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Difference between PHEV Auto and Hybrid mode

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:51 pm
by NiroDriver
We are new to the PHEV Niro. I’m trying to understand how the car works differently between the Auto and Hybrid modes. On the face of it they are the same according to the description in the manual.

Re: Difference between PHEV Auto and Hybrid mode

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:59 am
by davethesteam
A topic all on its own is this.
We have a V1 Niro PHEV (18/68) and I hope the following assists:
In Auto PHEV battery is the main source of power until the electric range runs out - EXCEPT when high demand for things like AirCon etc happens- then the engine cuts in to provide the back up. Pressing the 'OFF' button usually rectified this but it does kill the Aircon.
I find all is fine if your journey is under (say) 25 miles from a full charge
If the journey is over (say) 15 miles, I will run on pure electric for the first 15 miles and then switch to HEV. This does what it says, but it also gives better recharging of traction batteries when driving - on my last (pre Covid) round trip of about 300 miles, I achieved 80mpg but got home with no traction power left..
I am sure many will offer different experiences, but that is mine. Over the 5000 miles run since August 2019, i have averaged (indicated by car0 120 mpg+ - largely because most of my runs are sub 30 miles so have relied heavily on pure electric

Re: Difference between PHEV Auto and Hybrid mode

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:55 pm
by NiroDriver
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I’m still very much in learning mode, trying to work out how to get the best from the vehicle. I ‘discovered’ today that I was best not to start off in HEV mode if the battery is fully charged. I lost the ability to regenerate because the battery was reported as full. Following your experience I conclude that its best to run on EV for a while so that there is some capacity to store in the battery. If the whole journey is expected to be achieved on EV alone this will not matter though it will be relevant on longer journeys.

When I drove on EV from the start the car started working as a HEV when the battery ran out. I’m not clear, as yet, what difference there would be to that if I drove in Auto. It seems to be exactly the same.

Re: Difference between PHEV Auto and Hybrid mode

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:39 pm
by AndyD
It does take some thought to understand how the PHEV works (took me quite a while) - the owners manual can help here (H3).
Basically the PHEV is set up to deliver the lowest operating cost and the cost of the electricity to charge the car is almost always less than the equivalent petrol cost. It costs me £1.54 approx. to fully charge the car at home and I can get say 34 miles on that charge. To drive those 34 miles in HEV mode (at say 68mpg for convenience) would take half a gallon, about £2.34, an extra 80p.

Driving in EV mode is called 'charge depleting' - the battery capacity runs down until at '0 miles range' it changes to run as a HEV.
Driving in HEV mode is called 'charge sustaining' - the battery is maintained at the capacity level at which it switched to HEV mode. So if you start a journey in HEV mode with say 30 miles of EV range, that 30 miles of battery capacity is maintained by self charging (either by the engine, by the drivetrain or on deceleration). You may see the EV range number change slightly but it will stay roughly constant, though a long hill descent may increase it a bit more.
You can check this out by switching between EV and HEV modes during a journey and keeping an eye on the battery range.

If the battery is fully charged, there is no 'spare capacity' to allow the car to top-up by recharging, and if braking or going down hill, the electricity generated would over-charge the battery and so the energy is 'wasted'.
Even in EV mode, the engine will cut in if hard acceleration is required (or you are in 'sport mode' I think), or if the climate control is on and heat is required - the engine cooling system is the only source of heat (this is why fuel consumption is higher in winter). In my experience the A/C runs off the battery.

We all have our own driving style and preferences, but for lowest costs, use PHEV as much as possible and if you can, leave the climate control off.....

Hope this helps.

Re: Difference between PHEV Auto and Hybrid mode

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:30 pm
by davethesteam
I think we are all saying the same thing really - pure elctric with 'Off' pressed for pure local - further afield, use some pure elcetric to give headroom in the traction battery for regen. More than happy with myresults - all the new PHEVs (including the high end stuff) on the market still appear to be playing catch up with the Kia/Hyundai offerings

Re: Difference between PHEV Auto and Hybrid mode

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:11 pm
by NiroDriver
Thanks for your replies. I’m getting to grips with getting the best out the Niro and the above observations help to consolidate my understanding. I’m very impressed with the motor. Fully electric around town and short runs, HEV setting on longer runs and using up any spare electric capacity at the end of the journey. Incredibly efficient.