Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Before I decided to buy an Amp I of course did plenty of research and read lots of reviews. Quite a lot of them mention the seamless switch to ICE operation, whilst I guess it is true if you were to compare it to a Prius (my mother has one and I've driven it a fair bit) which is fairly obvious when the engine starts and begins to power the wheels, but I still find I definitely know when the engine is running, most notably because its pretty loud to my ears anyway...
Of speeds above 50mph it's not too bad unless its recharging the battery from a stint of uphill driving using some of the battery (assuming driving with an 'empty' battery) but I find at lower speeds when accelerating it makes quite a racket, is this normal?
At the weekend I did a 200 mile round trip, I had driven to work Friday morning (16mi on electric), then drove to the m/way using about 2mi electric, I switched it to hold and did my m/way journey on petrol until I got off the m/way and back into town at which point I switched back to normal. Did all my driving around town etc over the weekend on electric.
So for the return journey I had ran out and was bound by the limits of the ICE. I accelerated quite gently up a slip road to join the m/way (I was behind a campervan so really quite slow acceleration) and suddenly the ICE kicked up a right fuss and sounded like it was running at about 4000rpm. Once I got up to speed it settled into a more regular amount of engine noise.
Further up I hit some traffic and was in a slow but moving queue as the police had closed a lane, for this slow traffic the car chose to run on electric for about half a mile doing 10-15mph. As I reached the front of the queue passing the police officers stood at the side of the road I accelerated, fairly gently again, the ICE kicked in and presumably due to the battery usage just prior went into charge mode and revved the nuts off itself, quite embarrassing as you're driving past the plod.

I learnt that opening the bonnet with the car on will start the ICE so I did so, it certainly didn't sound like it was idling, even just sat there doing nothing it was louder than expected, video below;

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
The Ice has a a number of fixed settings and if your out of electric and asking it to get you up a hill / accelerate hard will "Rev its nuts off" until there is a buffer built up,
The little ICE is 63kW and the Electric motor 111kW so it needs a buffer to really accelerate. When pottering along then the ICE has no problem keeping up at a reasonable setting and putting some in the battery.
If I take a long trip I usually stick it in hold at 3kWh left (7kWh remaining) then let the car manage it. the buffer smooths out the patches of acceleration and hill climbing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If I take a long trip I usually stick it in hold at 3kWh left (7kWh remaining) then let the car manage it. the buffer smooths out the patches of acceleration and hill climbing.
Ok maybe I will try putting it in hold just before it runs out if I know the journey will call for it. How do I know how many kWh is remaining? Or is it a guess based on what the GOM says?
 

·
Registered
Ioniq 38kWh
Joined
·
529 Posts
I used to try and use the ICE on motorways where you don't so much notice the noise and try and reserve the electric for non motorway, obviously that's only possible on some journeys. I didn't particularly like using the ICE around town, and like you said sometimes found it relatively noisy. Some people have remarked in the past on here that the noise can vary according to oil quality not sure if that's a real thing but I once noticed the car was much noisier on ICE after one particular service, then quieter after another service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
How do I know how many kWh is remaining
1601295670713.png
Left shows whats used - assume 10kWh for the battery for easy calculation, so here 4kWh is left.
Right shows the battery icon in this case 1/2 way down, judge it at 1/4 left by eye. that's good enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,598 Posts
Yup, the ICE is noisy when working v hard. So on long trips I'll generally use Hold, or maybe MM, but when I come to a steep hill, or am expecting to do a quick overtake etc, I switch to Normal to stop the ICE revving away. Once the hard work's done I'll revert to Hold/MM on the way down the hill/after the overtake, that way I never have to listen to the ICE! Using MM is rather like Hold, but with a bigger buffer of about 15 miles always available when switching to Normal, plus it gets topped-up automatically, useful for v long trips where 45 miles leccy isn't really enough to deal with all the hills & towns & villages etc. But do note that MM reduces the car's keenness to overtake, as it tries hard to suppress rapid monoeuvres in this mode! So you may have to really floor the throttle to get max accel in this mode!
 

·
Registered
Ioniq 38kWh
Joined
·
529 Posts
Ok maybe I will try putting it in hold just before it runs out if I know the journey will call for it. How do I know how many kWh is remaining? Or is it a guess based on what the GOM says?
There is a thing where if you engage hold with less than I think 5 miles left the car steals the 5 miles 😄
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Whilst on the topic of ICE, is the fuel door supposed to open like the charge port door? When I took it to the petrol station I pressed the release button next to the charge port button but the flap didn’t open, I had to push against the front edge of the flap which opened it fine, is this expected? So far my charge port door has always opened first try every try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,598 Posts
Below 5 miles, the car doesn't actually steal anything; it simply decides that it's going to take charge of what modes it will/will not let you use! It will switchover to showing you the petrol gauge, and will continue to run electrically down to 0 miles range left, before actually engaging the ICE. And during this it won't let you swap to Hold mode. You can select MM and recharge the batteyr up to appx 1/3 full, but still won't let you swap freely back to Normal Electriccal mode! Bit of a bug, I think. Best thing is, never go below 5 miles EV range unless you're getting to the end of your trip.

The Petrol flap isn't like the Charge flap. There's a button hidden from view on drivers door, tucked below the wing-mirror region; you're supposed to press this, which tells the car to adjust the air pressure in the tank or somesuch; after a couple of secs it says "Ready to Refuel", and you can then click the petrol flap to open it. Until then, it appears to be locked.

The charge port tends to jam shut, the seal is badly shaped. Also, the locking pin for that is made of plastic, and has been known to snap, = expensive fix. So I never use the door-release button; if it stays shut you'll get engine warning light lit = a nuisance! This goes away after a couple of trips tho'. Instead, I stand by the flap, press the rear edge gently to remove all pressure off the locking pin, then press the fob release, & the front edge of the flap the second I hear the pin operate. That way it's 100% guaranteed to open, and with zero load on the delicate pin. Also, if you mis-time it & it stay shut, you don't get the engine watning light! Weird.

I've actually put a tiny flap of sticky tape the same colour as the bodywork, fastened inside the rear edge of charge flap, sticks out 1/2 an inch. So I grab this, press in gently, operate fob, pull it out to open, and it's easier than pressing the leading edge.

Oh, and notice that if you've got <50 miles range of petrol in tank, the car starts bonging at you, and in that mode when driving on petrol, it refuses to show you your remaining electrical range! Bit of a pain if fuel is low, so best to keep >50 miles worth of petrol in the tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,711 Posts
Yup, the ICE is noisy when working v hard. So on long trips I'll generally use Hold, or maybe MM, but when I come to a steep hill, or am expecting to do a quick overtake etc, I switch to Normal to stop the ICE revving away. Once the hard work's done I'll revert to Hold/MM on the way down the hill/after the overtake, that way I never have to listen to the ICE! Using MM is rather like Hold, but with a bigger buffer of about 15 miles always available when switching to Normal, plus it gets topped-up automatically, useful for v long trips where 45 miles leccy isn't really enough to deal with all the hills & towns & villages etc. But do note that MM reduces the car's keenness to overtake, as it tries hard to suppress rapid monoeuvres in this mode! So you may have to really floor the throttle to get max accel in this mode!
Can you use MM as a proxy for the missing recharge mode? For example if cruising on MM, and then switching Normal just before accelerating, would reverting back to MM cause the car to recharge some?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,711 Posts
You can select MM and recharge the batteyr up to appx 1/3 full, but still won't let you swap freely back to Normal Electriccal mode!
I think of myself as a mechanically sympathetic driver, or maybe someone who just likes quiet. I seek to understand if the Ampera driver has some workarounds to directly influence ICE revs.

My understanding of Ampera and Outlander drive mode differences:

AmperaOutlanderMeaning
NormalEV *EV-only mode
NormalEV/Hybrid mix **
MountainHigher battery store
ChargeIncrease battery store
HoldSaveHybrid-only mode
SportSport *More responsive
EcoLess responsive
Reduced power **Reduced power **Self-repairing
Turtle **Limping
* not included in earlier model years. ** automated override.

If I accelerate uphill in an Outlander on Normal mode the ICE would rev loudly, which reflects increased engine wear. To limit this damage my approach is using Charge mode when going downhill, and EV mode when going uphill, as on-balance this keeps the ICE purring at a gentler continuous pace. Similarly, I toggle between Charge for motorway cruising and Normal for motorway overtaking.

Can Vx's MM and Normal be used to achieve a similar outcome? Does dropping below 5 mile EV range disable the driver's ability to take control?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Can Vx's MM and Normal be used to achieve a similar outcome? Does dropping below 5 mile EV range disable the driver's ability to take control?
I have been able to select Hold with 3miles remaining range and it did indeed hold onto that charge, my route to work on Mondays & Wednesdays starts (or ends) with some hilly motorway work where in both directions you pass through a couple of valleys with long uphill stretches and a steep downhill.
I will test your method with the Ampera later of running normal up the hill and MM on the way down and see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,598 Posts
Replies to the above, not necessarily in the right order!

Interesting you were able to select Hold with only 3 miles remaining! I'll have to double-check if can do the same. Mine's a 2012, it's possible there are slight differences on a 2013. It's possible you may be able to select that mode, but then find you're stuck in it, or in Normal, or Petrol mode, with it getting hard to select any mode at will. Don't forget there's a buffer of about 0.4 kWh, good for a couple of miles, that the car plays around with without showing you; this is what gets constantly emptied & refilled from petrol, as Hold & MM modes are cruising along steadily. You can investigate this a little bit by toggling between MM & Normal when using petrol around the 1/3 range remaining stage; MM shows you the Normal range remaining, and this fluctuates a tiny bit depending what state the ICE has left the buffer in. So there's a bit of error-margin flying around just to confuse us!

My Ampy takes over control below 5 miles, as I said, so I'm careful to remain above that. But around the 6-15/18 miles left region, you can freely use MM to recharge after going up a hill earlier in Normal mode. This is what I do to keep noise & engine revs down, exactly same trick as Outlander by the sound of it. But if I have enough leccy to do all my hills, there's not a lot of point using MM. It's just a handy trick when e.g. on hols abroad in Germany, with loads of hills around & you don't know the routes in advance & you can't find overnight charging at your B&Bs etc. I used MM extensively like this about 3 years ago, recharging back to 1/3 range on MM, then using up to about 10 miles range going through towns/cities stuff. then back to MM after to get back to 1/3 full.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Replies to the above, not necessarily in the right order!

Interesting you were able to select Hold with only 3 miles remaining! I'll have to double-check if can do the same. Mine's a 2012, it's possible there are slight differences on a 2013.
Didn’t entirely go to plan as there had been an accident and ended up going a different route altogether so will have to test the hilly route next week.
I waited until GOM read 3mi again and then selected hold, worked no problems. Drove to my m/way exit and switched back to normal and drove home on pure electric again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Interesting you were able to select Hold with only 3 miles remaining! I'll have to double-check if can do the same. Mine's a 2012, it's possible there are slight differences on a 2013.
There are many subtle differences - 'Hold' mode is definitely available on my MY2013 down to much less than 5 miles remaining on the GOM. And when I engage 'Mountain' mode it will continue to charge until the GOM shows a range of between 18 and 22 miles.

Incidentally GOM stands for 'guess-o-meter' and that really does explain what it is! I find that it can be reasonably accurate for steady driving on flat roads but even then the accuracy diminishes when it shows less than five miles or so. In conclusion, it is just a guide and isn't necessarily accurate or reliable.
 

·
I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
Joined
·
29,176 Posts
Before I decided to buy an Amp I of course did plenty of research and read lots of reviews. Quite a lot of them mention the seamless switch to ICE operation...
Mine mentions how annoying the engine is at coming on too fast and too loud in the wrong conditions ... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,711 Posts
I learnt that opening the bonnet with the car on will start the ICE so I did so, it certainly didn't sound like it was idling, even just sat there doing nothing it was louder than expected
Afaik the 1.4L engine is permanently working against the resistance of an electricity generator and so it cannot idle. My view is that when the bonnet is open the car is in a 'self charge mode'.

Reusing the bonnet feature, is it possible to trick an Ampera into charging from its ICE while driving? Maybe a DIY charge button akin to Outlanders?
 

·
I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
Joined
·
29,176 Posts
Afaik the 1.4L engine is permanently working against the resistance of an electricity generator and so it cannot idle. My view is that when the bonnet is open the car is in a 'self charge mode'.

Reusing the bonnet feature, is it possible to trick an Ampera into charging from its ICE while driving? Maybe a DIY charge button akin to Outlanders?
There are two modes I am aware of where the engine is 'virtually idling'. I believe you are right that it always has a load (except for the first 20 seconds, you can hear the intake induction note change as the load comes on), but this is for some slightly more complex reasons about the torque flow that have to always be positive.

The two modes are bonnet up and ERDTT. (I say 'aware of' because I have never experienced nor had a chance to test the 'engine oil' and 'old fuel' runs that happen automatically if not used for ages.)

In these modes there is a power load I calculated once from fuel consumption that TBH I can't quite remember but I think it was about 2~3kW IIRC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
Bonnet up is for service use nominally.
The FMM mode, I had this recently, runs the engine to power the car with the intent of using fuel. To stop it you need to put fresh fuel in the tank. Its in the manual. I only had about a gallon in the tank so ran it down to about a pint and put a tenners worth in. Should stop that for a year.
EMM just runs the engine for a short while to stir the oil.
I've had the ERDTT in the past, the beast from the east triggered it last, mine is set to -10 not the default 2 deg. It seems more of an idle, just generating hot water to warm the battery and maybe the cabin though the car seems not to care about the owner just looks after itself!

Given how it is setup I don't think it's possible to fool it into charging. the other problem is the ICE is small and underpowered for that duty. The mk2 with a 1.7l engine would be better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,711 Posts
I say 'aware of' because I have never experienced nor had a chance to test the 'engine oil' and 'old fuel' runs that happen automatically if not used for ages.
I do not recall the exact message, but during a test drive I saw an alert message stating something along the lines of 'engine running because it has not been run for a long time'.

Given how it is setup I don't think it's possible to fool it into charging. the other problem is the ICE is small and underpowered for that duty.
If your battery is low enough then Mountain Mode charges the battery, which I suggest is evidence that charging is mechanically doable. I also thought if you left the bonnet open it would charge - what else is it doing with the energy?

I found no answers from web search but did find some contractory claims. Some sources assert the ICE can power the front wheels directly, and other sources claim the ICE must route all power via the battery 🤷‍♂️

 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top