recharging costs and autonomy over a long journey of 850 km

The car of the year, the Kia EV6, has just become available in a more affordable version, with a 58 kWh battery. We’ll examine what the latter can do in the particular exercise of long journeys, and see where it stacks up against the others.

Source: Kia

The Kia EV6 is one of those electric cars that offers respectable autonomy, with big promises: being able to travel easily thanks to a very fast charge. We will therefore examine this in detail using our reference routes, as we did for the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion and Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie.

The rules remain the same as usual: the start is at 100% battery, the finish at 20%, and the vehicle must run at those limit speeds. We will remember the characteristics of the vehicle (autonomy, battery, charging power) and compare them with the reality on the ground.

By taking a look at how the Kia EV6 58kWh’s long journeys fare, you’ll be able to compare it to the other vehicles we’ve already met in this exercise to see which best suits your needs, and which will come to you first good port with the least possible restrictions.

Features of the Kia EV6 58 kWh

Freshly available to order, the Kia EV6 58 kWh has a WLTP range of 394 kilometers. As you will see later, do not imagine traveling almost 400 kilometers on the highway with, autonomy that melts like snow in the sun when you drive at 130 km/h.

If its maximum charging power of around 150 kW is not the most impressive, its charging curve is much more, with a filling of 10 to 80% battery in 18 minutes under optimal conditions, i.e. an average charging power of 135 kW. This is the major advantage of its battery architecture with a voltage of 800 volts, and it is what gives it a significant advantage over other vehicles in the same range.

Kia EV6

To plan our reference trips, we allow ourselves to use different fast charging networks, which turn out to be the most convenient between Ionity, Fastned, Totalenergies and Tesla Superchargers, which are open to all.

As usual, A Better Route Planner is used to plan journeys with the standard reference consumption of the Kia EV6 58 kWh in rear-wheel drive version. Kia’s electric crossover will have a lot to do in this exercise, since its consumption at high speed is quite high and that there are still certain axes that are not very well provided with fast charging stations.

Route planning

In fairness to the various EVs in this series, we start trips with 100% battery, considering that you have to pay for this filling at the average price per kWh in France, currently at 0.17 euros. The 58 kWh battery in the Kia EV6 then represents €9.86. We take these costs into account when we take stock of each major trip.

Our two reference journeys are intended to simulate on the one hand a summer holiday, and on the other a long winter journey. Initially, it will be a matter of connection Orléans to Arcachon, a total of approximately 530 kilometers. Then we focus on 850 kilometers in winter conditions, which separates Caen from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.

For the summer route, the parameters shown in A Better Route Planner are as follows: 25 degrees Celsius outside temperature, no wind, arrival at a charging station with 10% battery left and arrival at destination at 20%. For the winter trip, it’s pretty much the same, except for the weather, where we chose a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius.

The balance for the different routes

Two charges minimum to drive 500 kilometers

Kia EV6 58 kWh asks at least two charges to travel the 510 to 530 kilometers that separates Arcachon from Orléans. The first option stays on the highway from start to finish, requiring three charging stops.

The first charge is at the Ionity station in Poitiers, 200 kilometers after departure and takes just 9 minutes. In fact, charging the Kia EV6 is generally very fast: going from 14% to 50% battery is done in less than 10 minutes at a cost of 14.40 euros.

The second charge of this journey is only 80 kilometers further, at the Poitou-Charentes rest area, again at Ionity, a total of 21 minutes and a price of 26.80 euros. Finally, a 13-minute charge at Totalenergies in Saint-André-de-Cubzac is necessary to reach your destination with 20% battery. With Totalenergies’ pricing per minute (0.65 euros per minute), the price of this 24 kWh load is 8.45 euros.

When counting the starting load in the home, the total price for the summer trip is 60 euros in this first case. The expected average consumption is 234 Wh/km: the total travel time is 5 hours and 30 minutes (43 minutes of charging, 4 hours and 46 minutes of driving).

The other option is to go through Angoulême and its Tesla Supercharger, open to all (27 minutes of charging for 24.13 euros), after charging at the Ionity station in Poitiers, as was the case for the highway journey (11 minutes for 18 euros ).

This second option thus only requires 38 minute charging in two times, to be able to travel 510 kilometers for a total travel time of 5 hours and 32 minutes. In terms of cost, it is lower than the first option with one a total of 52 euros. Consumption too, as it is planned for 215 Wh/km.

A winter trip that requires concessions

If the summer route seen above was not complicated after all, we will see that the long winter route connecting Caen with Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is not easy aboard the Kia EV6 58 kWh. Five recharges are required, but beyond that, some portions require the driver to reduce his speed, otherwise it is impossible to collect the next charger.

The influence of the outside temperature does not seem to be negligible in the case of the EV6, since the first charge 190 kilometers from the start does not require exceeding 110 km/h to comply with the imposed restrictions (arrival of at least 10% battery).

Twenty-six minutes of recharging at Totalenergies (€16.90) later, direction Aire de la Réserve on the A6, requiring a long charge at Ionity before departure (37 minutes for €35.20). This is the only charging that exceeds 30 minutes, but despite this, care must be taken not to exceed 120 km/h to reach the next available charger in this direction of the highway: the Tesla Supercharger in Beaune.

Kia EV6 58 kWh Grand Voyages 3
Source: Abetterrouteplanner

Only 11 minutes of charging are needed (13 euros) to reach the next Ionity station, in Mâcon, where a large 25-minute charge awaits us (28.80 euros). The last charge of the journey must be made at the Tesla Supercharger in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois for 15 minutes (€16.60), which should allow you to arrive in Chamonix with 20% of the battery left.

In total these are almost two hours of charging which are necessary, five stopsfor a cost – including home charging – which is close 120 euros. The journey time including taxes comes to just ten hours for these 850 kilometres. The estimated consumption is 268 Wh/km, which would correspond to a theoretical autonomy of just 215 kilometers, obviously far from the promises of the WLTP cycle.

Consumption, cost of recharging and autonomy

We summarize costs and charging times (including home charging) in the table below. As we go through our examples, you can visualize where the vehicle you’re interested in ranks relative to the others on a similar journey.

Vehicle Summer trip costs Charging time for summer trip Total summer travel time
Tesla Model 3 Drive €36 – €49 31 min 5 h 09 min
Tesla Model 3 Long Autonomy €31 – €45 13-25 min 4 hours 56 minutes
Kia EV6 58kWh 52 – 60 € 38-43 min 5 hours 30 minutes
BMW i4 €48 – €58 22-37 min 5 hours 11 minutes
Hyundai Ioniq 5 €72 36 min 5 hours 16 minutes

Vehicle Price for winter travel Charging time for winter trip Total winter travel time
Tesla Model 3 Drive €102 1 hour 42 minutes 9:16 am
Tesla Model 3 Long Autonomy €101.3 1 hour 02 minutes 8:27
Kia EV6 58kWh €120 1 hour 54 minutes 9 h 59 min
BMW i4 €147 1 hour 32 minutes 9 h 08 min
Hyundai Ioniq 5 €145 1 hour 29 minutes 9:14 am

Conclusion

The big summer trip we have chosen brings a price per 100 kilometers between 10.20 and 11.30 euros, which is close to a thermal vehicle that consumes around five liters per 100 kilometers. This may seem high for an electric vehicle, but unfortunately this is the reality of long journeys today, where fast charging prices are sky high.

In winter, with 120 euros for 850 kilometers traveled, we arrive at one rate of 14.10 euros per 100 kilometers, which, however, can be optimized a little. An offer like Ionity Passport actually makes it possible to go from the price of 0.69 euros to 0.35 euros per kWh, but it will require at least 635 kWh per year to be charged for it to be worth the price (i.e. two round trips of approximately 1000 kilometers), otherwise the price of the subscription (215.88 euros per year) cannot be compensated .

test-kia-ev6

With its small 58 kWh battery, The Kia EV6 should be compared to the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion in our pursuit of long journeys; the American still manages to do better than the Korean in both summer and winter.

In fact, where it took only 31 minutes for the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion and between 36 and 49 euros to travel the 530 kilometers between Orléans and Arcachon, it takes between 38 and 43 minutes for the Kia EV6 58 kWh, with a price of between 52 and 60 Euro.

For the winter trip, the conclusion is the same: 102 euros and 1h42 charging for the Model 3 Propulsion, against 120 euros and 1h54 charging for the EV6 58 kWh. Despite its much better charging curve, the Kia EV6 58 kWh does not catch up to its higher consumption and even ranks behind one of its biggest long-haul competitors.

It would be possible to optimize charging times, but probably not significantly enough, by agreeing to arrive with a few percent of battery at each fast charging station. However, this involves taking more risks, which will sometimes be difficult to accept, especially in winter.

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