I’m publishing a regular series of articles with the views of Australian EV owners about their EV ownership experience.
This will help fill an information gap as the majority of electric car news articles are about new car launches and there’s relatively little published about the longer term Australian ownership experience after you’ve paid for your electric car. Hopefully this shared information helps other Aussies make their own EV purchase decision.
If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to participate in this interview series by sharing your experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.
Over to Lindsay now to detail his EV ownership experience:
Like Davi Mai, who was interviewed by this site Electrifying Everything earlier this year about his Kia Niro EV GT-Line 2023 I have now owned a Kia Niro EV GT-Line 2023 for just over 3 months.
It’s my first EV and after looking at the Polestar 2 and the Tesla Model Y, my personal preference was the Niro and the fact that there was a brand new one available in the showroom that I could drive away instantly made the choice easier.
I was not looking at the cost when looking for an EV but more the practicality and innovation offered by various brands as well as driving range.
When fully charged it exceeds the 460km range claimed by KIA. I have driven 515km on a full charge before the battery went down to 7%.
But I never let the battery go below 20% as KIA recommends leaving the battery between 20% and 80% to prolong the battery life. Note that I am a conservative driver and not a lead foot.
It’s a great car to drive, very responsive (scary taking off in Sports Mode – I only drive in ECO mode as I like to keep my licence), comfortable and easily handles the bumps and potholes around the Central Coast.
I mostly use the i-pedal mode to drive which regens the battery faster and hence increases the range.
Like Davi, I wish Kia had included a memory button for the seat and a 360 degrees camera.
The tech inside is ahead of most new EVs and controls are well positioned and driver friendly and the HUD is clear and very good with the directions to destinations when using the in-built map, a great feature.
The car comes with Android Auto which I use to listen to my music and have access to messages and voice commands for phone calls and other features.
All round visibility is great and the safety features are awesome though the lane departure warning can get quite annoying. I usually turn that feature off before I start my trip.
The sunroof is a great feaure and can be used as a moon roof at night.
Driving on the freeway in smart cruise control mode is excellent and the car does not lose speed going up hill as some models do in cruise control.
It’s very economical to run compared to my previous ICE Kia Cerato and my first service (15000 KM) only cost $79.
Cargo space is very good and there’s also some storage up front where I usually keep the AC charging cable and a Type 2 cable should I need one on a trip.
Charging at home is cheap on my current electricity plan. It cost me $65 for the month of August compared to $550-$600 in fuel costs with my previous car.
Forgetting the upfront costs, Kia has nailed it when it comes to a mid sized EV with great technology and a great car to drive.
The Kia Connect app is great and you can monitor the charging level if you’re at a shopping centre.
There is also a fun feature in the key fob where you can remotely control the car backwards and forwards in a tight space.
By the way, the Niro EV GT-line could well be referred to as the Kia EV6’s little brother.
The dash is very similar but the car has a less sporty look and is less powerful than the EV6.
Feedback I have had from friends and family that have gone for a ride with me has been quite positive with some saying it’s better than some of the other brands they have been looking at.
The only thing other thing is my disappointment that Kia Australia does not provide a Niro EV tow bar as part of their official accessories.
I have found out that there is a company that specialises in bike racks for EVs. It is called EV Stealth Solutions.
They did an excellent job on my car and having a bike on the back of the car did not make any difference to the handling and performance of the car.