Kiro Niro 2022 from Nanaimo to Mount Washington

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by ElectroDad, Mar 1, 2022.

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  1. This thread will only be of interest to those living on Vancouver Island and more specifically in Nanaimo. I'm posting this because when I was making the purchase decision, the one important piece of data that I could not find was: will the car go from Nanaimo to Mount Washington, the local ski hill, and back on a charge. In the end we took a chance and thankfully it has worked out.

    The short answer is yes however I would not likely make it with a roof rack and ski box.

    Based on a normal trip up and down the hill traveling at or slightly below the speed limits, we typically use 88% of the battery with 12% remaining. (This can be as low as 5% if there is alot of slush on the highway, it is very cold or I drive faster).

    The following assumes accuracy and linearity of the car's % battery remaining measurement but it will have to do. I have found that in the winter with car preheating and charging to 100% it takes an average of about 1.15 kWh of electricity to get 1.00 kWh of charge .

    capacity x percent used x charging ratio = total energy
    64 kWh x 88% x 1.15 = 64.8 kWh in electricity for a typical trip

    64.8 kWh x 0.14 $/kWh = 9.07 $

    So I'm spending about $9 return.

    An average trip looks like this:
    • battery start 100% at home
    • 1:05 drive time to the base of the hill (110 km), battery at 63%
    • 1:30 drive time to the parking lot (129.8 km), battery at 47-48%%
    • ? drive time to bottom of hill (depends on traffic), battery at 50-51% (gain of ~3%)
    • 1:10 drive time from bottom of hill to home, battery at 12%
    Consumption is highly speed dependent and driving the speed limit or lower will reduce consumption. I have also found that inclement highway conditions like slush or snow will consume battery faster. We only charge to 100% when going on longer trips like up the ski hill.

    Our Prius v will almost do 2 trips up the hill on one tank of gas (45 litres for the two trips). 22.5 litres for one trip. At 1.70 $/litre = 38.25 $/trip. This is with a rack and ski box on the roof.

    After several years, I expect the Kia battery will degrade and we will have to slow down to make the trip in a single charge. We bought our 2022 Niro EV in late September of 2021.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2022
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  3. Joe W. CSP

    Joe W. CSP New Member

    Hi Electro Dad did you actually do this trip? OR Are the numbers your calculations? I do not trust the % battery remaining meter. I found it is NOT accurate when the battery is in the lower range.
  4. Yes, we have made this trip quite a few times and this is real world data. 8-13% is the typical battery remaining. We also made trips when it was -17°C on the ski hill and this resulted in 6% remaining. The driving speeds during for these trips were lower due to the condition of the roads. The worst result was a recent trip with quite a few negative factors that resulted in 3% remaining. These factors included:
    • the driving speed on the highway and mountain road was faster than typical as my son had to be at the ski hill early
    • winds had picked up during the day and there was a strong SE headwind on the drive home
    • the mountain road and highway were snowy and slushy going home which creates significant resistance. I could have reduced this by staying in the slow lane with the other traffic. This alone resulted in an additional 4-5% consumed.
    • we were stopped for about 45-60 minutes on the mountain road waiting to get down due to vehicles stuck ahead of us. While waiting, the car was cycled on/off to keep it warm and the windows defrosted. The heated seats were used to consume less energy than cabin heating.
    3% is the lowest I have gone and hopefully this trip has not left any long term negative consequence.

    Before we purchased the Niro, I used some data on the internet that was tabulated by an owner of a Nissan Leaf to try to determine if this trip was possible. By my calculations the Leaf might just make it but there was not any safety margin. Then I looked at some real world testing in which the Niro had more range and this gave me some confidence. I also heard that the Leaf did not have much clearance for installing/using snow chains which we have needed to do for one of the trips down.
  5. DamnIHateThat

    DamnIHateThat Member

    Assuming that you have winter tires, the 2020 manual states:

    Snow tires should carry 28 kPa (4 psi) more air pressure than the pressure recommended for the standard tires on the tire label on the driver's side of the center pillar, or up to the maximum pressure shown on the tire sidewall, whichever is less
    Have you done this? If not, I wonder how much it would affect your range.
  6. Joe W. CSP

    Joe W. CSP New Member

    Hey Electro Dad - My experience running the battery low scared the s*#t out of me. I was driving from San Diego to Los Angeles all freeway driving. (No ice or snow ha!) Like you, I left home with 100% battery. I thought I could make it back to San Diego on 1 charge. I had to stop for a quick charge on the way back, because the battery life data was quickly dropping as it got to the lower %. When I was 1 mile from home the battery life data said I had 18% life remaining. When I pulled into my drive way I had 4%. How the heck does a car go from 18% to 4% in 1 mile? I've made the same trip many times. Now I charge up to 90% battery life in Los Angeles before leaving to go back to San Diego.
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  8. @DamnIHateThat: thanks for pointing that out. I didn't see it and will get on that tomorrow. Hopefully I see a change. (Pg 8-35 in the 2022 manual for others)

    While the Niro makes the trip, the car is new and more battery leeway means it will make the trip for more years. Like the other comments here are saying, the last bit of battery percent goes much faster. I would not want to be caught on any highway for long in power limited mode. It sucks.

    It also says to stay under 120 km/h with snow tires. Ummm - yeah right. I'll get right on that..... When I don't need the efficiency for range, it is sure nice to be able to put my foot into it without worrying about the cost.
  9. So here is my update. Brought the pressure up from 38 to 41 psi at Costco last night and by this morning the cold tires were 39 psi. During the highway trip they got back up to 42. We finished our round trip to Mount Washington today with 20% left so I would say it did improve things. This is the best I have done so far however there are a few other factors at work here so this result does not all get credited to increasing the snow tire air pressure. They include: only 2 people in the car (typically there are 3), roads were clear and dry, no significant wind and temperatures were all above zero centigrade except as we got up to the parking lot.
  10. DamnIHateThat

    DamnIHateThat Member

    This is interesting. Did you notice any change in the handling of the vehicle?

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