Kia has launched what is claimed is the UK’s “most comprehensive” access to the UK’s electric vehicle charging network. KiaCharge allows users to access 13,900 UK charging points from one account, including those of BP Pulse, Pod Point, Ionity, Source London, Chargepoint, NewMotion, Carg-gy and ESB, as well as other regional services, and Kia said it covers more than two-thirds of the UK’s public charging infrastructure.
The figures include more than 1,300 rapid-charge points of at least 50kW, and also includes more than 178,000 charging points across 28 European countries via eRoaming.
The charging cost will depend on provider and level of KiaCharge tariff, with Easy and Plus levels. Easy has a one-off £1.99 charge to obtain the KiaCharge RFID card, and has no subscription fee but a 49p per charge session fee when users plug in, with the exception of BP Pulse and Pod Point, and users then paying per kWh of electricity according to the provider’s fees.
The Plus tariff is aimed at those relying more heavily on public charging, and costs £2.99 per month, with no up-front session fees. Users receive a 15% discount versus the Easy kWh charge, with the exception of BP Pulse, Pod Point and Ionity chargers.
Extra bolt-ons to BP Pulse and, later this year, Ionity accounts will also be offered.
Users can see real-time information on individual networks or charging points through the KiaCharge app, which also shows pricing, availability and technical information as well as route planning.
The programme is available to all existing and future owners of full electric and plug-in hybrid Kia models.
“The availability and suitability of public charge points remains a perceived hurdle for many would-be electric car buyers,” said Paul Philpott, President & CEO of Kia Motors UK. “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.”