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Interesting. My car is arriving today and I think I'll shove it in Utility Mode for the afternoon just to be safe. Can one use Utility Mode while the car is charging?
 

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So when the car was dropped off, I connected UVO. It showed the battery status as "warning". We drove it for about 20 miles and now it shows as "normal".

My plan to leave it in utility mode was foiled by the fact that you actually have to be in the car for it to stay in that mode. If you turn the power off, utility mode also turns off. So I've got my wife sitting in the car playing with things for now with it on. Is it possible to leave the power and utility mode on while leaving the car locked?
 

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Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
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Discussion Starter #43
So I've got my wife sitting in the car playing with things for now with it on. Is it possible to leave the power and utility mode on while leaving the car locked?
Would you tell your wife if it were?
 

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So would a possible fix be to leave the car in "utility mode" for a few hours when it's first received to ensure the 12V battery is at maximum charge?
I thought that the utility mode simply allowed you to run the 12 volt items from the main battery. I didn't think it would actually charge the battery. It is very useful if you wish to play about with things running on the 12 volt system. I don't think it would actually charge the battery (but please let me know if that is wrong).
 

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KiwiME is posting about a Hyundai Kona, and presuming (which may be true) that the Niro is the same.

Our manual on our car (the niro) makes no statement about charging the 12v battery.

page 5-52 for the 2020 us car.

So, seems a lot of guessing and extrapolation... it might be true it might not be.

If I was curious, I would put a voltmeter on the 12v battery and then invoke utility mode and see if the voltage goes over 12v.

Greg
 

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Interesting. My car is arriving today and I think I'll shove it in Utility Mode for the afternoon just to be safe. Can one use Utility Mode while the car is charging?
Again, from the Kona's perspective, no, and as I said you will get 30 minutes only of aux charging at the start of traction battery charging.

I thought that the utility mode simply allowed you to run the 12 volt items from the main battery. I didn't think it would actually charge the battery.
On the Kona it charges the battery.

If I was curious, I would put a voltmeter on the 12v battery and then invoke utility mode and see if the voltage goes over 12v.
Yes, and, I have no doubt you will see approx 14.7 V. Even more importantly for as long as you're in that mode.
 

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E-Niro 64kWh '4' since 22/9/20 (was Prius)
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After now reading the manual regarding the Utility mode and taking some great info from this thread too, I think a little clarification of what Utility mode actually does do is in order now (bearing in mind I don’t even have my E Niro, yet). I think this explanation will be helpful maybe to some owners.

The manual description states that entering this mode enables all electrical accessories to be powered not from the 12V battery but directly from the big HV battery. That is in essence correct. However, it’s also a little misleading, especially to those who may not understand what is actually happening.

To the reader, that kind of implies that everything that runs off 12V gets literally disconnected from the 12V battery and instead is connected to the big HV battery (via a suitable DC/DC Voltage converter naturally). That would be technically very difficult to achieve and is not what actually happens..... All the 12V powered items remain fully connected to the 12V battery always.

What I believe actually happens in Utility mode is this....

1. Car driving functions are all disabled and switched off (you cannot select D or R etc or release P, but interestingly it will allow you to release the parking brake, according to the manual)
2. The HV to 12V battery D.C. converter is set to continuously apply 14.7V to the 12V battery terminals.

In other words it is set to a Constant Voltage charging mode for as long as the Utility mode is set. The available current from the D.C. converter will likely be limited to some quite large value that mostly should not ever be reached anyway, in practice.

Under this 14.7V CV state, anything and everything that draws current from the 12V system will automatically get it all from the D.C. converter (HV battery) as that Voltage is much higher than the 12V battery can ever produce.

Also, unless the 12V battery itself is already 100% charged, it too will pull some current (Amps) from the DC converter and thus will eventually become fully charged (if the Utility mode is enabled for long enough). As the 12V battery nears 100% SOC, the current (Amps) it draws from the 14.7V will gradually reduce to a very low value (Say ~0.5A or less). At this point it can be considered to be completely 100% charged.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think there is any way to monitor the 12V battery current (Amps) from the normal user screens etc. So to determine when the 12V battery is fully charged the best way would be to use a clamp on DC Ampmeter on the battery lead. Failing that maybe just listen carefully to the 12V battery for the feint 'bubble and squeak' sound which it will undoubtably produce due to electrolysis gassing. If there’s lots of gassing then it is fully charged. Job done.

I hope this helps with our general understanding. I think the Utilty mode is the answer for those wanting to top off the 12V battery charge. I was quite pleased to learn on this thread that this mode even exists. Thanks to all contributors.

Peter
 

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Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
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Discussion Starter #51
Might be a nice test for someone who detects the Battery Warning message in the UVO app to put the car into Utility mode for 1 hour and check if the warning disappears.

Or measure the voltage on the 12V, switch on utility mode and check again if indeed the 12V is fed with 14.7 volts. If someone has an amp meter to see how many amps actually go into the 12V battery that would be even better.
 

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E-Niro 64kWh '4' since 22/9/20 (was Prius)
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Might be a nice test for someone who detects the Battery Warning message in the UVO app to put the car into Utility mode for 1 hour and check if the warning disappears.

Or measure the voltage on the 12V, switch on utility mode and check again if indeed the 12V is fed with 14.7 volts. If someone has an amp meter to see how many amps actually go into the 12V battery that would be even better.
I will be doing all that good stuff when I get the car!!
The Amps going into the 12V battery will be very variable depending mainly upon its present SOC. It will be decreasing as the SOC increases.

Peter
 

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There are many on here that have Utility mode on but still had a flat 12v battery. I don't know why it's a bigger issue in EVs than ICE cars. ICE's seem to only get flat 12v if something left on, faulty battery or 7-8 years old. Unless you use an app like Torque Pro and OBDII reader to measure SOC then you can not be sure your journeys are adding enough charge so may have to occasionally trickle charge it or buy a car battery booster just in case. Some good ones on Amazon for £60. I do an 80 mile daily commute so hope want be an issue for me.
 

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E-Niro 64kWh '4' since 22/9/20 (was Prius)
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There are many on here that have Utility mode on but still had a flat 12v battery.....
Forgive me, but are you perhaps meaning 'Auxiliary Battery saver+ ' mode on?

I thought that specifically using Utility mode as a means to top off the 12V battery (once or maybe periodically) was something newly discovered and only suggested recently in this thread? Putting the car into Utility mode for a few hours will do the same as an external battery charger will do. It will charge the 12V battery to 100% if left on long enough. (Not 100% verified for E Niro but I’m pretty confident)

Peter
 

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Forgive me, but are you perhaps meaning 'Auxiliary Battery saver+ ' mode on?
Yes! Apologies I did mean Aux saver and completely being a pleb!
I thought Utility mode had to have car unlocked and Start button pressed without depressing brake to work so you can use electricals on HV battery when parked such as when caravanning, etc. I don't know about Utility mode being able to top up 12v battery.
 

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Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
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Discussion Starter #57
I have the car but no volt meter. I am the OP to signal the battery warning, but after the 1st day I haven't had the problem and the car is now parked for 3 days without issue.
 

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This is my understanding, I have an Ioniq by the way.

The 12v battery is charged when the car is charged granny, fast and rapid. When the battery saver operates and utility mode.
Utility mode I believe you have to fully power on the car and select it from the convenience menu on the cluster. I don't get utility mode in the cluster settings even with 2 button pushes no brake. The settings are there just no utility mode
In utility mode the 12v battery is charged by the HV battery as people say a probable 14+v constantly, this is to counter a drain in using the electronics.
So unlocked car then opened bonnet
Car turned off battery showed 12.26v
1 button push acc battery dropped to 12.4v
2 button pushes no brake applied battery showed 12.2v
Turn car on with brake applied battery showed 14.86v therefore charging
Set in utility mode battery shows 14.86 therefore charging
After about 5 mins it has dropped to 14.81v

I will check again in an hour and report back the voltage. This is with a multimeter across the terminals by the way.
 

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E-Niro 64kWh '4' since 22/9/20 (was Prius)
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Waiting for someone to prove the theories... they are probably right... so neither of you guys have the car?
Just heard 30 minutes ago. I get to collect it Tuesday at 10:00am

First thing I’ll do is attach my 12V bluetooth Voltage data logger to the battery terminals.
Second thing is to select Utility mode for a while and capture the V/time graphs with some current clamp meter reads here and there.

Well at least that’s the plan. There is a very strong chance that I might not be able to resist just driving it around a while instead 😉
This is my first EV! Had Prius cars for last 19 years!

Peter
 
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