Best driving mode for long highway trip

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by TheGuru, Jun 6, 2020.

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  1. TheGuru

    TheGuru New Member

    Hello: I purchased my Kona EV six months ago and I love it. I'm currently in Florida and plan my first road trip--to Maryland. Which driving mode (and level) gives the best range for the car?
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  3. Having only had my Kona 3 months and no road trips under my belt, I have nothing to offer but am also very curious. I am hoping to take a couple of longish drives later this year and would appreciate any wisdom folks have to offer. Thus far I've seen no reason to leave Normal mode, since it's plenty peppy and is consistently outdoing the official 258 mile range. But I'm certainly willing to experiment when I hit the road for a more serious excursion.
  4. SkookumPete

    SkookumPete Well-Known Member

    As one might expect, eco mode is going to give the best range, if only because of the lower throttle sensitivity. But if you're cruising at highway speeds it can't make much difference what mode you're in.

    If by level you mean regen, that is a can of worms and it has been debated ad nauseam. Again, when cruising (or in traffic, for that matter) it makes no difference although some argue that level 0 is more efficient because the kinetic energy goes straight into propelling the car (coasting) without any modulation by the accelerator.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  5. Ed C

    Ed C Active Member

    Eco should give the best range.

    Tips to increase range:
    1. Watch your acceleration....jack rabbit starts really consumes battery. Eco has a digital gauge that will teach you how to slowly accelerate to the speed you desire. Better yet just hit cruise control, and you can actually dial the speed you want to. If you don't have Smart Cruise Control, you can always press cancel while keeping the regen at 2, and the car will slow and hold the left paddle if you need further deceleration. Press up on the Cruise Control dial to go back to your initial desired speed.
    2. Watch your speed. The faster you go over 50 MPH, the poorer miles/kWH you will get.
    3. This is controversial.....but I find you gain more range by keeping regen on than no regen at all.....although ppl on this board will argue otherwise.
    4. Weather plays a big part. Colder weather decrease range. Warmer weather increase range. Going against the wind decrease range. Going with the wind increase range.
    5. Using A/C lowers range....whether you use air conditioning or the heater. However, heated/ventilated seats will not affect range much.
    6. Topography plays a big part. Uphill lowers range, downhill increase range.
    7. Going behind another vehicle saves energy, and increase range as well.

    My commute to work is >95 miles/day, mostly highway driving. I have drove my Kona EV for the past 3 months. I experimented alot and read alot of other posters' feedback. These tips are what I can come up with.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
    David Thornton and Tim94549 like this.
  6. Gsbrryprk8

    Gsbrryprk8 Member

    For a trip that’s mostly highway driving without many start/stops, the most important factor affecting range will be driving speed. Cargo weight and tire inflation pressure are important too. I use the speed limit setting in eco mode to keep it below 75.

    As I understand it, changing the regen level mainly affects the drive feel, by adjusting whether and how much regen occurs when you take your foot off of the accelerator. Braking uses regen preferentially, with friction (brake pads) added only in hard deceleration or at full stop.

    I like a higher regen level because I think I might be able to stop faster in an emergency, since the car slows immediately when my foot comes off the accelerator and before I even touch the brake pedal. I don’t think it makes much difference in range though I haven’t tested it. I’d love to hear from others on this.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  8. wcp1961

    wcp1961 New Member

    I agree with the feedback. I do frequent 1000 mile weekends to visit my kids. Speed, temperature and terrain play the biggest roles. Fan speed for temp regulation also consumes power. I have found the app / website (ABRP a better route planner) to be a significant tool. Enter your vehicle information, start SOC, outside temp and it will account for elevation and calculate consumption. My biggest challenge in longer travel was reliable charging stations, getting best pricing from Electrify America and learning when to stop charging (SOC) based on next destination.... Have fun and don't be in a hurry for longer trips.... Charging takes time.

    Sent from my LGMP450 using Tapatalk
  9. FloridaSun

    FloridaSun Well-Known Member

    I have tried many things to get the best efficiency possible. REGEN does not seem to have a huge impact on range. I found that i get the maximum range if I vary my REGEN setting. I tried the same trip back to back to back around town to see the difference in REGEN settings. Of course, traffic is NOT identical every time I go, so that may have made a difference too. Just to note, I had the AC off and the drivers window down to eliminate the AC as a factor as you will use more energy if you sit at a light with the AC on or with the AC off.

    1) I did the 8 mile trip with REGEN set to 3 in ECO mode. My average mi/kwh ended up 5.6 mi/kwh
    2) I did the 8 mile trip with REGEN set to 0 in ECO mode. My average mi/kwh ended up 5.5 mi/kwh
    3) I did the 8 mile trip with REGEN setting varying between 0 and 4 (hold down paddle to stop). I would leave the REGEN set to 0 when I was not planning on stopping and if there was a red light or heavier traffic, I would increase REGEN depending on how fast I needed to slow down and would bring the car to a stop by holding the REGEN paddle. I ended up getting 5.7 mi/kwh on that trip.

    Based on my experience, the difference really was minimal and it's just too much hassle to vary regen manually, so I decided to just leave the car at LEVEL 3 regeneration..

    On longer road trips, I usually set the Cruise Control to the speed limit. On the trip from Florida to Maryland, your speed limit will be between 65 and 70 for almost your entire way. Going above 70 mph OR driving uphill or heavy head wind will reduce range significantly. Wind can make a huge difference.. I once drove from Lakeland (Central Florida) to Fort Lauderdale (South Florida) and got an average of 4.5 mi/kwh going 65 mph most of the trip with tail wind. On the way back, I averaged about 3.7 mi/kwh at the same speed. I actually had to slow down to 60 mph to make it home without risking to get close to running out of juice. There was no Level 3 charger on my route (Highway 27). Now, there is a Level 3 charger at Sebring which is 2/3 of the way from Fort Lauderdale..
    Also, keep AC on auto and temperature at 73 degrees or above.. The colder you set the AC, the more power it will consume.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  10. hobbit

    hobbit Well-Known Member

    Normally I use regen 0 but recently I've been popping up to level 1 on a long predictable
    deceleration, just so my foot doesn't have to press either pedal for a while. Feels kind
    of like setting some flap on an airplane on approach, you can fly slower but not lose
    too much lift. I still *cover* the brake pedal and start using it as needed, confident that
    gentle application will only increase regen and leave the hydraulics alone.

    They're *paddles*. In a car where they control shifting, they're meant to be used
    dynamically on the fly, not as a set-and-forget. There's no reason you can't drive
    the Kona that way too.

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  12. davidtm

    davidtm Active Member

    This sounds a lot like the Auto Regen option that is available. I use that with baseline regen level of 1 in my Niro EV
  13. FloridaSun

    FloridaSun Well-Known Member

    My SEL Kona does not have the AUTO Regen setting as it's only available for the Ultimate trim. The AUTO regen setting however, does NOT know if there is a traffic light coming up for which you need to slow down. It sets regen based on cars in front of you or any obstruction with it's radar. In my case, I have to slow down for a red light... If I see that the light is red, I start going from regen level 0 to regen level 1.. If the light remains red as I get closer, I increase regen level to 2 and then to 3 if needed and if I need to stop before it turns green again, I use the paddle to come to a complete stop.
  14. It's worth noting that if you have smart cruise control, the regen level is always AUTO while the cruise is active.
    All the other posters have covered the main items you might want to consider.
    I just put it on Comfort mode and let the SCC manage the accelerator. It nearly always gets a better result than I can. Unfortunately, I was born with about 2kg of lead in my right foot and it's always affected my fuel efficiency.
    Fastnf likes this.
  15. Pobre

    Pobre Member

    i keep mine at level 3 regen at all times. but I notice a really strong deceleration when im coming from a cruise controlled speed.

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