EV Life | November 15, 2018
Everything You Need to Know About Charging the Kia Niro EV and PHEV
The Kia Niro EV is an all-electric crossover utility vehicle with DC fast charging, also available in a plug-in hybrid version. Already selling well in Korea, it’s coming out in the U.S. later this year. The size makes it “a good choice for families despite its small footprint,” according to one reviewer, who also noted “the car offers adult-friendly rear seats and respectable cargo volume.” The Niro EV joins the Niro PHEV, on the market since late 2017, and the Kia Soul EV in Kia’s electric lineup. In this post, we’ll tell you all you need to know about how to charge these Kia vehicles at home, work, around town and on the road.
|Kia Niro EV||Kia Niro PHEV|
|All-electric Range (battery size)||Targeting up to 240 miles (301 miles per Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure), 64-kWh battery pack in the U.S. (39.2-kWh battery pack rated at 150 miles in other markets)||26 miles (8.9 kWh)|
|Level 1 Charging (120V)||60 hours from empty||Overnight (~6 hours)|
|Level 2 Charging (240V)||Under 10 hours||About 2.5 hours|
|DC Fast Charging (SAE Combo connector)||80% in 54 minutes (100 kW charger)||N/A|
|MPGe**||TBD||105 MPGe combined|
|Notable Features||201 horsepower, 291 lb-ft. of torque, 0-62 mph in 7.8 seconds; optional automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and active lane control||Standard remote climate control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking|
|Powertrain Limited Warranty||TBD||10-year/100,000-mile warranty|
|Awards and Recognition||TBD||IIHS Top Safety Pick+, Residual Value Award for Alt-Fuel Vehicles (ALG)|
*Kia has not published an official MSRP, but most sources expect the Niro EV to be priced around $35,000.
**MPGe or miles per gallon gasoline equivalent measures the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed. It’s used instead of miles per gallon for electric and hybrid vehicles.
To EV or to PHEV?
Whether you want to go with the Kia Niro EV or PHEV depends on your personal driving habits and preferences. If you’re game for a bit of fast charging on long trips and topping off your battery at home, work or around town a few times a week (with 240 miles of range, you likely won’t need to charge every day), the all-electric Niro should be able to meet your needs perfectly. If you absolutely want to be able to drive hundreds of miles at the drop of a hat and just want to go electric for around-town driving, the PHEV may be right for you. Whatever you pick, any amount of driving electric helps save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Charging for the Kia Niro
Both the EV and PHEV are super easy to charge at home. The EV can add miles a bit faster, getting a full 240-mile charge in under 10 hours using a 240V Level 2 charger like ChargePoint Home, while the PHEV’s smaller battery means it can add 26 miles in about 2.5 hours with a Level 2 charger. It’s also easy, if slower, to charge the Niro using the Level 1 charger that comes with the car: that will take a few days for the EV and about 6 hours for the PHEV.
Charging the Kia Niro PHEV and EV at Work and Around Town
More and more workplaces are offering EV charging as an amenity for employees. If your company doesn’t yet, ask about the option and you may soon enjoy the convenience of charging up while you work the day away. While you may not have noticed them if you don’t already drive an EV, there are often charging spots at restaurants, stores and other places you spend time. Charging at work or around town is a great way to keep your EV topped off or your PHEV running on electricity. Many PHEV drivers quickly discover that they prefer to keep their cars running on electricity instead of using gas: it’s more efficient and usually less expensive.
For Level 2 charging at work or around town, the Niro uses the universal J1772 connector, which is supported at every ChargePoint Level 2 charging station. Like charging at home, the best part about charging at work or around town is that you can go about your day while charging, instead of waiting around for your EV to refuel. You can discover places to charge near you in the ChargePoint app and just tap your phone on any station to start charging.
Fast Charging the Kia Niro EV
Fast charging is perfect for adding mileage quickly during long trips or when you really need a charge. While fast charging is not available on the Niro PHEV, because it has a gas engine for long trips, the Niro EV has the SAE Combo (CCS) fast charging connector and can add about 80 percent of battery capacity (192 miles) in 54 minutes at a 100 kW charger.
It’s simple to find fast charging spots and check the cost of fast charging in the ChargePoint app. If you select the Niro EV as your vehicle when setting up your ChargePoint account, the app will only show you fast charging spots that work with your EV. Once you find a station, you can check the estimated cost to charge in the app, then start a fast charge just like any other charge: simply tap your phone on a ChargePoint Express station, then plug in.
How Much Will It Cost to Charge the Kia Niro?
To get a general sense of how much you might save, we've found that, on average, it costs just $4.80 to go 100 miles in the Kia Niro EV. In the Kia Niro PHEV, it costs, on average, $1.60 to go all 26 miles of its range.***
Keep in mind that most ChargePoint stations are free to use, so you won’t always be paying to charge. Many businesses offer charging for free or at their cost because they want you to visit. The cost of charging can vary between different EV charging stations and networks. ChargePoint station owners set their own charging and parking fees, and you can always check station details in the app for the latest pricing information.
The cost to charge at home will vary depending on how much you drive and how much electricity costs in your area (and if you can get a special EV charging rate plan). Get a sense of how much it will cost you to drive the Niro EV or PHEV using our EV savings calculator.
The Soul EV, Niro EV and Niro PHEV are just the beginning. By 2025, the company plans to put out five hybrid cars, five plug-in hybrid EVs, five EVs and one fuel-cell EV.
Are you excited about the Niro? Don’t forget to sign up for ChargePoint when you get yours.
***Cost to drive X miles = (X miles / electric range of vehicle) * size of battery pack * cost of electricity (average $0.18/kWh on paid charging sessions on ChargePoint)