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Hello,
New 2019 Niro PHEV owner here. Lots of questions, but am slowly working my through finding answers by driving.

One I can't answer though.

Does it make a difference if the battery gets recharged frequently, even though it may not be fully or mostly exhausted? Or can it be recharged at any point without damage to the battery.

Thanks!
 

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I won't pretend to be an expert but I own a 2019 Niro PHEV bought in May of 2019 and I will tell you what we do.

Since we received our vehicle if it isn't being driven it has been plugged in whether it is 100 degrees outside or now in the low 20's.

Our Niro is very popular with the family members it now has 11,890 miles on it. We've haven't had any problems with it.

I went with the PHEV to save money on gas and the only way to do that is constantly drive on electric power. We make no effort to manage the car charging procedure other than plug it in and let the battery management system on the car do its job. My guess is the battery management system and the engineers that designed it know more about how to manage the charging process than I ever will.

We use a Clipper Creek Level 2 UL listed charger LCS-20.

Good luck with your vehicle ours has been a reliable, trouble free, money saving vehicle since we got it.
 

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I concur with John. Mine is plugged in every time it's at home, and I have on occasion used public L2 chargers as well. Both of my daughters had medical issues over the last 6-8 weeks, and the hospital they used has free Chargepoint stations. I've reduced my gas consumption about 80% over my previous Outback by driving EV as much as possible. I too trust the Kia engineers that they've modeled the battery use to fit this pattern. Since the battery is so small compared to EVs, and the charger is only 3.3 kW, I doubt there's any danger with continuous charging. The car doesn't even have a method of setting a max charge limit as most EVs do, so they must not have a concern about it
 

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I've had my '18 PHEV for almost 2 years now and 30,000 miles. For the first year I drained the battery every day and charged every night. Now I use about half of the EV range every day and still try to charge each night. I didn't and don't worry about it either way. That makes three of us who trust Kia's battery management system to take care of the battery and maximize its life.
 

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I take a somewhat different approach with my PHEV.

Conventional wisdom on modern rechargeable batteries is based largely on studies of laptop computer batteries and cellphone batteries (and a number of other applications with similarly small power draws). There isn't a lot of information out there about how electric car batteries might be different from these two more familiar examples, and almost zero information about the Kia Niro batteries specirfically, but there is a lot of information that suggests that electric car batteries probably have a lot in common with these two examples, at least in terms of chemistry and in terms of the things that affect longevity.

The studies on laptop and cellphone Lithium Ion batteries indicate that they benefit from being maintained at an intermediate state of charge (not full, not fully depleted), and that they are especially susceptible to degradation when exposed to high temperatures while at a full state of charge. (You can check this out on batteryuniversity.com, or similar sites).

The way I translate that into my own charging behavior is this:
  1. If I think I won't be driving far enough to exceed the current charge tomorrow, I don't plug in my charger unless my EV range is less than 12 miles. That means my batteries might spend several days somewhere between 50% and 100%, which presumably is good for longevity.
  2. In the summer, when my garage temperature might exceed 100 degrees F for several hours every day, I configure a charging schedule, such that when I do decide to plug-in the charger, it won't start until the wee hours of the morning, when the garage is likely to be cooler. What I'm trying to do with this approach is minimize the number of hours that the batteries have to suffer both high heat and also high charge.
Whether either of these strategies is actually contributing a measurable benefit for battery longevity probably won't be known or feasible to measure for several years. But they are (mostly) convenient habits for me to adopt, so why not?
 

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@deltasmith, what you said is true. But for your 1st point my understanding of the Niro battery is that when the car indicates the battery is at a 100% charge, the battery is not at a 100% charge. It's as far as it'll let you charge it. I don't know how charged it is, 80%, 70%, 90%? Don't know.

I would expect the Niro engineers to manage the battery charging variables, to maximize the battery life to keep their warranty liabilities to a minimum.
 

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Conventional wisdom on modern rechargeable batteries is based largely on studies of laptop computer batteries and cellphone batteries (and a number of other applications with similarly small power draws). There isn't a lot of information out there about how electric car batteries might be different from these two more familiar examples, and almost zero information about the Kia Niro batteries specirfically, but there is a lot of information that suggests that electric car batteries probably have a lot in common with these two examples, at least in terms of chemistry and in terms of the things that affect longevity.

Whether either of these strategies is actually contributing a measurable benefit for battery longevity probably won't be known or feasible to measure for several years. But they are (mostly) convenient habits for me to adopt, so why not?
There is a ton of data on actual car battery failure modes, longevity, and best practices in the last twenty years. Yes, data from laptop batteries are relevant if the chemistry is similar. All of this experience goes into BMS systems, cooling systems, and manufacturer recommended best practices. All of which are being fine tuned, but the fundamentals are well known.
 

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I don't have a PHEV, but I did notice that when charging one, the maximum charging percent can be set (80%, 90%, 100%); to me, that means that /someone/ (and someone acknowledged by Kia engineers) thinks the better will perform better, or last longer, of charged below 100% (just as many people, especially my son, will never charge a cell phone to 100%). OTOH, some people will /need/ that 100% to get the required range for their situation. /Most/ batteries (not necessarily Kia PHEV ones) seem to not like keeping close to 100% charge at all times, but seem to perform better, over time, with a varied charge. The Niro's battery may be the same. Then again, this is a tool, after all, and is supposed to serve us, not the other way around. The battery is guaranteed for 10 years, so treat it the way you like; you'll probably never see a difference.
 

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I don't have a PHEV, but I did notice that when charging one, the maximum charging percent can be set (80%, 90%, 100%); to me, that means that /someone/ (and someone acknowledged by Kia engineers) thinks the better will perform better, or last longer, of charged below 100% (just as many people, especially my son, will never charge a cell phone to 100%).
I have the PHEV and can find no such setting. The BEV has it, but not the PHEV. We can set a timer to start charging at a later time, but can find no setting for max charge level. With BEVs, it is recommended to charge no higher than 80% under normal conditions. But they don't have a buffer at the upper level that we seem to have in the PHEV. Although if my battery is charged to 100% then down downhill from my home, the engine will fire for compression braking about half way down because it won't regen into the battery any longer. That would seem to contradict that there's a buffer. So we really don't know for sure. But since there is no way to limit the charge level on the PHEV, they must feel there's no issue with charging to that level.
 

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I do get to laugh. We all have some form of electronics and know they clearly do not last indefinitely. Its been brought up about a cell phone. If you charge it to 70% ?? 85%?? 100% have you ever had one that lasts the exact same amount of time a year later than when you got it new? NO! and I will hazard to guess that most people who actually use a cell phone will replace it before 3 years pass (and those who don't will likely carry one around but never use it and complain all the time about how it never carries its charge).

This is a car. You drive it. And believe it or not it wears out and then you replace parts. At some point, you will decide that the cost of replacing those worn out or damaged parts is just too expensive and you will go out and replace it with a new one. But the car had more than just the battery inside. So what difference does it make if charging to 80% will reduce your battery wear level from -2% each year to -1.89% .. sure it lasting a small percentage longer, but every other part inside your car is also wearing out. Will your car seat in 10 years be so uncomfortable that you get back ache from driving? Will the center control console still work (and if not will parts to fix it even be available?) Will all the wiring inside the car have eventually rotted out and you get intermittent dashboard errors and the engine doesn't run well. Are you that much in love with this car that you'd pay the $8-10,000 to strip it down to components and rebuild restore it back to factory new? Not likely. You will likely toss the car in 5-7 years.

I have a friend who has a MacBook Pro from 2009. So there is a laptop computer that is still running 10 years later. the battery doesn't hold any charge. He can't surf the internet as no browser works on the mac as it cannot run any modern version of OSX, but it does what he needs. Your car might be like that in 10 years. If all you need a car is to putter around town and take a 3 mile trip out to the grocery store to pick up milk, bread and some more coffee then it might meet your needs.

The battery inside your Niro is not going to fail in the first 5 years even if you plug it in and charge it to 100% and drain it down to zero every day. So I don't see the point in worrying.
 

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Well said @Roadkill401. I plan on selling my car once it's 4 years old, when the warranty runs out (it's a 5 year warranty but I'll run out of km's at the 4 year mark). I expect the battery to degrade a bit in 4 years, but not too much. No need to over think it. If you plan to keep the car for 10+ years, than yes, trying to slow the degradation may be worth it.
 

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I agree, drive it-- plug it in when your done- and forget it.

While not car batteries I do have 6 - 80v lithium ion batteries for our lawn equipment ( Kobalt mower and trimmer). We have had them for 3 years. I number the batteries so I can keep track of them. They always are kept fully charged during the summer ready to use and then used until they are fully exhausted. Never had any problems.
At the end of last summer I accidentally left 2 of the batteries on their chargers for the entire winter from December till April. They were labeled #3 and #5. When this summer came I used them and the other batteries and noticed no difference in performance or time to recharge between any of the batteries. This winter I made sure to unplug the chargers to make sure I was't using electricity needlessly or charging the batteries.
 
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