Niro Noob Enigmas

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by David T in Silicon Valley, Nov 30, 2019.

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  1. Starting this thread for folks who are just learning the ropes of the EV Niro and EV car driving in general. I have had mine for almost 4 days atm.

    Q1) Should I, in general, not charge above 80% to preserve battery life unless I am going on a long trek, or does it not matter? Related to this is there a reserve portion of the battery that the computer does not show us to effectively increase battery life (at a cost of decreasing the possible brand new range) like some phones do? In other words, is a brand new Niro really charging to 100%?

    Q2) I was reading the Features and Functions guide that came with my 2019 Niro today. Page 12 says
    • While one-pedal driving is active, the driver can control the vehicle stopping position using the accelerator
    Does this mean pressing the accelerator after the one-pedal deceleration kicks in from holding the paddle? It implies perhaps being able to precisely modulate the deceleration, which would be very nice.

    Meta-question. Does anyone know where there is a pdf/online version of the features and functions guide? The book has tons of QR codes to videos that I would prefer to just look at on my computer or pad.
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  3. TheHellYouSay

    TheHellYouSay Member

    I will comment just briefly on the battery life question because I've read up on it quite a lot now. At first I stumbled on to something that said "no harm in charging to 100% once a month" to rebalance. Later I read that the batteries are happiest between 30% and 80%, I've even stopped charging at 70% lately just to keep it in the midrange. The worst thing you can do is what I did, which is charge to 100%, then take the ICE car out for a weekend trip. If you go to 100% for a longer drive, it's best to charge right before you want to jump in it and go.

    Oh, one more thing. You should sign up at It's free for a year, but it's a way to control your car's climate and view it's charge status via the Interwebs. That site also has all the manuals in PDF format.
  4. Thank you for your battery wisdom. I figure 95% of the time bouncing between 30% and 80% will be ample, and only use a fast charger if I am a long road trip. When I purchased this, I figured there was a darn good chance I still might rent an ICE from time to time, though I can't think of anything I have done in the past year where that would have been needed.

    UVO is another thing I was thinking about. I find it a little troubling how much access someone has to the car remotely, but there is value in being able to get an alert about charging status. How much does UVO cost per year after the first year?
  5. TheHellYouSay

    TheHellYouSay Member

    UVO is $22.50 a month to do anything useful, like remotely turn on the heater or anything remotely useful. I just noticed when I went back to check the subscription fees, that they now have a Lite version that is free which will relay your charging status and allow you to control charging to some degree. I'll drop back to whatever is free once my year is up.
  6. Wow. That is fricking pricey, for sure. Not worth it. $22.50 a year, or even $5 a month and I would consider it.
    DerekA likes this.
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  8. According to US sales of EVs at InsideEVs , less than 500 Niro EVs had been sold through September in the US, thought if this tweet is any indication, sales have recently spiked. Any ideas how many have sold in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Korea? We are apparently more pioneering than I realized (was wondering where all the peeps were in the Niro forum) and will be figuring out a lot of stuff on our own...
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  9. TheHellYouSay

    TheHellYouSay Member

    I think sales are strong in Europe, possibly Korea too, but I've not got a feel for what the raw numbers might be. I think they would sell greatly if they were available in the U.S., especially if they could see their way to a price match with the Tesla Nidek 3. That was an interesting link, thank you...
  10. niro525

    niro525 Member

    Q1a) Battery charging. Some theads on the InsideEV and Reddit Kona forums interpreted an EV battery study found on PushEV. The experiment charged and discharged the battery to different % ranging from 100%, 90%, 80%, 70% down to 30%, 20%, 10%, 0%. Conclusion: 70% was longest lasting (600k miles/60ish yrs of driving), 80% was most practical (400k miles/40ish yrs of driving).

    Q1b) Battery capacity. Max battery is 67 kWh. 100% on dash is 64kWh useable battery. Serves as a buffer to 1) guarantee the 10yr/100k mile warranty, 2) act as a buffer for any degredation of the battery.

    Q2) One pedal/one hand driving. Comeing up to stop light. Hold left steering wheel Regen brake paddle to stop with Regen brake. Slowing down sooner than needed? Press accelerator with foot to creep up with Regen paddle held. Car creeps until you let off the accelerator. Regen brake stopping force is constant.

    Q3) manual location. Manual found online in the Kia Access app. Handy UVO app. Not sure why there is a separate UVO app. Kia Access is what I use. Fingerprint login on smartphone is very convenient.
  11. niro525

    niro525 Member

    Also, brake light comes on when Regen braking. Stepping on accelerator turns off brake light. That was a burning question I had when I first got the car.
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  13. Thanks for that host of battery information, and the link to the Reddit thread (and its link to PushEV). I wonder if the. Samsung ICR18650-26F they tested is Lithium-Ion Polymer like in the Kias, or a different electrolyte. Well, for now, I think I will try 70%-low for now and see how that goes. On a typical day I am only round tripping 20ish miles. On date nights and visiting mom days (two separate events, I assure you!) 100 miles, so even 70%-20% cycling would still be plenty.

    I was wondering about the brake light and regen braking; I figured it made sense for it to come on during regen. And thanks for Kia Access tip. I figured it was that one, but the Apple App Store is a bit confusing if I just put in UVO.

    I'll let you all know how smart regen works out for me as I come up on cars at traffic foot will be covering that brake pedal!
  14. CR EV

    CR EV Active Member

    With a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty on the battery, I would not worry about the 80%/100% option. I have also read that some EVs (e-tron, for example) are set so that what looks like 100% to the driver is actually only 80% of the battery capacity. The manufacturer does not want to replace more batteries than they need to. Don't know whether 100% on the Kia actually means 100% or not.
  15. @CR EV The warranty book explains the limitations of the battery warranty. If capacity falls below something like 70%, then they will do something, but all they promise is to restore it to 70% capacity. I personally want to be able to run my full range, or close to it, for when it is needed.

    Check out the reddit thread niro525 posted (and investigate and go through it to the PushEV source article to understand it.) If I can get 6000 cycles by going between 10 and 70% with the deviation to 100% when I need it, vs 500 cycles going to 100%, I will take the former. Yeah, the difference is that dramatic.

    Regen stopping force is not constant in my vehicle. Deceleration decreases with velocity, at least towards the lower end, and as I noted in another thread, velocity does not drop below about 5 mph unless I hold the left paddle in, at which point the car quickly stops. I will test this out in a big parking lot and see how far I keep rolling....
  16. ITown

    ITown Active Member

    If you find it fun to try to optimize range very precisely, then feel free to follow rules like "don't charge past 80% too often". But honestly, just charge it whenever you want, for as long as you want. The difference between a perfectly optimized charging pattern and a very unoptimized charging pattern is fairly small, from what I've read. This is true particularly for vehicles that have good battery thermal management systems (such as the Kia Niro EV). This is not so true for a few cars, like the Nissan Leaf.

    Just charge it whenever you feel like it. EV batteries are nothing like Cell Phone batteries. There's significant manufacturer effort that is made to ensure great battery longevity, which is why Kia has a 10 year/100k mile warranty on the battery capacity.

    Realistically, the difference between fast charging frequently or not is probably 5 miles of range over 5 years. (Assuming you drive the same number of miles regardless). Similarly, the difference between doing frequent 100% charges or not is also probably 5 miles of range over 5 years.

    Keep in mind that Kia does not make your whole battery available to you. That meas that even when you think you're charging to 100%, realistically, you're charging closer to 95%. That's also why charge rate remains fairly high until about 89% when fast-charging. (This is not true with a Tesla, which doesn't put into place comparable buffers on battery capacity.)
  17. Do you have a study of vehicles or battery pack lifecycle testing to back this up, or is it a hunch?

    According to the info in one link Niro 525s post ( ) pointed to, the Kia holds 3.1 kWh in reserve, so that is about the 5% you mention. Looking at the Pushev study summary the Reddit thread Niro 525 links to*, the recommendations are based on controlled lifecycle studies using a single cell. It does not say what sort of thermal management was carried out for the test, however a single cell will cool even via radiative coupling to the environment much more efficiently than a battery pack, so regardless, one can say it is at least partially cooled.

    So maybe those numbers can be hedged 5% to account for the additional capacity, however that does not buy a whole lot if you read the PushEV study summary and the followup calculations in the Reddit thread about it. There is a big knee in the curve for total miles driven on the battery pack around 70-80% charging. I would have to learn more about thermal management.

    There are physical reasons why the cycling to higher capacities degrades life that are independent of temperature (and why the higher voltages used in fast charging accelerates the process substantially).

    * I have reached out to the pushEV author to find the original German language BMZ GmbH study of Samsung cells to understand more how applicable the study is to the cells and battery management in the Kia.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  18. Where is my key code?

    This is in the manual:

    Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 7.13.51 AM.png

    There was no such tag attached to my key set, though one key has an orange sticker with a bar code on it. The printed numbers though have a LOT of zeros and are not in the single letter + 4 digits format depicted above. Is this orange sticker the key code, or did you have a tag like in the picture?
  19. niro525

    niro525 Member

    @David T

    I applaud your drive to research for technical details into how the Niro EV works. Your scientific inquiry is top notch.

    Regen braking. Good to know coasting at varying speeds has different Regen braking forces applied. I think I have some confusion on my part. Conceptually, I consider only the left paddle the Regen brake. My comments of constant braking force refered to braking with pulling the left paddle. I need to remember that any slowing by the electric motor, seen by the blue bars, is the Regen braking.

    I'm currently testing Regen braking by lightly depressing the brake pedal. Trying to see what I like using more to stop the Niro. I've trained myself to stop the car with the left paddle, it feels weird for me to switch back to normal driving.

    Key dongle code. My code was attached to my dongle with blue zip tie thing that looked like it came from the factory. The code was printed on a sticky label that was pasted onto the plastic. In your picture, I only have the left number and am missing the bar code. Mine has two letters and four digits.

    Technical details possibly. Have you looked at KIA oem parts website? I remember looking at one of those sites and they had a diagram of the EV battery design. They had it because they sold the parts to the battery like the pack, battery management unit, etc. Didn't know if that might be useful for you to visualize the inner parts.
  20. Uhoh. My keys definitely did not have that code then! I hope the dealer still has it.... Yikes.

    Thanks for the tip on awkwardness around shifting to normal driving. That is something to be alert for. I have had situations where I want to brake during a turn .With the steering wheel turned I am fumbling around for the location of the paddle momentarily, which could be dangerous, not to mention regen will NEVER slow as fast as a hard brake, so if something sudden happened....

    Need to train to keep that brake pedal covered with my foot whenever it is not on the accelerator.

    I am supposed to go back to the dealer this weekend to pick up my cargo mat, cover and net. I will call ahead and let them know so they can look around.

    The kia parts website is a good idea . Will look there to help with understanding.

    One uncertain observation from my quasi-hypermiling experience: Seems like coasting with zero bars on the regen indicator still a touch draggier than costing with the "gear" shifter in neutral. I might use that latter more.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  21. Well, I called the dealer and they said they always remove those tags (?!) and that the parts department can tell me my number. I will go tomorrow to pick up my accessories and get the number.
  22. During negotiations, the dealer threw in the cargo mat, wheel locks, cargo net, and most important to me to conceal things, the cargo cover. I was a bit surprised and then disappointed in the mat. I was expecting something like in the picture;

    rubber/plastic with cutouts for the net anchors and with a little lip. Sometimes things spill and I do not want it gumming up the carpet, being hard to clean out and making the car smell funny. Well, I ended up with this:


    The parts guy said they did not have a tray, like it does not exist. At least it is rubber on the bottom and removable for easy cleaning. I still might order a tray from the site that I pulled that picture from, which I have now convinced myself DOES exist. I wish I had searched for it while I was at the dealer parts store. Let me know if you want a carpeted mat!
  23. I initially got the Niro branded cargo liner from the dealer, but I was not impressed. Wouldn’t lay flat, had a minimal lip for containing liquids, and didn’t want to stay put very well when seats were folded. So I returned it and got a Weathertech liner- much better liner. They don’t have a choice for the Niro EV, but the one for the hybrid fits perfectly.

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