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I did some tests this morning. Thanks to @GMat for his pointer:


So indeed, it does work without being plugged in. The "HVAC Settings" page is just to adjust the settings in the app, it doesn't send anything to the car. The "Start air con" is the only button to use. If you click the "hide HVAC pop up" checkbox in he "HVAC Settings", the "Start air con" sends whatever you set in the app to the car, otherwise it shows that screen to allow adjusting those settings before sending them to the car.

It works even if the car is not plugged in (the car is very silent compared to the Renault Zoe which is why I thought it wasn't working). The first of the 3 lights on top of the console does light up and flash (but if the windscreen is misty you won't be able to see it anyway). At least setting the temperature and defrost the windscreen work. "Heating" (of back window and mirrors I think based on the icons) does not - maybe that requires being plugged in, I still need to test that.

After about 15 minutes it stops by itself.
Blow me! Working ok for me too. Tried a dozen times. Failed twice. Must be a glitch occasionally when you send a remote command. Also doesn't seem to like commands in quick succession. Says remote something or other in progress. Try again later.
 

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Blow me! Working ok for me too. Tried a dozen times. Failed twice. Must be a glitch occasionally when you send a remote command. Also doesn't seem to like commands in quick succession. Says remote something or other in progress. Try again later.
Ah yes, I forgot to mention that it almost always takes 2 attempts to send the command the first time. Almost as if you needed to "wake up" the car with the first one, before sending instructions with the second. Then calls sent after that typically succeed, provided they are not too close to each other, or too much later.
 

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It definitely works not plugged in for AC. The app is buggy and when I pre-cool car it always requires sending the command twice. First time get a notification stating failed but second time successful. When you stand away from the car you can clearly hear its working. When you approach car as soon as it senses the fob the AC stops as soon as door opened. I've found it takes quite a long time to cool if car is standing and off. Cools much quicker when driving - logic I guess.
 

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Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
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It definitely works not plugged in for AC. Cools much quicker when driving - logic I guess.
Actually it doesn't sound so obvious to me. The air-conditioning has the same power available when driving or when parked. And outside temperatures don't suddenly get lower when the car is moving.
 

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Actually it doesn't sound so obvious to me. The air-conditioning has the same power available when driving or when parked. And outside temperatures don't suddenly get lower when the car is moving.
Maybe the AC is different in an EV? Certainly in a ICE car the AC is only effective when driving, warm when stationary. I assume compressor related? This week getting into my e-Niro it's not been very cold with AC on and parked. Within minutes of driving it's very cool. However I know nothing about cooling systems.
 

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@Xinix it's airflow related -> tempterature may be same, ditto power, but you missing fact lots of airflow to improve evaportation/heat transfer when car moving.
 

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When parked and not plugged into AC, presumably it uses the 12V aux battery? And drains it fairly quickly? Is it fair to say then that activating climate remotely when not plugged in should be avoided (or minimised) to avoid flattening the 12V?
 

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@Xinix it's airflow related -> tempterature may be same, ditto power, but you missing fact lots of airflow to improve evaportation/heat transfer when car moving.
Heat transfer is done by the fan. And there is no evaporation on a dry car either so the outside of a car will not cool significantly when it's moving through hot air.
 

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@Xinix no it is not, it's done by airflow over the condenser outside the car (ie the condersor coil in the hood of the car).. The evaporator inside the car YES is done by the fan, but this is very different. Bear in mind it's not evaporation, it's heat transfer. In most cars the fan on the condenser stops when you moving.

From another forum:
The radiator-like device that sits in front of the actual radiator is the condenser coil for the AC system. It is a radiator of sorts and it’s job is to transmit the heat load of the AC system to the atmosphere; the more air moving across the condenser the easier it is to shed the heat load. At low speeds or just sitting, air movement across the condenser is provided mainly by the engine fan … Obviously a vehicle moving at 60mph is gonna have more air moving through the condenser that it will sitting still. So the heat load of the AC system is easier to shed …ergo the AC system operates a bit more efficiently making a bit more colder air.

Effectively faster you drive, more airflow over condenser, hence more cooling. When not moving it'll need a seperate fan (using lots of power) on the condenser, which isnt as effecient as the flow of air.
 

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Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
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Right, I must admit I hadn´t thought of that!
 

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@Xinix
From another forum:
"...At low speeds or just sitting, air movement across the condenser is provided mainly by the engine fan … Obviously a vehicle moving at 60mph is gonna have more air moving through the condenser that it will sitting still.
I could understand that more in an ICE but the e-Niro has no grill. Sure, there will be more airflow when moving, but I shouldn't have thought it would be that great.
 
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