KiaCharge enables access to several of the UK’s largest charging networks including bp pulse, Pod Point, IONITY, Source London, Chargepoint, NewMotion, Char-gy, and ESB as well as several other networks and some regional services. Kia have also announced that it will work throughout 2021 to expand this coverage to several other networks.
The real bonus for Kia customers is the convenience that KiaCharge will bring. It can be used through a single account, rather than having multiple accounts, apps and cards for a variety of different charging networks. The use of these networks can be managed through a single app or a radio-frequency identification (RFID) card, making the whole process far more simplistic.
The service also includes more than 1,300 rapid connections, which provide charging speeds of over 50kW and can charge an electric vehicle from 20 – 80% in as little as 20 minutes. Rapid chargers are scattered across urban hubs and along major travel routes and play a vital part in encouraging EV adoption. Drivers of Kia’s fully electric vehicles the Soul EV andeE-Niro, along with their new fully electric saloon launching later this year, can make the most of rapid-charging capabilities under the scheme.
Created in partnership with Digital Charging Solutions, the service also enables zero-emission continental travel. Thanks to eRoaming, drivers can access more than 178,000 additional charging points across 28 other European countries without the need for additional contracts.
‘Easy’ and ‘Plus’
KiaCharged offers two flexible tariffs under the scheme. The ‘Easy’ tariff consists of a one-off payment of £1.99 to access the service and receive your RFID card. There are no monthly subscriptions fees, instead drivers will have to pay a 49p as a ‘session fee’ on top of the cost of the charge they draw (which is usually charged per kW used).
The ‘Plus’ differs slightly and is designed for those who rely more heavily on the public charging network. They pay a £2.99 monthly tariff with no ‘session fees’, and still pay per kW of charge used, but earn an additional 15% discount per kW from most networks (except bp pulse, Pod Point and IONITY).
Kiacharged users can easily switch between tariffs with just one month’s notice. They receive a single monthly invoice for using the service, rather than individual bills for each charge, allowing them to have a convenient overview of all their charging activity in one place.
Every user can also add a new or existing bp pulse bolt-on subscription to their KiaCharge account, costing an additional £7.85 per month. This subscription provides users with a discount of up to 40 per cent when charging within the bp pulse network of nearly 7,000 chargers, with a similar IONITY bolt-on tariff to be launched later in 2021.
Users of the KiaCharge app can see real-time information for individual networks or charging points included within the scheme, including pricing, availability, and technical information. They will be able to apply filters to locate the ideal station for them in a similar way to how Zap-Map works. Filters will include network operator, charging speeds, socket type and access method (App or RFID card).
The app has route planning as an additional feature to allow users to easily find the charging stations they are looking for. Speaking from experience, this will definitely come in handy when searching for charge points that you have not used before. The navigation integrates with the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay systems offered as standard in every Kia EV and PHEV, for maximum ease of navigation.
Kia become the first major manufacturer to launch a public charging access platform. There is undoubtedly a need for an aggregated platform allowing access to public charging networks. There are so many available now, requiring different apps and forms of access, that it is quite literally a no brainer to draw all of them in to one easy to use, simplistic platform.