Cold Weather Questions

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by MartyDow, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. MartyDow

    MartyDow Active Member

    Does anyone have experience in cold, wet, ice, snow with the Niro EV? What tires would you recommend for those conditions? After enabling Winter mode, have you seen any energy consumed by battery conditioning? How long does it take to heat the cabin? Does it have to be plugged in to pre-heat?
  2. solarjk

    solarjk Member

    TeslaBjorn in Norway has done a lot of video including cold weather changing. The niro/kone really did not arrive for the cold season in the US/Canada. It would be good if someone could unpack the battery heater's role, the electric heater for the cabin, and the heat pump what:; Cabin or battery or motor or all three. I have not really seem a clear description. I know the heat pump and active battery cooling/heating are important, it was a key factor in why I bought the niro. I am also wondering if there is some use in linking the sol-ev and even the kona to this.
  3. MartyDow

    MartyDow Active Member

    Thank you. I wasn't sure if perhaps there are European members of this forum that have had such experience. I have watched all of Bjorn's videos about the e-Niro, some multiple times, and his exhaustive exploration of charging characteristics in particular. But I never saw any energy consumed by "Battery Care" in any of his cod weather videos, even though he had Winter mode activated, which makes me wonder why. According to the spec sheet for my car, I have both a battery heater and a heat pump; the heat pump is presumably for climate control...
  4. irwinr12

    irwinr12 New Member

    I did an extended test drive of a Niro EV in Texas. I intentionally chose to do it on a cold day just to see how it would handle the very mild cold weather here in Texas. None of the Niro EVs available in Texas offer heat pumps or battery heaters that I've been able to find. During the test drive in 31 degree weather I found that the power to the drive motor was limited to as little as 90 kW and the CCS charging speed was limited to 23 kW on a 150 kW EA station. And even though the charging was limited to 23 kW I was still being charged the 125 kW EA rate which is insanely expensive: It was estimating 97 minutes to go from 20% to 80% which would have cost $56 to add around 145 miles of range. (About the same as paying $13.50 per gallon for gas!)

    Not sure if this is normal or if any other Niro EV drivers have experienced anything like this. We are seriously considering trading our 2019 LEAF for the Niro EV because it has more passenger space, rear A/C and active battery cooling (Which is important for the summertime.) It seems like the LEAF is better equipped for cold weather (Heat pump and battery heater are standard on everything but the bottom trim of the LEAF) but the Niro is better equipped for hot weather. I don't get why the US version of the Niro doesn't offer a battery heater. It gets cold here too...
  5. davidtm

    davidtm Active Member

    You might consider purchasing a Niro elsewhere so that you can get the heat pump/winter package; not sure what you mean about the battery heater. There are lots in Maryland still.
  6. irwinr12

    irwinr12 New Member

    Without the cold weather package there is no battery heater. The battery heater keeps the battery warm to improve range, regen, fast charging speeds, etc.

    I just looked at some of them in Maryland: You're right, they do have the cold weather package there. I guess they just assumed it never gets cold in Texas? Maryland is an awful long drive to buy a car.
  7. davidtm

    davidtm Active Member

    Other people have purchased from afar and had the car shipped to them. Fortunately, I was only 2 hours away.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
  8. MartyDow

    MartyDow Active Member

    The general presumption is that one will have a type 2 AC charger at home for daily driving/commute, and resort to DC fast charging when on the road. Under ideal conditions, initiating DCFC session with a warm pack and low state of charge, the highest rate of charge will be around 77 kW on a 100 kW or higher charger. That will ramp down around 53% SoC, and again around 75%, after which the charging curve converges with that of a 50 kW charger. Net of it is, you might save 15 minutes by paying the premium at an EA charger. But their stations tend to be in convenient locations, close to the highway, with places close by to get a quick bite and do some light shopping to replenish supplies while charging, which is not always the case with other networks. Regarding cold weather charge rates, it appears if you initiate with a cold pack, and/or high SoC, you will get significantly lower charge rate, a scenario common enough to have been given a name: cold gate.
    laughingwell likes this.
  9. irwinr12

    irwinr12 New Member

    My comments here are specific to the Niro EV's charging behavior that I observed in the cold, not Electrify America. We frequently charge our LEAF at EA stations on road trips and one of the reasons we are looking at the Niro is because of the Niro's faster CCS charging capacity compared to the LEAFs very poor fast charge performance in the summer. I was expecting the Niro with it's active thermal management to offer faster charging, not slower. I did a side by side comparison the second cold morning of my test drive: The Niro and LEAF were both parked in our insulated garage that night which had an overnight low temperature of 55 degrees inside the garage according to my garage temp sensor. Outdoor ambient was 41 degrees when we drove straight to the EA station 10 minutes away, and plugged in both vehicles. The LEAF was able to immediately begin charging at it's maximum 47 kW on the EA's Chademo charger. The Niro was only pulling 30 kW from the 150 kW CCS charger at first. Coming out of a 55 degree garage and into 41 degree ambient air: These aren't even really "cold" temperatures per se.

    The comment about EA's price was also specific to the Niro in Cold Weather, when charging on that 41 degree morning here's how the pricing worked out:

    EA DCFC pricing for LEAF+: 47 kW at $0.21/minute or $0.268 per kWh
    EA DCFC pricing for Niro EV: 30 kW at $0.58/minute or $1.160 per kWh

    Even though the Niro was pulling less power from the charger EA was charging me the higher rate (the 58 cent 125 kW rate instead of the 21 cent 75 kW rate for the LEAF) So in 40 degree (Or below) weather the Niro costs considerably more money to fast charge than the LEAF does. (The reverse is probably true in the summer due to RapidGate on the LEAF)

    After about 15 minutes, as the Niro's battery warmed, it did eventually (and slowly) start to ramp up to 50 kW, but it took considerably longer to charge than I was expecting. It never exceeded 55 kW for the duration of the charge session from 30% to 70%.

    The bigger cold weather issue for me was the power output/delivery: The Niro acceleration was very sluggish in the cold. According to the center display, the power output to the drive motor was being limited to 90 kW (Out of the maximum 150 kW) when I first started driving in 31 degree weather. This resulted in *very* noticeable lack of power when merging and passing. It did slowly increase as I drove and fast charged, but I was never able to get the full 150 kW of power output even after highway/interstate driving and fast charging from 30% to 70%. It took about an hour of driving-charging-driving to get the power output up to 120 kW.

    I've driven our LEAF in temperatures as low as 13 degrees and never experienced any power output limitations. Regen might sometimes be limited, but not power output to the motor. I'm always able to access the full 160 kW of power in the LEAF.

    These were all just my own observations that I thought might be pertinent to this thread about Cold Weather Questions, and I was just curious if any other Niro EV owners (Especially in summer states where the cold weather package isn't available) had similar observations. We like almost everything else about the Niro better than the LEAF, but the Niro is a lot more expensive and it does get cold here sometimes.

    The wife jokingly suggested we should just buy the Niro and keep the LEAF. One as a summer car and the other as a winter car. :) If only money were no object...
  10. mf989

    mf989 Member

    Well, you might consider the slower charging rate of the Niro a deficiency as compared to the Leaf. On the other hand, you might consider the Niro to have a more conservative or more well thought out charging approach to manage battery life expectancy as compared to Leaf, in which case it's a feature. Maybe the Leaf is being reckless with its charging algorithm. Should the Leaf really allow 160kW of acceleration at any temp condition? Maybe not!
  11. irwinr12

    irwinr12 New Member

    I think it's the battery heater that's making the difference. The LEAF has one, the Niro EVs available inTtexas do not. That's why I'm posting: I'm curious if others (with or without battery heaters) see the same behaviors. Does the Cold Weather Package help, etc?
  12. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    EA pricing for Niro/Kona is a known issue. If you seek out 50kW chargers (EA or other), you won't have that problem.

    No idea when/if the issue will be solved.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Inside EVs mobile app
  13. MartyDow

    MartyDow Active Member

    There are really two issues at play here. First of all, cold gate is a fact with the Kia Niro and Hyundai Kona; if you initiate a DCFC session with a cold pack and/or high state of charge in cold weather, the charging speed will be dramatically reduced. If, however, you have been hammering it on the highway for an hour or two and arrive with a warm pack and 20% SoC or less, which is a typical scenario for a DCFC session, you probably will not experience the problem unless it is very very cold. My understanding is that the battery warmer, if you have one, doesn't even come into play until ambient temperatures approach freezing. Either there are bugs in the BMS, or Hyundai/Kia are being uncommonly aggressive about protecting the battery during DCFC. BTW, I forgot to ask, was "Winter Mode" turned on when you were doing your test drives? That could make a difference.

    Secondly, the EA stratified charging structure steps up at 75 kW; the Niro reports a 77 kW or so max charge capability during the handshake at session initiation with the charger, so EA charges at the higher rate as a result, regardless of the charge rate you actually get. Unfortunately, there is currently no option we can choose on the car or the charger to limit the max DCFC rate of a session. Hyundai and EA are allegedly in discussion about this issue, but who knows what will come of that...
  14. Maine Niro

    Maine Niro New Member

    Some specific cold weather experience on a new Niro EV to help others:
    • We've owned it 2 months, 3,000 miles so far. Heavy on highway driving. All Niro sold in Maine come with the cold weather package. We don't have the Premium, so no heated seats.
    • Temps have been generally 50 degree range October, 40 degree range November.
    • Cabin heats very fast with the heat pump heater. It waits about 30 seconds - 1 minute to get up to temp and start moving air, but then heats and defrosts very quickly.
    • Mileage has been an average of 3.1 miles / kWH for the 3,000 miles we've put on so far. The numbers quoted by folks in the other threads vastly overstate the Niro's mileage and range, they must either be hyper milers, do very little highway driving, live in perfect 70 degree climate, or all of the above to get the 4.0+ / kWH stats thrown around. 3.1 m/kWH is still great! It's under $0.05 / mile with standard electricity rates, and 85% less carbon emissions than the Subarus everyone insists on driving here. Once we get solar on our house it will drop to $0.03 / mile, even more amazing with zero carbon emissions.
    • The range meter overstates the true miles we get. I derate the estimate by at least 10% for safety. It showed 210 miles range yesterday at 100% charge in 35 degrees. I wouldn't count on more than a 180 mile trip without access to a charger for safety.
    • We installed 17" General Arctic 12 snow tires last week. Blizzak was the second choice, but the Generals were less expensive. The Niro EV doesn't show up on many tire selection menus, but it's a standard 17" tire.
    • We saw about a 5% drop in mileage with the snow tires on, not much overall. Probably 10% worse overall with cold and snow tires. 3.0 m/kWH for a recent 200 mile highway trip in 45 degrees. 3.2 m/kWH for a 200 mile 2 lane road trip in 40 degrees. We saw a similar 10% drop in winter driving with our Prius V in cold temps with snow tires. Not worth worrying about.
    • Lowest milage seen so far was 2.6 m/kWH in 15 degrees.
    • No charging issues seen yet from cold temps. Pulled a full 50 kW at an EVGO charger last week in 40 degrees with a warmed battery from driving.
    No hesitation buying one in a cold state with the cold weather package installed. I think it will be a great snow country car with the heavy battery pack adding weight. Negative we expect is terrible clearance with the battery hung below the frame, won't be able to count on good clearance at all on unplowed roads. It's a low car compared to others we've owned.

    That's the report, it's been great so far.
  15. ITown

    ITown Member

    I spent Thanksgiving week at high elevation in Nevada. Temperatures were consistently between 10 F and 35 F the entire time I was there.

    On the drive to Nevada, I stopped for a charge session when it was 50 F outside. I had been driving for several hours and pulled the max from the EvGo charger (100 Amps -> 36ish kW).

    The next day, I drove for a few miles to buy car wax and get lunch while it about 32F outside. While dealing with those chores, I plugged in at another EvGo charger after driving just a few miles. I maxed out around 65 Amps at a charger rated for 100 Amps. That meant I was only receiving about ~24 kW instead of the expected 36.

    The day after that, I did some shopping near another EvGo charger, this time only a mile away. I had the same experience (~65 Amps).

    Finally, after I was just beginning my return trip to California from Nevada, I plugged in at an EvGo charger about 25 miles away. I started out again receiving ~65 kW. This time, however, after quickly running to the store, I decided to camp in my car and crank up the heater. Unexpectedly, the current started going up. By the time I unplugged, I was around receiving 75 Amps / 30 kW.

    Then I drove for two hours, until I reached an EvGo charger in a city with a temperature around 50F. My charging rate was back to 100 Amps at that stop.

    - Charging rate was capped at around 65 Amps when the battery was not warmed up first. This issue occurred whenever I plugged in at near/below freezing temperatures.
    - Charging rate is completely normal at 50F
    - I don't have the cold climate package. It was not offered in California where I bought the car.
  16. ITown

    ITown Member

    I definitely exceed the EPA range pretty consistently when doing a mix of city and highway driving.

    However, even on a recent long-distance road trip, I drove from the Bay Area to Reno, NV (250 miles w/ 7000 feet of elevation gain) in a mix of bad traffic (10-30 MPH) and no traffic (70 MPH) conditions. Temperatures started around 50-60F and ended below 30 F by the time I reached Reno.

    My Niro's efficiency (using stock tires + no modifications to the car) averaged 3.4 miles/kWh. That involved driving over the Sierra Nevadas with an average trip driving speed of ~45 MPH.

    On the return trip down the mountain, I drove for ~280 miles in about 5 hours. About half that time was spent traveling 30-50 mph up and down a winding road in 20-25 F temperatures. The other half was spent driving 70 MPH on the freeway. During that half of my trip to Reno and back, my car's efficiency averaged 3.8 miles/kWh.

    I didn't feel like I was hypermiling. In fact, I was driving in the fastest lane possible for 90% of the 530 mile trip. Yet that trip (which involved almost no city driving) had an average of 3.7 miles/kWh, which exactly matches the EPA's rated range for the vehicle.
  17. Kieran973

    Kieran973 New Member

    So, for those folks who have a Niro EV with the cold weather package, can you comment at all on the cold weather fast charging speeds you're seeing? Are your cars also cold-gateing, despite the cold weather package? Like, if you take a road trip in 30 degree F weather, starting with 100% SOC, and then you drive at 65-70 mph on the highway down to 10-20% SOC, what fast charging speeds are you seeing? Thanks.
  18. Maine Niro

    Maine Niro New Member

    Did just this today.

    116 miles round trip in a snow storm. 28 degrees average temp, cold weather package, winter mode on, cabin heat 68 degrees driver side only, good snow tires on. Enough snow on the road to block the forward radar by the end.

    2.6 miles / kWH average for the trip.

    Got worried about seeing 2.4 average w 55 miles to go and 45% charge, so stopped at a Chargepoint DC station to grab some extra to get home without worry.

    Had only been driving 10 minutes w a cold battery, charger started at 22 kW for first 5 minutes or so, ramped up to 40 kW by the end of the short session. Charging by the minute w low rates gets expensive fast! Probably $0.50 / KWH.

    Attached Files:

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