"Steady-state" hybrid plasmas in DIII-D with zero surface loop voltage have been maintained for up to two current relaxation times using 3.4 MW of central electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD). In addition to driving ≈0.2 MA of plasma current, central ECCD leads to significant changes in Alfvén eigenmode (AE) activity and thermal transport. For neutral-beam-only heating, strong AE activity is observed that causes a ∼35% degradation in the neutron rate. With central ECCD this AE activity is suppressed, replaced by a bursty energetic particle mode that appears more benign as the neutron rate is closer to the classical value. The electron thermal diffusivity increases by ≈50% for 2.4 MW of ECCD compared to neutral-beam-only cases. Fortunately, the global thermal confinement factor remains the same (H98y2=1.4) as the higher thermal transport for PEC=2.4 MW hybrids is offset by the decreased fast ion transport resulting from AE suppression.