Kia EV6 – Can we drive the car of the year this weekend?

Our choice of car fell on the Kia EV6 in its power version, that is, with a single engine with 229 hp, powered by a usable battery with a capacity of 77.4 kWh. On paper, it offers, according to the WLTP cycle, an official combined autonomy of 528 km and an average consumption of 16.5 kWh/100 km, and can also be DC charged via the CCS connector from 10 to 80% in 18 minutes. , capable of collecting up to 239 kW. Numbers that place it among the most efficient modern electric models on the market, but which should nevertheless be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, we will mainly drive on the motorway, without a doubt, this is the most greedy road profile due to its high and stable speed, and the temperature is -2 to 2 degrees. So many factors that will have a big impact, as we shall see.

On this occasion, we decided to take care of the greenery by leaving Paris with a full battery in the direction of Villesheneuve, a small town lost in the depths of the Rhone, 489.1 km from the capital. There are already many of the latest electric vehicles that offer tailored navigation, list charging points, and suggest routes tailored to them to get to your destination (we will make a big trip with one of them very soon), but we decided to use free apps. Our preparation is to run a route on two of them, ChargeMap and ABRP, before leaving, and compare the results, both of which complement each other very well, the first one allowing us to determine the limits accessible with the map of the same name, no doubt , with the largest number of charging networks. We also prioritize the most powerful terminals, which makes us prefer Ionity terminals, which can reach 350 kW. Finally, we decided, to further complicate matters, to add one last parameter: the inability to recharge at the destination.

On the way back we will take the A6 and we will be offered two stops, the first one is at Aire de la Réserve, in Precy/Vrin where there is an Ionity. Yes, only 131.4 km covered. Why ? Because the next one, located in the Macon St. Albain service area, is 251.8 km further, and we cannot ask Kia to go 383.2 km at a time on the regulator at 130 km/h in the middle of winter. But the stated break will be very short: 6 minutes to go from 66 to 82%, which is enough for a trip to the bathroom or coffee. Why 82 and not 100%? Because this is one of the secrets of optimizing your electric trips: you charge what you need to get to the next terminal and you avoid exceeding 80% as much as possible, the power curve usually drops from there, duration and bill increase, payment too minute.

A small full charge before driving next to a competitor who worries much less about refilling it.

Because yes, the charging power claimed by the manufacturers is in fact peak, achieved under absolutely ideal conditions in terms of outside temperature and the ideal working condition of the terminals. So it’s actually more wishful thinking. At what point? The highest figure that we will see over the weekend was 151 kW. Thus far from the 239 kW claimed in the technical sheet. In addition or however, it should be remembered that if this power peak is often highlighted on the technical sheets, this only gives a vague idea of ​​the time we will spend at the terminal. Some cars do have a less flattering figure, but manage to maintain higher plateaus than others, thanks to better temperature control through battery preheating (which Kia doesn’t), for example, which ultimately results in shorter breaks.

But back to the protected area. Instead of the 66% charge announced by the applications, fortunately always pessimistic, we get 69% at an average consumption of 19.1 kWh / 100 km, but in fact we need 6 minutes to reach 82%. Nothing outrageous, but we’ve barely covered 130 km since we left, and there’s still a long way to go. Charging cost: €5.40 with our ChargeMap Pass.

Kia EV6 - Can we drive the car of the year this weekend?

The often criticized reliability of the terminals did not cause us concern.

Next step: Aire de Macon-St Albain at a distance of 251.8 km. It’s time to take full advantage of the comfort of the EV6: the electric car is extraordinarily comfortable in the city, but also on the motorway, with a particularly pleasant silence and lack of vibrations. In this way, the kilometers pass in a completely relaxing way before it’s time for a second break without feeling much need. But from the first time, not far two hours passed, and the charge remained 22% against the declared applications of 18. It remains to go only 106 km, but, as we said above, without cargo at the destination, we must already plan the way back. Therefore, we must indicate Vilshenev as a stop where we will spend the night, and the starting point as a destination for the return.

Located almost halfway between Lyon and Paris on the A6 motorway, Locheres rest area, 218.8 km from our night base, will be our only stop on the way back. Therefore, it is necessary to load enough into the Macon to be able to drive a total of 324.8 km before the next load. Crossing the data from our two apps allows us to determine that it will be necessary to go to 90% of the charge, but, for fear of possible losses when parking at night on a street with a declared temperature of -10 degrees, I make a personal decision to go up to 95% in order to have some fat. as they say. Announced 27 minutes of waiting turns into 36 minutes. Bill: 32.20 euros.

Kia EV6 - Can we drive the car of the year this weekend?

Ionity Improvement Suggestion: Increase the size of the canopy over the bollards to also protect the vehicle and passengers.

After 106 km we arrived at our destination for the night. According to claims, we should have arrived with 74% battery left, but we end up with 79% at 19.4kWh/100km. Travel time one way: 6 hours 4 minutes to cover 489.1 km of motorways and national roads at maximum speeds and traffic jams starting from Paris. How long would it take you to have a vehicle that would allow you to make the same trip in one go? 42 minutes less.

After a restful sleep, the sun rises and it’s time to leave. Despite the frosty windshield and my prejudice, the EV6’s charge didn’t move one percent. It leaves again in the other direction, towards Paris, with the only stop, as we planned, in the Locher district at a distance of 218.8 km. We achieve this with 11% remaining battery power at an average consumption of 19.9 kWh/100 km and will remain so until the end. Remaining distance to Paris: 273.9 km. This time around, our apps are telling us to boost the charge to 85% not only to get to our destination, but to save a few more electrons to bring the EV6 back to Kia the next day. It is during this charge that we will see that the highest power of 151 kW approaches 50%, and it will take 35 minutes to reach the famous 85% against the claimed 25 minutes. Bill for 31.10 euros.

Kia EV6 - Can we drive the car of the year this weekend?

The only feedback has been overshadowed by the arrival of the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric, which has gone through its full testing phase.

The last stage is uneventful and we arrive in the capital after 5 hours and 38 minutes on the road, including 35 minutes of loading, therefore with 19% of the remaining capacity.

Let’s sum it up: on our weekends, switching to electric traction will cost us an additional 1 hour and 17 minutes compared to, let’s imagine, a diesel car that would be able, like many others, to cover these almost 1000 km in one trip without refueling, with In this case, the driver behind the wheel ignores the recommendations on road safety to take a break at least every two hours, as many of them are in the comments to articles on the Internet. In terms of budget, focusing solely on “fuel” we spent €68.70 with almost a fifth of the battery still charged. Going back to our good old diesel road car, equivalent in size and power to an EV6, let’s assume that its average consumption is 6 l/100 km, add to that the average price of 1.72 €/l at the time of this writing and we get the figure of 101 € .

Kia EV6 - Can we drive the car of the year this weekend?

Apart from the Mégane, we didn’t have to share territory with other electric cars. To try again next summer.

The length of the article may indicate that this is still a very difficult adventure, so let’s briefly outline the procedure to follow before embarking on an electric weekend: specify destinations in two planning applications, or a full cycle if there is no possibility of charging at the resort. make sure the terminals you choose along the route are compatible with the charging cards you have, and then follow the instructions. The most suspicious can check in advance on ChargeMap, according to the comments recently left by other users, whether the terminals are working and … that’s it.