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Winter fuel efficiency for PHEV

4459 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Rugi
Hey all!

Got my lovely Tucson PHEV last Saturday. Been driving it around for commute (22km one way). Love the ride so far.

Been trying to drive on EV mode mostly, however, it's always turning the gas engine on to idle while driving on EV mode. Wondering if anyone has similar experience.

Yes I understand it would run gas engine for climate control and acceleration aide. I don't mind it coming on occasionally, but it can rather persistently be on (good 30mins out of an hour of slow traffic) when I commute.

1.This appears to be true even when I turn off all climate controls (including heated seat and steering).

2. Battery fully charged

3. Car pre-heated 7 mins prior to departure

4. Outside temp around -1 to -5C (which isn't super cold)

Any insight would be much appreciated, and let me know anyone has similar issues!
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The engine coolant has to stay at the right temperature regardless of whether you have the heater on or not. The colder it gets the more often it will run. The cold affects the battery power also. The electric mode maxes out at 30 or so miles max under ideal conditions. The power to keep the battery from running down has to come from either the gas engine or regen braking. Your plug in has a bigger battery than the regular hybrid but the electric motor has twice the power. Once you go into hybrid mode, you aren't going to see much benefit from the plug in feature. That's why the mileage numbers for the plug in are actually less than the regular hybrid.
I drove to work this morning with just the heated seats and steering wheel on, the climate control was off and it stayed in EV mode for all the 26kms to work, not once did the gas engine run.. It was -2 celcius out when I left this morning. I find with mine that as long as you don't have the climate control on, it will stay in EV mode.
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That sounds reasonable. As long as your heater is off, the engine won't need to run until your battery gets to a certain state of discharge. If you turned off your heated seats and steering wheel you might be able to go the whole round trip back and forth from work without a charge. As soon as you demand heat from your climate control the only way to get it is from the engine cooling system. The engine coolant has to get to a certain temperature before it will give off heat. It is different for the a/c because it runs on electricity, so the engine will come on depending on electric power demand, not demand for heat. Your engine stays hot longer in the summer so it won't have to cycle on as often as in the winter. Sometimes in my full hybrid I'll pull into the garage with engine running and heater on. The second I turn the heater off the engine shuts down. Full electric vehicles have to use heat pump technology for winter driving, which is the a/c running in reverse to bring heat into the vehicle rather than sucking it out. In those vehicles the range can go down 50% or more in the winter.
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I understand that the PHEV doesn't have a heat pump. In that case the engine has to run to supply cabin heat and will over-ride your EV mode setting. If you shut off cabin heat, you should be able to stay in EV mode. That's the way the Santa Fe PHEV works:

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Driving in tucson phev for 2 weeks while tinkering with the settings a bit..

  • To ensure EV only mode, the temperature has to be set on a minimum (Low). In my car the "low" indication starts when you try to set below 17 degrees celsius (AC off) inside the cabin
  • If the above is true, the ventialation itself can be set on any level, as long as the "defog front window" is not selected
  • Seat and wheel heating do not take off any estimated battery range while the ventialtion on max does take off some 5-10% of the estimated EV range.
  • Battery drains noticably faster at cold temperatures (tested +10 to -7 celsius), estimate = 10%

To get to and from work I therefor just keep the heating off.

I am interested in what your average consumption is in EV/HEV mode.
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