When the battery got to full charge the car automatically switched to AUTO mode. That was the only mode available. With a full battery going downhill, regen was also shut down as applying brakes showed no spinning regen symbol. Going uphill I used EV later as I wanted the ICE to turn on. Whenever I've driven in AUTO mode on the highway the car will eat up the HVB until zero and then switch to hybrid/ ICE operation. I was trying to see if the long downhill run would let me recharge the HVB to full. I think in AUTO on the downhill run with its occasional uphill would have depleted the battery trying to maintain the speed limit(65) and keeping up with traffic. I am not against using the ICE on highway runs as all my local driving is EV. I am always interested in learning new ways to extend the my EV driving with this vehicle. On my next airport run, 15 miles from the house,on a highway at 55mph, I am going to try driving in AUTO mode and see how that works. I appreciate everyone's valuable info in making this vehicle the best driving experience!!!
Yes, it depends on just when you topped off the battery going downhill. If it was near the bottom then you would only want to switch to auto on the uphill portion for a very short period of time.
If you topped off the battery halfway down, then you'd want to allow it to use the battery going up for a longer period of time. The highest efficiency goal being to reach 100% on the battery just at the point where you're going to need power again.
I've been playing with mine a bit more as well. I've generally always just tried to get the best efficiency and used the battery up first unless there was a time where it made sense otherwise.
Last week I tried several more common routes to work focusing on more of a "normal" drive in EV instead of trying to be most efficient. Though that's still limited by keeping the battery output below about 3 bars. I've found that if I ask for around 3 bars or more from the battery for around 30-60 seconds it will turn on the ICE just about no matter what.
Anyway, I can go about 12 miles over dirt roads at speeds more like 30-50mph or about 13 miles on hill pavement at about 55mph, or about 15 miles on the highway at about 70mph.
All 3 resulted in about 125MPGe, the 13 and 15 mile routes take about the same amount of time, but the 12 mile one takes a little longer. Battery remaining is notably more on the non-highway routes.
Then Friday I started trying the opposite and hitting EV later when I head to work. Which means I start at 100%, EV later only lets you use up to 95%. I've seen it reach as low as 88% with the 95% set point. Doing that results in about 50 or 56mpge for the shorter 2 routes.
Tried one return trip on EV now with a full charge. That 14ish mile trip resulted in 1% remaining when I get to the top of the hill my house lives on. Got back to about 2 or 3% down to the driveway. Also the first time I've heard a cooling fan running up in the engine compartment while only using EV and no AC.
Am curious to see how the highway route works in this configuration. Pretty much sure it will run out of battery in the last few miles before home. Well, actually I'm sure it will kick in the ICE anyway if I just set the cruise or try to get it to accelerate with any rate of speed up the first hill leaving town. It just takes too much power.