Kia Niro Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Next week I'm taking my '20 PHEV for its first road trip, and have some questions for PHEV drivers who've done some road tripping. I'm driving to the Northwest to visit family, expect to log 4,000+ miles, and will be doing around 600 miles/day.

Are there any reasonably priced motel chains that offer charging stations, or is this just something typically offered by more expensive hotels?

If "yes" to above, what might I expect to pay for a full charge?

Given the EV range will only make up about 5% of my daily miles, is it even worth it to charge up for each day?
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Niro PHEV EX Premium
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
Those are worthwhile questions. To respond to the last one, I think it's always a benefit to charge whenever possible. Yes, it won't make a significant difference in your overall fuel economy, but every little bit helps.

There are some hotels that are now including dedicated charging stations. However, so far most I've encountered are Tesla destination chargers. They are level 2, but of course only have a Tesla connector. There are adapters available to allow connecting a destination charger to a non-Tesla, although I don't know what they might cost. Using the destination charger is free to my understanding.

But it's also possible that the hotel might have a standard 120v outlet somewhere in the parking area that you can use your factory EVSE with. Sure, it takes 6 hours to fill a PHEV with it, but you'll be spending the night anyway. Most hotel staff would be happy to let you know if they are aware of one. Charging a PHEV from empty to full would be a bit over 7 kW. Your battery is 8.9 kW, but the car will never let it get below about 16%. Even if you paid them 40 cents a kW, that's less than $3. I doubt any hotel would even ask for using a 120v outlet. Now if the hotel actually had a Chargepoint or other commercial charging station, most will be charging between 20 and 30 cents per kW I believe. You can use PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You and search your planned route for charging locations. You can filter it to only show J1772 and 120v outlets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
The cool part of the PHEV is you don't have to charge it. So on a long road trip you don't have to worry about finding a charging point. One tip: you can drive in Sport Mode to charge up the battery for future use. I like to have enough charge to use EV mode in city driving or if I know there are steep grades to climb at highway speeds. (This will quickly deplete your traction battery.) Otherwise, gas up and drive like normal.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Niro PHEV EX Premium
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
True, Sport mode can charge the battery. But at the cost of lower MPG. That said, I too use Hybrid and Sport Modes to retain EV charge when I'm on a long trip to use the EV range within town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I drove in sport mode yesterday and it didn't do any charging of the battery. In fact, the battery lost a few percent.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Niro PHEV EX Premium
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
I drove in sport mode yesterday and it didn't do any charging of the battery. In fact, the battery lost a few percent.
Driving style will have a lot to do with it. But driving at a steady pace should certainly charge the battery. If there were a lot of hills, or constant speed changes (including stopping and starting again), I could see no noticeable charge change, or even the drop you noted with some aggressive driving. But if the proper conditions were met, it should charge. And I am assuming you have the PHEV, not the HEV. If so, you might have the system checked by a dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So my trip covered 3,625 miles, and I got 49.97 mpg. I mostly drove at 0 - 5 miles over the posted limit which included a lot of 80 mph stretches, so was very happy with the mileage I got. I was only able to charge up before I left home, so the mpg figure is nearly all driving in HEV mode. Not bad since I traversed the Rockies both ways and went over numerous passes. The car pulled remarkably well on the passes, only straining a bit on Hoosier Pass which is 11,500 ft. and has a lot of steep switchbacks making it difficult to keep up your momentum.

I was surprised at how easily I could pass other cars, and how effortlessly it cruised at 80. Still very quiet and smooth at that speed, and it always felt planted on twisty mountain passes. Very impressed with what a great road tripping car it is!
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Niro PHEV EX Premium
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
that really is good mileage for such a drive. Especially for the PHEV, which is heavier with the larger battery compared to the HEV version. Also shows that Kia did a respectable job on the aerodynamics, since wind resistance increases almost exponentially as you speed up. (y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
that really is good mileage for such a drive. Especially for the PHEV, which is heavier with the larger battery compared to the HEV version. Also shows that Kia did a respectable job on the aerodynamics, since wind resistance increases almost exponentially as you speed up. (y)
Forgot to mention my best mpg was at high elevation. Naturally, it dropped going up the passes, but went back up going down them. I'm guessing the high elevation mpg was helped by the engine working harder going up passes and therefore generating more juice so that the car could switch to EV mode for short stretches, and of course going down the passes helped save gas and generate more juice for EV driving. Maybe the ICE running leaner at high elevations played a role too, since I've also experienced phenomenal mileage on my motorcycle while in the Rockies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
So my trip covered 3,625 miles, and I got 49.97 mpg. I mostly drove at 0 - 5 miles over the posted limit which included a lot of 80 mph stretches, so was very happy with the mileage I got. I was only able to charge up before I left home, so the mpg figure is nearly all driving in HEV mode. Not bad since I traversed the Rockies both ways and went over numerous passes. The car pulled remarkably well on the passes, only straining a bit on Hoosier Pass which is 11,500 ft. and has a lot of steep switchbacks making it difficult to keep up your momentum.

I was surprised at how easily I could pass other cars, and how effortlessly it cruised at 80. Still very quiet and smooth at that speed, and it always felt planted on twisty mountain passes. Very impressed with what a great road tripping car it is!
My recent trip to Colorado & Utah (2019 Niro PHEV) logged about the same milage and 49.2 mpg. I never plugged in in 26 days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
Thanks Ranger, great report, surprisingly good mileage - of course there was a lot of regen going downhill.
Did you use the "Sport" mode at all while climbing the passes?
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top