7.Testing the range and performance of Kia EVs Niro and Soul

Sorce code

Can I get 300 miles of range with a Kia EV?

Would I save money compared with a fossil fuel car?

My present vehicle is due for replacement, so its time to do research on what to replace it with.

There are some excellent reviews of EVs about, especially from Bjørn Nyland and from The fullychargedshow, and from those reviews I have picked out two EVs from Kia that really stand out as excellent and reliable vehicles at a price I can afford.

However none of those reviews focus on rural, small town and village driving.

So on this trip I am driving like I normally do on a mix of local roads with steep hills, twisty narrow roads and some lovely views.

Today I am driving a Kia e niro 2019 borrowed from Speedwell Kia in Paignton, South Devon in the UK. This has the same drive train and 64 kWh batteries as the 2020 model of e niro and Soul EV, so should give me a good idea of energy consumption for these type of roads.

I normally drive about 10,000 miles a year, with 75% of those journeys within 50 miles distance by road on small roads, but I also travel up to Bristol to run tutorials. Other occasional destinations such as Birmingham, Milton Keynes, London or Gatwick involve an overnight stop.

To maintain battery health it is best not to let the battery fall below 20% of charge. With a home charge you can safely go to 100% of charge, so you start each journey with 100% of charge. But charging from fast chargers it is best not to charge to above 80% - the charging rate can also slow down when you get above 80%

If we assume the total range for the Kia to be 250 miles, then 80% of that would be 200 miles from home. I can use Google maps to see where I can get to within 100 miles by road from home - leaving the other 100 miles to return.

And I can check where I can get with the  200 miles: Birmingham, Milton Keynes, London

I could charge at home with a 240 v 3 pin plug, AC single-phase charging up to 2.2kW, as I rarely go out two days in a row for long distances. With one of the best value tariffs available that would cost 13.808p per kWh

Or if I installed a 7.2 kW charger I could set it to charge when Octopus energy supplies electricity at 5p kWh

If we use the figure of 4 miles / kWh, my annual 10 000 miles uses 2 500 kWh at a cost of £125 with Octopus, or £345 on a good standard tariff.

Car insurance depends a lot on where you live and your personal history. I have been quoted a price for insuring a Kia EV that is very similar to my present vehicle, so I will the same insurance costs for both EV and fossil fuel for this comparison.

Annual service costs can be fixed at the time of purchase. For the 2020 Soul EV this is £80 a year

Taxation at the moment for the EV is zero as the purchase cost is under £40 000.

Another important aspect of the total cost is depreciation. Typically a vehicle loses about 20% of its value each year. However I think that with suppliers unable to meet demand for EVs, depreciation for EVs with a good reputation and a good sized battery will depreciate at a lower rate. I think that as more and more of the population see the advantages of EVs, fossil fuel cars will depreciate at higher rates.

A further point to keep in mind is that long term electricity supplies are likely to be more stable and come down in price as more offshore wind comes online. Fossil fuel supplies are much more volatile and at risk from regional conflicts. Taxation of fossil fuels is likely to increase under pressure to phase them out sooner rather than later. Fossil fuel prices are only likely to increase with time.

So when I add up the costs of depreciation, electricity or fuel, tax and service for an EV and compare with the figures for a fossil fuel car with a similar spec, I find that each year the EV costs me about £1000 less than the fossil fuel car.

Now at the end of the journey I can see the performance of this Kia Niro EV. 4.9 miles per kWh - a range of over 300 miles for rural hilly driving! My saving could be even better than I thought.