Kia has launched a new app designed to make accessing the UK’s electric vehicle charging network easier for owners of its cars.
Available for owners of both electric and plug-in hybrid models, the KiaCharge service gives people the choice of two tariffs that offer access to around 13,900 charge points across the UK.
Kia says this covers around 68 per cent of public chargers and gives access to providers such as BP Pulse, Pod Point and Ionity from a single account, with plans to expand access throughout the year.
Services such as KiaCharge are useful because one of the sticking points of electric vehicle charging can be subscribing to the huge variety of providers, with various manufacturers beginning to offer similar solutions. Although most locations allow for contactless pay-as-you-go services, this often costs more.
The service also opens up continental travel to Kia’s electric vehicle owners, because the app gives access to 178,000 chargers in 28 other European countries without having to pay extra.
Paul Philpott, president and CEO of Kia Motors UK, said: “The availability and suitability of public charge points remains a perceived hurdle for many would-be electric car buyers.
“KiaCharge seeks to remedy this by providing a comprehensive, easy-to-use public charging service for our customers, accessible from a single account. This is a major step for Kia as we look for new ways to make EV ownership a more viable and stress-free option for many more drivers.”
The two tariffs are called Easy and Plus. The Easy tariff requires a £1.99 sign-on fee to receive an RFID card linked to your account, with each plug in costing 49p on most networks plus the per-kWh fee for that specific charger.
For those that use public chargers more regularly, the Plus tariff requires a £2.99 monthly fee but don’t have to pay to sign on or start a session. They are then charged per kWh at the charger, but receive a 15 per cent discount on this cost from most networks, excluding BP Pulse, Pod Point and Ionity.
All users can add a BP Pulse subscription that costs £7.85 per month and provides a 40 per cent discount at BP Pulse chargers. A similar add-on will be launched with Ionity later this year, once Kia’s next electric vehicle with faster charging capabilities is launched.
Kia owners can sign up for the service through the Kia Charge website.