All power systems must function at their optimal temperature. This is true for battery-powered EVs as well as internal combustion engines.
In winter, cold temperatures can significantly affect performance. So, what can you do?
Activating winter mode on the Kia Niro EV is an effective way to preserve battery health in the long run. This article will explain how to turn it on and use it.
Always read your owner’s manual before operating your car. The information in this blog post isn’t an alternative, but it should help if you’re stuck.
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What is Kia e-Niro winter mode?
Winter mode is enabled on Kia e-Niro models with an equipped battery heater. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a drive mode.
The e-Niro’s winter mode is actually there to protect the EV batteries.
Activating winter mode prioritizes performance over range economy in the colder months.
Batteries (of any kind) don’t function well in the cold. That’s why your smartphone often struggles to cope with a cold wind or blizzard. (The same is true for excessive heat, of course.)
Before they work as intended, the batteries must warm up. This is where winter mode comes in for the e-Niro.
The Kia e-Niro winter mode recognizes when the battery is cold. It then heats the battery and keeps it at an efficient temperature for the duration of your journey.
You’ll notice the following side effects:
- Improved responsiveness and driving experience
- Better charging performance
- Reduced range
Your EV expends energy to get the batteries to an acceptable temperature (and keep them there). While the reduced range might be frustrating, it’s beneficial in the long run.
How to turn on Kia Niro EV winter mode
Turn on the Kia e-Niro winter mode setting by following these instructions:
- On the central touchscreen, select EV.
- In the bottom right-hand corner, choose EV settings.
- Under the Winter mode tab on the left, check the box next to Winter mode.
- Winter mode is now active.
Drive as per the owner’s manual instructions, taking extra care during cold seasons. Stay aware at all times.
Remember: the primary function of winter mode is to protect the high-voltage batteries. It isn’t a drive mode.
Driving with Kia e-Niro winter mode switched on
Once you’ve switched winter mode on, you don’t need to do much differently. Drive as you usually would, knowing the batteries are being kept in as good a condition as possible.
That said, don’t forget the following:
- The reduced range might mean you have to plan your journey accordingly. It might be necessary to stop to charge halfway.
- You can equip a range warning to help with this. See more information below.
- Once the battery level gets low, the car won’t use winter mode. This is to preserve the charge for driving.
- Winter mode will also come on if you activate remote conditioning (turning on the air con or heater before getting in the vehicle).
How to activate a range warning in the Kia Niro EV
Range warnings can be used in tandem with your navigational system. It’s also helpful to activate along with winter mode since your car’s range will be much less than you’re used to.
The e-Niro range warning alerts you if you don’t have enough battery charge to reach your inputted destination.
Follow the instructions below to activate a range warning.
- Go to EV.
- Tap on EV settings.
- Select the Warning tab on the left.
- Check the box next to Range warning.
Checking power consumption on the Kia Niro EV
To see the impact winter mode might be having on your vehicle, go to the following menu:
- Choose EV.
- Go to Energy information.
Explore the facts and figures in this section. Remember, you can tap to open different data displays.
A range warning is now active.
How to switch winter mode off on the Kia Niro EV
Switch winter mode off from the same menu. Follow these instructions:
- Open EV on the central touchscreen.
- Touch EV settings in the bottom-right corner.
- Under the Winter mode tab, deselect Winter mode.
The battery heater now won’t come on. You’ll notice significantly reduced performance on the road, and charging will take longer. The long-term health of the battery will also be affected.
When coming to drive your car, give the batteries time to warm up. This won’t be as effective as winter mode, but it’ll make them last a little longer.
Before using the Kia e-Niro winter mode feature, read your owner’s manual. This contains everything you need to know, and you shouldn’t operate your EV without going through it.
You’ll find a PDF of the owner’s manual below.