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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently did a trip from my home in Eugene, OR to see some family down in Napa, CA. Took the same route back a few days later. Got some great efficiency numbers in my 2021 PHEV SEL. Began the journey with a full battery SOC and a full fuel tank.

Distance: 507.5 miles (817 km)

Conditions: No precipitation. Smoky air from all the wildfires for much of the journey. Temperatures ranged from 55 F (13 C) in the morning to just above 100 F (38 C) in the afternoon.

Topography: Hills for the first 25% of the journey, mountainous for the next 35%, then fairly flat for the final 40%.

Road Type / Speeds: Interstate 5 expressway / highways for most of the journey with a little bit of local driving at the beginning / end and the 2 stops. Speed averages in the hilly areas were ~65 mph (105 kph), ~55 to 65 mph (90 to 105 kph) in the mountains, and ~70 mph (112 kph) in the flat sections.

Stop 1: 30 minutes in Ashland, OR. About 33% into the journey. Toilet break, grabbed a coffee, checked some work emails. Charged the car at a public level 2 charger for 30 minutes. Added about 1.6 kWh of electricity (~15% battery SOC increase).

Stop 2: 40 minutes in Redding, CA. Lunch break. About 60% into the journey. Charged the car at a public level 2 charger for 40 minutes. Added about 1.9 kWh of electricity (~20% battery SOC increase).

Total Efficiency: Please note I'm using US gallons here. For UK equivalents, multiply the fuel qty by 0.832. Multiply the MPG figures by 1.2.

At the end of the day, the car showed 64.2 MPG for the trip (3.66 L / 100 km) with 20% battery SOC remaining. However, I've found the car tends to overestimate the efficiency a little. Refilling the fuel tank added 8.05 gallons (30.5 L) which would make the efficiency 63 MPG (3.73 L / 100 km). However, I suspect that the fuel station attendant overfilled my car's fuel tank slightly before I left, which may have added a little bit more fuel that didn't get accounted for. The return trip used 8.4 gallons (31.8 L) which makes me suspect that was the case (the return trip usually uses a tad more fuel in my experience). So, I'm going to call it 8.2 gallons (31 L) used for a total of 61.9 MPG (3.8 L / 100 km).

Comparison: I made this exact same journey last Spring, in nearly identical conditions (no smoky air). I was new to the car and my knowledge was lacking on how to get the best out of it. For that identical journey, I used 9.7 gallons (36.7 L) for a total of 52.25 MPG (4.5 L / 100 km). Quite a difference from this time around!

Difference Makers: I did several things different on this trip vs the Spring trip which can account in the 20% increase in efficiency. Most of these are from the great tips I've gotten on this forum on how to maximize the car, so thanks everyone!

-I added 35% battery SOC this time around through charging at the stops. I did not charge at the stops in the Spring. These were stops I would have made anyways and I made only minor adjustments to add charging to them.

-I used smart cruise control (SCC) for the vast majority of the journey. I did most of the driving manually for the Spring trip.

-Possibly the most important: I went the speed limit. I admit that in the Spring, I may have "kept up with traffic" a bit more and driven a little quicker overall. This time, I set the SCC for the speed limit and stayed in the outside lane, only passing slower vehicles and trucks. In addition to the increased efficiency, I enjoyed not having to worry about being pulled over for speeding! The overall time penalty of ~30 minutes didn't bother me as I was not in a hurry, in fact I quite enjoyed the drive.

-For most of the journey, I put the car in HEV mode and let it do it's thing in SCC. There were some instances in the mountains where I could see approaching downhill sections and put the car into EV mode (keeping SCC on). This really paid off on some of gradual downhill grades coming out of the mountains where between regen and light EV throttle inputs, the car went a large distance on comparatively little battery SOC. In fact, pulling into stop number 2, which is right at the end of the mountains, the car was showing me an overall trip MPG of 70.5 (3.33 L / 100 km)!!! Even if that is a slight overestimate, it's still awesome!

Conclusion: I continue to be very impressed by this vehicle. The estimated efficiency for this trip of 61.9 MPG (3.8 L / 100 km), simply blow its US EPA rating of 52 MPG (4.5 L / 100 km) out of the water. It also beat its "more efficient" HEV sibling's EPA ratings, even in that vehicle's most efficient "Blue" version. Given the government tax incentives for PHEVs, it was an absolute no brainer to get it over it over the HEV. Ended up cheaper than the HEV, puts up road trip numbers that easily beat its own as well as the HEV's EPA ratings, and can be driven as a pure EV for all local trips. Though, in fairness to the HEV, I'm sure it too may be able to put up greater numbers than its EPA rating. Not trying to throw shade at the HEV but am still happy with the choice of PHEV. Anyways, great job Hyundai!
 

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Thanks for sharing! I'm currently eyeing a PHEV (i'm on my 2nd hybrid now but lease is up in a few months) - My main worry is that I don't drive sensibly, I like speed and the hybrid so far has been able to keep up with me and still provide a semi decent mpg rating. Your post has got me seriously considering the PHEV now but I note you drove most of that on SCC and at 65mph so not at all the way I drive xD

What's it like when you give it some?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for sharing! I'm currently eyeing a PHEV (i'm on my 2nd hybrid now but lease is up in a few months) - My main worry is that I don't drive sensibly, I like speed and the hybrid so far has been able to keep up with me and still provide a semi decent mpg rating. Your post has got me seriously considering the PHEV now but I note you drove most of that on SCC and at 65mph so not at all the way I drive xD

What's it like when you give it some?
TBH, if you like speed, then the Ioniq PHEV may not be the car for you. The car is engineered for eco driving and you really feel that when driving the car. If you're driving in pure EV mode, you've got 60 HP. That's enough to get you around town, but not push you back in your seat. Certainly doesn't have that instantaneous torque EV feel that other EVs do. If you put your foot down more than the EV can give, the ICE will kick in to assist. But even then, I wouldn't call the results thrilling. The only way to get close to more performance driving is to put it in sport mode, which changes the character of how the car responds. The car will rev quite a bit higher and give you everything it has in terms of the ICE and electric motor working in tandem. Since I'm not a sporty driver, I don't use this mode very much and it certainly provides more than I would need. Even with the increased performance in Sport Mode, it's still not a sporty car. It also will knock your efficiency way down. My first long trip referenced in my post had higher speeds and some use of sport mode to pass and it was a good 10 MPG less. Even sportier driving will definitely knock that down further, for sure.

I'm not sure if they offer them in the UK, but the quickest Plug In Hybrid over here in the states (barring the high end stuff like Jag, Polestar, etc.) is probably the Toyota Rav4 Prime which has a very impressive 300 HP combined and a very quick 0-60 for a car like that.
 

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Conclusion: I continue to be very impressed by this vehicle. The estimated efficiency for this trip of 61.9 MPG (3.8 L / 100 km), simply blow its US EPA rating of 52 MPG (4.5 L / 100 km) out of the water.
I don't understand the point of assigning a mpg figure to a PHEV. If you recharge every 30 miles or so, you have infinite mpg, which is silly. The EPA rating of 52 mpg is HEV mode only. They have a separate rating on your Munroney sticker for EV mode efficiency.

For what it is worth, my best tank on my less aero Niro HEV was 62 mpg over 700 miles, no plug-in electrons needed. The greater mpg efficiency of the plain Jane Ioniq/Niro HEV models is due to their lower weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Indeed, the different power modes of the PHEV make "MPG" a bit nebulous in terms of what we're talking about. But, it is a metric the car itself figures and displays, so it's still relevant as a talking point. Even if the all EV only trips simply display as, "999 MPG" on the trip computer. But most importantly, the point of having a Plug-In Hybrid vehicle for me is maximum gasoline (petrol) mitigation, to quote Alex on Autos. So, for me, adding electrons is preferable to burning more fuel which emits more CO2 (in general with respect to grid power generation) and costs me more money to put into the car. So, overall efficiency in terms of fossil fuel burn is very important to me, and MPG is a decent, though not perfect, way of expressing that.

It should be noted that in HEV mode, the car doesn't always keep the battery SOC, especially during long journeys in the mountains where it needs to draw upon more electricity to climb than it replaces on its average cycle with the ICE. In my experience on this trip, adding more battery SOC helps the HEV to work better by having more to draw on as it needs to get up the hills. IMO, running the battery SOC very low limits the car's ability to draw on battery power and run as efficiently by needing to constantly keep the ICE running to maintain a base level battery SOC. In addition, conserving and adding more EV power for local and downhill stretches makes the car more efficient in terms of overall fossil fuel burn, which as I stated, is a very important metric for me.
 
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