Kia is making life easier for electric car drivers with a new public charging network access service called KiaCharge.
Through one account, EV motorists can access almost 14,000 UK charging points – and nearly 180,000 more across 28 other EU countries.
Owners access the service through a KiaCharge smartphone app or a traditional RFID card.
Kia says the service will give owners direct access to almost seven in 10 UK public chargers, including those owned by:
- BP Pulse
- Pod Point
- Source London
More networks will be added to the KiaCharge service during 2021.
“The availability and suitability of public charge points remains a perceived hurdle for many would-be electric car buyers,’ said Kia UK president and CEO Paul Philpott
“KiaCharge seeks to remedy this by providing a comprehensive, easy-to-use public charging service for our customers, accessible from a single account.”
Kia says the service will make EV ownership a more viable and stress-free option.
KiaCharge: how it works
KiaCharge offers two tariffs: Easy and Plus.
Easy is aimed at light users. There is a one-off £1.99 charge to access the service and receive an RFID card.
There are no monthly fees: instead, a 49p ‘session fee’ is charged each time users plug in (except at BP Pulse and Pod Point).
They then pay per kWh of electricity, directly through the app.
The Plus option is for heavier users more reliant on public charging. There is a £2.99 monthly tariff – but no up-front or session fees.
Users again pay per kWh, and also get a 15 percent discount per kWh from many networks (except BP Pulse, Pod Point and Ionity).
There is a BP Pulse ‘bolt-on’ subscription for £7.85 a month, which gives a discount of up to 40 percent.
An Ionity bolt-on is coming later in the year, when Kia launches a new electric car battery – which will be able to use Ionity’s high-speed 800V chargers.
Meanwhile, the KiaCharge app gives real-time information for EV networks, including pricing and availability.
It can function as a route planner to find charging stations during a journey – and can be used through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.