Kia & Electrify America solve Niro charging fee issues
Electrify America announces agreement with Kia Motors America to offer ‘Kia Select,’ a new charging programme with optimised pricing for the all-electric Kia Niro on the DC fast-charging network of the VW subsidiary.
The charging scheme is an attempt to address billing issues faced by Kia Niro EV owners using the Electrify America network. These problems arise from teething problems with legislative and technical issues across the States generally. In other words, a lack of unified regulation and an “Eichrecht” calibrator law.
The two main issues include tiered pricing structures based on the kW charging rate that an electric car can theoretically utilise rather than the rate the car actually charges. Kia EV drivers were being charged far higher rates than other drivers, simply because their cars had a higher potential charging current capacity. The other problem is that charging is paid for by per minute, rather than per kW hours charged allowed in some states, but not in others.
Mike Moran, an Electrify America spokesperson, told Electrek that about half of US states do not allow charging to be priced by the kilowatt-hour — which is a more accurate way for EV drivers to pay for the electrical charge they receive.
Tesla, for example, has solved these issues by charging – not based on a theoretical maximum charging rate – but simply a higher fee of 26 cents per minute at a rate above 60 kW and half that price at a rate below 60 kW hours. This is significantly lower than the 69 cents per minute paid by Kia EV drivers on the Electrify America network before the ‘Kia Select’ solution.
Now both Hyundai and Kia EV drivers get the flat 35 cent rate by registering their VIN with Electrify America. In March, Electrify America had already made the same rate available to Hyundai EV drivers.
Michael Cole, president of Kia Motors America said: “We believe this value-priced program will encourage more consumers to take advantage of the newest, fastest EV charging technology available, ensuring the charging experience matches the fun-to-drive EV model our customers have come to know and love.”
The ‘Kia Select’ program is designed specifically for the unique DC charging characteristics of the model. Now in the United States, the Kia Select program is available for all 2019 and 2020 model year Niro EV owners and lessees and will continue in effect until 31 December 2020. The program will be re-evaluated at the end of 2020.