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Hi all,

After two months of prep work and preliminary testing, it was finally time to put our theories to the test. We loaded up 3200lbs of car/trailer to our Niro EV, and did a 160 mile test, evaluating both stability and range. Enjoy!


Best,
Matt
 

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Interesting and well done Video.

Just for information --- does the manual give a tow rating for that NIRO ( my Hybrid says "Towing Not Recommended". I called Customer Service and was told towing would not void the warranty UNLESS the failure was due to towing.

In other words a vague answer GROAN, I assume their decision as to whether or not failure caused by towing.
 

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Interesting and well done Video.

Just for information --- does the manual give a tow rating for that NIRO ( my Hybrid says "Towing Not Recommended". I called Customer Service and was told towing would not void the warranty UNLESS the failure was due to towing.

In other words a vague answer GROAN, I assume their decision as to whether or not failure caused by towing.
That's reasonable. Usually you hear (if towing is not recommended) that towing will void your entire warranty. Which is a bunch of bull from an uninformed sales rep.
 

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Nice! Was fun seeing roads I've been on many times while working in California. I've done the same loop you did several times, and probably for the same reason: no tolls going that route in a clockwise direction. Worth the extra miles for that reason.

Curious if you could maintain or get up to speed on steep hills? I'm thinking specifically of the one entering Marin off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, traffic may not have allowed 55 mph there anyway.

On wheel chirping: reviews I've read or seen (such as Alex on Autos) say the car is software torque reduced at lower speeds. The Kona EV with the same exact same drivetrain has no such restriction and is easy to chirp or spin the front wheels.
 

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Interesting and well done Video.

Just for information --- does the manual give a tow rating for that NIRO ( my Hybrid says "Towing Not Recommended". I called Customer Service and was told towing would not void the warranty UNLESS the failure was due to towing.

In other words a vague answer GROAN, I assume their decision as to whether or not failure caused by towing.
Yes, the manual in the EV model also states "Towing Not Recommended". Either too lazy to get the SAE standardized tow rating, or they just want to upsell their larger vehicles (no different from any other manufacturer). That being said, I bought the Niro because it is the only EV (aside from the Model X) that has a compatible hitch rated for over 2,000lbs. I specifically bought the EV because of the efficiency, but also the fact that it has a single gear reduction transmission, instead of the CVT in the plug-in model. I figured this would be better for towing and transmission reliability!

That's reasonable. Usually you hear (if towing is not recommended) that towing will void your entire warranty. Which is a bunch of bull from an uninformed sales rep.
Yes, they will have to directly prove that towing caused the issue. Which is one of the reasons I documented that the Niro did not recognize any "aggressive" driving habits while towing, and actually thought I was driving economically for over 80% of the trip!

Nice! Was fun seeing roads I've been on many times while working in California. I've done the same loop you did several times, and probably for the same reason: no tolls going that route in a clockwise direction. Worth the extra miles for that reason.

Curious if you could maintain or get up to speed on steep hills? I'm thinking specifically of the one entering Marin off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, traffic may not have allowed 55 mph there anyway.

On wheel chirping: reviews I've read or seen (such as Alex on Autos) say the car is software torque reduced at lower speeds. The Kona EV with the same exact same drivetrain has no such restriction and is easy to chirp or spin the front wheels.
Yes you are exactly right. Not only are the tolls expensive, but Fastrak (the toll agency) is a horrendous business and highly unethical. Believe it or not, when I sold my diesel truck this year, they sent toll bills to both myself AND the new owner. Not to mention other horrendous experiences I have had with them.

As for speed/acceleration on that grade after the Golden Gate, this was in the video, but you might have noticed traffic was a little sluggish, so I was indeed going less than 55mph up that grade. If there was no traffic? 55mph no problem, and 100% positive I would be able to accelerate as well. Really impressive. In my preliminary tests I did some 0-5mph tests on a MONSTER grade (probably 20%). Again, traction was the issue, not power, but it still was able to do it! Will demonstrate this in a later video.

Wheelspin - If I change to Sport Mode, the extra pedal responsiveness makes it more likely to spin the tires. But again, only happens at low/medium speeds when really pushing it. If there was an AWD/RWD model, it would be perfect! But I'll deal with the FWD for now :)
 

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... I specifically bought the EV because of the efficiency, but also the fact that it has a single gear reduction transmission, instead of the CVT in the plug-in model. I figured this would be better for towing and transmission reliability!
Both Hyundai and Kia use a dual clutch transmission, not a CVT, in their hybrids. Of course, they still don't recommend towing, and the PHEV Kia has far less power than the EV. I think you chose correctly. :)
 

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Both Hyundai and Kia use a dual clutch transmission, not a CVT, in their hybrids. Of course, they still don't recommend towing, and the PHEV Kia has far less power than the EV. I think you chose correctly. :)
Wow interesting, did not know that! Very cool, will have to look up a diagram of the parallel system at some point...


But yes, single gear reduction should still be more resilient than the DCT!

Glad everyone enjoyed the video!
 

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towing with an EV

we use basically the same technology for motors and inverters in CNC machine tools that we put together.


the biggest issue is heat. most inverter motors will output 50% more Hp than rated for a short time. In machine tools 30 minute ratings for that overload has an unofficial become standard. Then you need to back off the power to help cool the motor and the inverter.

I think the car will give you warning if the motor or inverter are getting too hot.
Maybe drive in cooler parts of day when its hot out there.
And braking put a load back into the inverter and causes more heating. Long descents on hills might be an issue. (but not in my neck of the flatlands)



Where did you get the hitch ???
 

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There is a separate liquid cooling system for the motor and inverter on all models. The EV also has liquid cooling for the battery. Shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Brent, look up Niro EV hitch installation on YouTube (posted by our channel Ecobrap). It is a Curt Class III hitch, but worth watching that video because there are some issues that you should be aware of.

As for cooling, I was fortunate enough to race some EV's for a Bay Area racing team for a good few years. All had the same function, when motor/inverter/battery temps reach a certain point, you hit thermal cutback and get reduced power. Typically a linear power drop as the temperatures went up.

I am curious to see how resilient the Niro is, so the next time I am working at Laguna Seca, I will take it for some laps, full power, full regen, and see how long it takes for it to start cutting back. Should be interesting!
 

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I'd be more interested of the weight on the front and rear axle, before and after trailer. To see if there is a significant load being added to the rear axle and unweighting the front. I assume you are not using a weight distribution hitch.
 

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Usually you hear (if towing is not recommended) that towing will void your entire warranty. Which is a bunch of bull from an uninformed sales rep.
If you are thinking to install a hitch on a Niro in Canada (HEV, PHEV and EV), it is specified in the manual that it is "not recommended". Worst, Kia Canada can refuse to apply the warranty for repairs that could be caused from hauling a trailer etc.. Why i say this ? Because one person got refused his "transmission" repairs on warranty because he had a trailer hitch at the back of his Niro.. He had to proof that he was using only a bike rack and not a camper-trailer.. (you see the point) ;)
 

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If you are thinking to install a hitch on a Niro in Canada (HEV, PHEV and EV), it is specified in the manual that it is "not recommended". Worst, Kia Canada can refuse to apply the warranty for repairs that could be caused from hauling a trailer etc.. Why i say this ? Because one person got refused his "transmission" repairs on warranty because he had a trailer hitch at the back of his Niro.. He had to proof that he was using only a bike rack and not a camper-trailer.. (you see the point) ;)
Agreed, but it doesn't void your entire warranty.
 

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Agreed, but it doesn't void your entire warranty.
On paper, No... but lets say that Kia Canada (or whatever the Kia company in the country you are living in) has the last word on the decision. :|
 

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Kia World does not dictate or decide for any policy in each country. All Kia division and head office has their own policy, orders and warranty. Kia Canada have their own, Kia Motor USA has theirs, Kia UK have theirs!..
Why do you think that in France, Hauling is allowed till 3500 pounds on HEV, PHEV and EV's, but here in Canada and USA, it is not recommended. !!??:| ...

Now, if someone want to haul a trailer and does damage the tranny or any other parts on the vehicule, they can decide to not have the car repaired on the warranty... why ?? because it's not recommended...
 

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Using your car to tow does not void the entire warranty in Canada or the USA, there are laws against it. So if your fob or radio stops working it is still covered under warranty.

1- Your Radio has a 3 year/60.000km warranty, and your FOB is 5 years/100.000km (execpt for the battery that is 1 year and 20.000km.)


2- I never wrote that it could VOID the warranty, i am telling that ex: Kia Canada could refuse to repair a transmission on warranty if they declare that the damage was caused by hauling a trailer-camp when not recommended by the company via their country head office.. After, it's your problem to pay the bill, defend yourself and value your rights vs Kia Canada..


3- Why take any chances to get into trouble!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Total weight, OK. Would you share the weight of your trailer, and your car?
Trailer weighs 840lbs, race car weighs 2250lbs! Kia weighs 4000lbs even with me in it, so around 3820lbs empty!

I'd be more interested of the weight on the front and rear axle, before and after trailer. To see if there is a significant load being added to the rear axle and unweighting the front. I assume you are not using a weight distribution hitch.
The axle rating is what we were getting closest too (GAWR). It is listed as ~2500lbs, and considering the car weighs 4,000lbs, it only gives me around 500lbs of load on each axle (assuming 50/50 distribution, havent checked yet). Either way, when you add the 290-300lbs of tongue weight to the back, you only have 200lbs of cargo remaining. Personally, I added everything up, and put in what I could. Anything that would push me over the axle rating, I put in the race car instead (120lbs of tools and spare parts).

As for stability, never felt like I was popping wheelies due to weight on the rear axle. Airbags probably helped with this. I believe the traction issue is simply a FWD and eco-tire issue, not a weight distribution issue.

I did want to use a weight distribution system, but the hitch is NOT rated to use one, so I did not.

2- I never wrote that it could VOID the warranty, i am telling that ex: Kia Canada could refuse to repair a transmission on warranty if they declare that the damage was caused by hauling a trailer-camp when not recommended by the company via their country head office.. After, it's your problem to pay the bill, defend yourself and value your rights vs Kia Canada..
They would have to prove you were towing. I'm guilty as charged with videos on YouTube, but for everyone else, I'm sure they can pull off the bike rack approach. But if you are absolutely thrashing the car and the powertrain explodes, they will definitely ask questions. I personally did not feel I was stressing the powertrain at all, and the efficiency backs that up, but we will see as the miles go on!
 
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