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Recently bought an Xceed Plugin Hybrid.

It defaults to Electric mode in which case it will run on battery until it’s exhausted then switch to Hybrid (HEV) mode. This is usually what I want.

If I select HEV mode it seems to switch between EV and engine so as to maintain the battery level at (approx) the same charge level as when I set that mode

in Auto mode it seems to behave exactly the same as in Electric mode - runs 100% on battery then switches to Hybrid once it runs down.

So, what’s the difference between EV and Auto modes? Something too subtle for me to notice?

A mode to run on petrol and aggressively charge the battery (while out of town perhaps) in order to be able to switch back to EV later (in town centres) might be useful. For some reason I had an inkling that’s what Auto might be for.

Any insights / comments?
 

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I found out this forum just for your message. :)

I'm trying to understand exactly the same thing, what on earth is that "Automatic Mode" which i think is first appearing on the Xceed PHEV because does'nt seems to be present on the Niro or Ioniq.
Unfortunately it will take 3 months until my Xceed PHEV will arrive, so i cannot directly contribute, but you can make relevant tests to illuminate that new topic :)

As you observed, if the EV mode switches to HEV when the battery is depleted, it will not make sense that the Auto setting do the same thing.

I suggest you first to observe at which SOC (state of charge) the passage is made in the 2 modes, EV and AUTO.

I know that in Niro/Ioniq the switch is made when the SOC go down to 16%,
But then is not a pure HEV mode (as the normal Hybrid) until it go down to the minimum, that is 7%.
It's only at 7% that you get a "real HEV" mode, in the sense of comparing it to the normal Hybrid.

So a first test could be to check those 2 percentage in both modes for the Xceed, in EV mode and AUTO mode.

In the same double test, it would be necessary to note the EV miles achieved and the petrol mileage and compare it. The simplest way to ascertain if it's of any real use. Then, understand why.

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About your question on charging the battery for future use, i can tell you what the users on Niro/Ioniq both PHEV found out. If you go, for example, at steady highway speed in SPORT mode, you can end up completly charging an empty battery. At an expense of course.

Of course if you use the SPORT mode for enjoing the drive, you'll end up very soon in the opposite direction, with an empty battery, because the system will give you more power.

Going at steady speed with Sport mode, not requiring extra power, seems to do the trick of charging the battery. This happens because the system prepare itself to give you more power as soon you start the spirited driving he is expecting.

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The way to understand completely those powertrain is a nerdy thing using proper devices. For the hybrid nerds (like me) reading, this is what you need:

Anyway, that new Xceed PHEV have some new optimizations, it will be very interesting to found out more, i'm working on it waiting for my new baby.

Cheers,
Max
 

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Hi Max,

Thanks for your very detailed reply and your suggestions.

I stated in my original post that I thought Auto mode would allow recharging of the battery. Since reading your post I realise that I must have seen that Sport mode does this - even if only as a side effect.

We had a self-charging Niro up until buying the X'Ceed last month and I can't say I ever used "Sport" mode - I grew out of the need for speed a good many years ago. Still, if driving steadily and not flooring it I assume it would allow me to top the battery up without too much expense should I want to switch back to EV when I reach a built up area. More a matter of reducing impact on the environment rather than saving money.

It's not often that we do more than 30 miles in a day but when I get a chance, I'll try to repeat the same journey starting with a full battery in both EV and Auto modes to see if I can spot any difference.I suppose even the weather could make a difference though as a/c or heating can be quite an energy consumer. I suspect I'll not be driving far in the cold or heat for the sake of an ideal experiment!

I'm sure there must be some quite clever algorithms involved in the engine management system. It's a pity Kia don't give us a bit of an insight into how it all works. I can see no mention of what the use cases are for each mode.

I note that the handbook refers to Electric mode as "CD" (Charge Depleting) and Hybrid mode as "CS" (Charge Sustaining). That's pretty consistent with my findings.

It then goes on to say that "Auto" chooses between CD and CS "according to the driving condition" whatever that means :). As you suggest, it may be that from Auto mode it will switch to CS a wee bit earlier than when in CD.

I'll update this if I get any more clues and will look forward to your findings once your new motor arrives. I think you'll find it worth the wait (we're very pleased with ours).

Mean time, if anyone else has any inside knowledge, please share.

Cheers,

Steve
 

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Hi Steve,

I have some little detail from Kia Italy about the Auto mode.
They say the system select in Auto between EV and HEV depending on speed, power request for acceleration and type of driving surface.

The first, the speed, is what i've immediately thought. It is well known that if you have to drive for a longer distance than your EV range, it's better not to use the EV for speed, say, above 90 kph (sorry, metric world here :) ).

We already know that EV is possible up to 120 kph at steady speed on a flat surface, easy to test which is the speed limit of the Auto Mode at steady speed before the engine kicks in.

Also a limit to max EV power request is intuitive. I don't know exactly when and if the ICE kicks in if you ask a lot of power in EV mode, but a simple acceleration test in the two modes will show you two different points on the power dial for the kickin in of the ICE, and you'll get a precise reference point (same we did on the Toyota hybrid powermeters).

And for sure, if a lot of power is requested, going with the ICE is more efficient, as we understood from our hybrids. So, again, brilliant the Auto mode.

For the third, the driving surface, i don't have a damned clue. :-D
Perhaps the system is able to recognize, for example, wet conditions, don't know....

Anyway, absolutely brilliant idea that new Auto Mode. If you plan a trip well above the EV range, i'm sure for many reasons it will give you the best results.

Is not strange that you did'nt noticed any difference for your usual trips if they are well within the speed and power optimal limits of the EV mode. The system just will make you stay in EV mode.
 

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I would guess that Auto will kick in engine to ensure battery is kept topped up a bit quicker and also mayd
Recently bought an Xceed Plugin Hybrid.

It defaults to Electric mode in which case it will run on battery until it’s exhausted then switch to Hybrid (HEV) mode. This is usually what I want.

If I select HEV mode it seems to switch between EV and engine so as to maintain the battery level at (approx) the same charge level as when I set that mode

in Auto mode it seems to behave exactly the same as in Electric mode - runs 100% on battery then switches to Hybrid once it runs down.

So, what’s the difference between EV and Auto modes? Something too subtle for me to notice?

A mode to run on petrol and aggressively charge the battery (while out of town perhaps) in order to be able to switch back to EV later (in town centres) might be useful. For some reason I had an inkling that’s what Auto might be for.

Any insights / comments?

About 2:50 in this video has a insight that might help.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Steve,

I have some little detail from Kia Italy about the Auto mode.
They say the system select in Auto between EV and HEV depending on speed, power request for acceleration and type of driving surface.

The first, the speed, is what i've immediately thought. It is well known that if you have to drive for a longer distance than your EV range, it's better not to use the EV for speed, say, above 90 kph (sorry, metric world here :) ).

We already know that EV is possible up to 120 kph at steady speed on a flat surface, easy to test which is the speed limit of the Auto Mode at steady speed before the engine kicks in.

Also a limit to max EV power request is intuitive. I don't know exactly when and if the ICE kicks in if you ask a lot of power in EV mode, but a simple acceleration test in the two modes will show you two different points on the power dial for the kickin in of the ICE, and you'll get a precise reference point (same we did on the Toyota hybrid powermeters).

And for sure, if a lot of power is requested, going with the ICE is more efficient, as we understood from our hybrids. So, again, brilliant the Auto mode.

For the third, the driving surface, i don't have a damned clue. :-D
Perhaps the system is able to recognize, for example, wet conditions, don't know....

Anyway, absolutely brilliant idea that new Auto Mode. If you plan a trip well above the EV range, i'm sure for many reasons it will give you the best results.

Is not strange that you did'nt noticed any difference for your usual trips if they are well within the speed and power optimal limits of the EV mode. The system just will make you stay in EV mode.
Hi Steve,

I have some little detail from Kia Italy about the Auto mode.
They say the system select in Auto between EV and HEV depending on speed, power request for acceleration and type of driving surface.

The first, the speed, is what i've immediately thought. It is well known that if you have to drive for a longer distance than your EV range, it's better not to use the EV for speed, say, above 90 kph (sorry, metric world here :) ).

We already know that EV is possible up to 120 kph at steady speed on a flat surface, easy to test which is the speed limit of the Auto Mode at steady speed before the engine kicks in.

Also a limit to max EV power request is intuitive. I don't know exactly when and if the ICE kicks in if you ask a lot of power in EV mode, but a simple acceleration test in the two modes will show you two different points on the power dial for the kickin in of the ICE, and you'll get a precise reference point (same we did on the Toyota hybrid powermeters).

And for sure, if a lot of power is requested, going with the ICE is more efficient, as we understood from our hybrids. So, again, brilliant the Auto mode.

For the third, the driving surface, i don't have a damned clue. :-D
Perhaps the system is able to recognize, for example, wet conditions, don't know....

Anyway, absolutely brilliant idea that new Auto Mode. If you plan a trip well above the EV range, i'm sure for many reasons it will give you the best results.

Is not strange that you did'nt noticed any difference for your usual trips if they are well within the speed and power optimal limits of the EV mode. The system just will make you stay in EV mode.
Sooooo, if anticipating a journey > EV range, best option is Auto?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would guess that Auto will kick in engine to ensure battery is kept topped up a bit quicker and also mayd



About 2:50 in this video has a insight that might help.

Thanks for the link to the video. Interesting although a little confusing. I think he gets EV and HEV jumbled sometimes. Another statement that “Auto” makes a choice between EV and HEV based on, well, stuff 😐

I’m planning to make the same ( > EV range ) journey a couple of times in EV and Auto to see if any light is thrown
 

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Sooooo, if anticipating a journey > EV range, best option is Auto?
It depends on how Auto mode works and what is the lenght of the journey.
For long journey i would say quite probably yes.

Auto mode should deplete the battery on a longer distance, which is brilliant, rather than burn it all at the beginning to sustain high speed. But to be sure, we have to measure at constant speed at which speed ICE kicks in. In EV mode we know it already, 120 kph.

In Auto mode will be easy to check, accelerating to speed within the limit of the powermeter where it says "Power", so to do not trigger ICE for excess of power request.

Easy. When we get that speed limit in Auto, we would immediately reckon when to use it. Basically it should be useful when we have long high (relatively) speed long trips. I guess it must be around 90 kph, sort of. First test to do. Then we can speculate.

7544


Steve, can you elaborate about the max speed and type of roads for the two trips you want to test? If they are at low-average speed i'm afraid you're not going to get any understanding or difference, as i said in the previous post. This Auto mode sounds made for medium-high speed optimization.

Thanks for the video @iooi, i've got some good insight, coupling with our test in Italy on Kia/Hyu Phev, about the behaviour at different SOC states. 👍
 
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