if anyone can help, please.

1. When using the Smart Cruise Control, does the system only use regenerative braking when slowing as you come up behind another vehicle or going downhill to maintain the programmed speed?

2. Do the brake lights come on as I would hope when regenerative braking occurs during cruise control while coming up behind a slower vehicle, etc? I would doubt that the brakes lights would come on when just maintaining speed while going downhill. Also, there's the option of braking entirely with the left paddle shifter (by holding it) and I would hope that would also engage the brake lights. Any thoughts?

3. In my previous car (a Prius), using the brake peddle engaged regenerative braking to a certain extent as well. To what degree is the Niro like this? I noticed many more bars of regeneration shown on the dash while using the left paddle shifter to engage regenerative braking than when just using the brake pedal. I guess what I'm noticing is that use of the paddles is much more effective at regeneration than using the brake pedal and in fact, maybe the brake pedal only engages the actual brake pads?

Thanks for your help, everyone!
 

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Even with the battery showing full, there's likely a little buffer to allow for regen. I can pull out of my garage (uphill for 20 feet) fully charged then regen down a half mile hill. I get just over half way down before the ICE will fire to provide compression braking. so even the "full" battery has a hair of space at the top.

1) Smart Cruise will use regen up to the point the system is calling for more braking than the system provides, such as the radar detecting traffic ahead. It will then apply the mechanical brakes as needed. Since yours is the 2020, the SCC is capable of bringing you to a complete stop without you needing to apply the brakes. It does this with regen until the speed it too low, and then applies the brakes. My 2019 will not come to a stop, but disengages when the car slows to 5 MPH and I have to stop it myself.

2) From what I can see when it's dark outside, regen will turn the brake lights on. What I don't know is if there's a threshold of slowing percentage where the lights come on. My previous Outback also had smart cruise, and it also had a dash display that showed the lights coming on. While that car did not have regen (not a hybrid) I could see that light braking did not turn the lights on.

3) In my 2019 (no paddles), the brake pedal is the sole means of the driver actuating regen. Above 40 MPH I can peg the power meter at full regen, but as the speed drops it will only reach mid-regen on the display. You might be misunderstanding the function of the paddles, or maybe it's me. :D I thought the paddles only controlled the level of regen. When you press the paddle, yes it might be adding additional regen, or more likely just changing the regen level, which would increase the regen (and show further into regen on the dash) for a given brake pedal pressure. But I am certain that you are using regen when you first apply the brakes. The power meter moving into regen is a pretty good indicator.
 

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3) In my 2019 (no paddles), the brake pedal is the sole means of the driver actuating regen. Above 40 MPH I can peg the power meter at full regen, but as the speed drops it will only reach mid-regen on the display. You might be misunderstanding the function of the paddles, or maybe it's me. :D I thought the paddles only controlled the level of regen. When you press the paddle, yes it might be adding additional regen, or more likely just changing the regen level, which would increase the regen (and show further into regen on the dash) for a given brake pedal pressure. But I am certain that you are using regen when you first apply the brakes. The power meter moving into regen is a pretty good indicator.
Thanks, Dan!

Yes, the paddles offer three levels of added Regenerative Braking. The left paddle increases it and the right paddle decreases it. I wasn't trying to understand how they work while I'm adding brake pad pressure, but rather how they work independently so I can tell which offers more regeneration. When using the brake pedal alone today, I didn't notice much more than a couple bars on the regeneration indicator even if I pressed harder on the peddle. I'll check this again at different speeds the next time I have a chance to see if I can get the brake pedal to offer the same level of regeneration I'm seeing by increasing it to the fullest extent (level 3) with the left paddle shifter. You can also hold the left paddle and bring the car to a complete stop, I think. There's so much to learn and I guess that will keep my mind active for a few more years! To be honest, I thought the paddle shifters would work the same as past VW's I've had when I moved the shifter into the equivalent of the Niro's "Sport" mode. In other words, I thought they would offer up and down shifting of gears in addition to manually moving the shifter lever. Well, I'm still not 100% sure of how they operate once you enter "Sport" mode, but I did use the gear shifter today to select gears on mountain roads and was pleased to see that at least that worked similarly to past VW "Tiptronic" transmissions.
 

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I've heard that they do control the transmission when in Sport mode, but you have to activate that yourself. In my GTI, yes the paddles will switch the transmission into Tiptronic manual mode, but it will drop back into auto mode after so many seconds unless you move the lever yourself.

Some EVs with paddles also have settings within the menus that allow setting a default regen level. I have no idea if your Niro has that, but if it does you could set the default to a higher level. And yes I believe I read that you can come to a complete stoop holding the paddle. Again, doesn't apply to my '19 so can't speak to it from personal experience.
 

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When you mentioned increasing the default to a higher regen level, I wondered which ultimately leads to more MPG....additional battery power which you get with more regen. or coasting with the lowest amount of regen? When I coast it seems that there are a couple bars of regeneration shown on the display but not more than that. I'm sure there's a balance somewhere. For example, if I'm going to be applying the brake pedal to slow the vehicle, I would be better off increasing the regen. level. But, if I'm just coasting down a mountain hill for a ways, I would think that the least regenerative level would be best to improve overall efficiency.
 
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