Sport Car

Taking the Kia EV6 on a Actual-World, Chilly-Climate Mountain Journey

  • Driving the Kia EV6 on this winter street journey was most satisfying, however the charging expertise was disappointing. We found a fundamental fact about public EV charging stations: A lot of them do not work.
  • Heading from San Francisco to Reno—uphill by way of the chilly Sierras—required charging ahead of anticipated as a result of the steep grade and chilly temps meant depleted vary. However heading again downhill was straightforward peasy.
  • The EV6 expenses fairly shortly to 8o%, however that final 20% requires persistence. When carried out, we had been charged $19.55 for 31.845 kilowatt-hours. That involves about $0.61/kWh—inexpensive than an equal quantity of gasoline.

    Since American electric-vehicle homeowners are likely to have residence chargers for his or her machines, the query of EV operation utilizing solely public charging stations would not come up as usually as it would. On prime of that, winter climate cuts down EV vary. What’s it like to move out on a street journey over the Sierras in freezing climate, with only a 70-mile vary cushion between place to begin and vacation spot and relying solely on public chargers? I got down to study these items with a 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD.

    Taking the Kia EV6 on a Actual-World, Chilly-Climate Mountain Journey

    Murilee Martin

    I might had a 2021 Kia Niro EV (pictured above) to overview within the San Francisco Bay Space final yr, however I did not get the possibility to take it on the lengthy journeys I might deliberate. I appreciated driving it rather a lot and its near-300-mile vary proved comforting as I hit the junkyards of the East Bay for my car-graveyard historic analysis.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    I made a decision that I might head again to the Bay Space, go to household, and go on an enormous junkyard-scouring expedition up the Interstate 80 hall, culminating in an in a single day keep in The Greatest Little Metropolis within the World and a on line casino sports-book wager on a World Collection sport.

    I requested Kia for one more Niro, however all they’d obtainable that week was a rear-wheel-drive EV6. No drawback, I advised them.

    I have been writing about my experiences driving EVs across the electron-driver-friendly Bay Space for near a decade now, beginning with the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Tesla Mannequin S and persevering with by way of the years (tip: if you happen to attempt to {photograph} a Chevy Bolt subsequent to the Tesla manufacturing facility, Tesla safety staffers will come after you), and each a type of EVs got here with an adapter to permit charging with strange 120-volt AC wall-outlet energy.

    2022 kia ev6 charging port

    Murilee Martin

    I keep on the outdated household homestead once I go to the area, and I cost EVs in a single day there with a 12-gauge extension twine plugged right into a 20-amp out of doors outlet. The EV6 would not include such an adapter, so solely chargers delivering 240-volt AC and up will gas this automotive.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    No sweat! I knew of an EVgo public charging station at a shopping mall a mile or so from my mother’s home, geared up with fast-charging CCS connectors, so I went over to prime off the batteries. There have been two chargers there and one was open, so I plugged proper in.

    evgo charging station display

    Murilee Martin

    It is fairly fast to get to 80% cost, however that final 20% requires some persistence. Once I was carried out, I noticed that I might been charged $19.55 for 31.845 kilowatt-hours. That involves about $0.61/kWh, which was a lot greater than the typical $0.22/kWh charged to residence customers within the metropolis of Alameda.

    Certainly one of my mid-Eighties Civics ate a entrance axle throughout a sketchy nighttime downhill drive in snow.

    It is nonetheless cheaper per mile pushed than gasoline on the 61-cent value and at California gasoline costs in early November, however not by as a lot as I might like (extra on that later on this article).

    Why drive to Reno from the Bay, apart from all the nice automotive graveyards alongside I-80? I spent a lot of the early Nineties by way of early 2000s driving to Reno in varied more-or-less-hooptie autos. I might all the time convey alongside some digital camera gear and shoot some photographs.

    reno gamblers in 1992

    Murilee Martin

    I might get an inexpensive room at a on line casino lodge, lay down a few low-buck bets on video games on the sports activities e-book, then take pleasure in free drinks and snacks whereas documenting the scene on a wide range of modified movie cameras.

    pinhole camera photo in reno casino

    Murilee Martin

    This was a time of experimentation with selfmade dual-camera 3D rigs and pinhole cameras for me, in addition to a cause to shake down low-cost Japanese automobiles I might purchase on the San Francisco towed-cars auctions and flip for a revenue after making wanted repairs. Here is a late-Nineties Reno on line casino pinhole picture on 35mm; I’ve since moved on to medium-format pinhole cameras constituted of Camry aspect mirrors.

    gamblers in reno, 1999

    Murilee Martin

    I’ve an entire collection of movie images of dispirited, cleaned-out Reno gamblers from that interval; sometime I am going to have an artwork exhibit entitled The Faces of Defeat.

    driving 1988 toyota hilux to reno in 1993

    Murilee Martin

    My buddy (now brother-in-law) Jim had a bulletproof 1988 Toyota Truck with four-on-the-floor and rear-wheel-drive (sure, the official mannequin identify for the US-market Hilux actually was “Truck” at the moment) and sufficient sports activities information to make sensible choices on betting traces, so we might be a part of up and drive his truck (or one among my Civics, Tercels, or Sentras) on some Reno journeys.

    interstate 80 onramp near auburn california

    Murilee Martin

    We might had some actual automotive adventures through the dozens of instances we took that Reno journey over time, particularly in winter.

    The climb as much as the notorious Donner Summit has some car-killing grades. Climate will be fiercely scorching in summer time and apocalyptically snowy in winter, and California drivers display a lethal mixture of inattention and aggression that makes each mile thrilling.

    The EV6 has cool-looking fender bulges and thick pillars—all of which obscure your view.

    Certainly one of my mid-Eighties Civics ate a entrance axle throughout a sketchy nighttime downhill drive in snow on one journey, and we narrowly averted numerous crashes and spinouts attributable to drivers who believed that every one wheel-drive means you’ll be able to go 85 mph in a blizzard.

    Jim and I agreed that four- and all-wheel-drive was for the weak (my newest automotive acquisition, an AWD-equipped JDM Subaru Sambar kei van, has softened my stance on the topic), and so we might all the time convey tire chains, full rain fits, heavy gloves, and a great ground jack alongside on our journeys (I have to admit that I additionally put in junkyard 4WD emblems on FWD Toyota Tercel wagons, as a result of the CHP will be overly strict about chain-up necessities when there is a quarter-inch of the white stuff on the bottom; don’t do this your self).

    installing tire chains on 1988 toyota hilux pickup

    Murilee Martin

    When it grew to become needed to put in tire chains, we by no means needed to pay the chain monkeys to assist us with our load; we might go well with up, jack up the car, and throw on the chains in a matter of a minute or two. It was all very Method One crew-ish.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    So, there was the plan: I might decide Jim up on the East Bay pad he shared with my sister within the morning of November 4 (the day of World Collection Recreation 6). We might hit a number of of the boneyards east of Sacramento, get lunch, and haul uphill to the Nevada line from there. As soon as in Reno, we might keep in a pleasant room on the Silver Legacy on line casino lodge, the place we might been advised there was free in a single day charging for the EVs of company who received valet parking (extra on that later). Sure, we might be excessive rollers. Whales!

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    Since I had the rear-wheel-drive EV6 and the forecast known as for an opportunity of snow on our route, we introduced alongside tire chains and rain gear (however no ground jack). What’s it like driving an EV with tire chains? We by no means received an opportunity to make use of them.

    2022 kia ev6 interior

    Murilee Martin

    The inside of the EV6 will get a thumbs-up from us. It is roomy, the supplies look like high quality stuff, and the electrical powertrain and slippery physique make the trip soothingly quiet even at maybe-beyond-the-speed-limit freeway speeds.

    I wasn’t ready for simply how briskly our predicted-range-to-actual-distance unfold would shrink.

    Acceleration from the 225 hp/258 lb-ft electrical motor was spectacular in Sport mode, a lot stronger than I assumed these numbers ought to recommend. I want Kia had seen match to permit full software of torque from a standing begin, for stoplight drag races, however you do not get all that torque immediately off the road (if I needed to guess the explanation why, I might say the sudden software of massive electrical torque requires stronger axle {hardware} than Kia needed to make use of).

    2022 kia ev6 rear seats

    Murilee Martin

    We simply used the again seat to retailer our gear, however there’s undoubtedly room right here for 2 full-sized adults to sit down in consolation (and three abreast can trip right here, in the event that they like one another).

    2022 kia ev6 camera view

    Murilee Martin

    My complaints concerning the EV6 expertise boil down to 2 issues: touchscreen interface and driver visibility. There is a maddening synaptic delay between selecting an merchandise on the touchscreen and one thing occurring, as all of us skilled with sluggish residence computer systems within the Darkish Ages of the Nineties and in a while with early smartphones.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    I might image the gears turning (and, I am guessing right here from my years working within the software program enterprise, plenty of kludgery between generations of code and/or {hardware} used over time in varied Hyundai interfaces) contained in the poor overworked laptop. The HVAC interface will get puzzling, too, although you’d type that out quick sufficient if you happen to owned this automotive. Not a dealbreaker, however in 2022 I anticipate UIs to be fast and intuitive.

    2022 kia ev6 wheel

    Murilee Martin

    Then there’s the issue of out of doors visibility from the driving force’s seat, particularly when parking. Probably the most essential guidelines for a automotive author with a press car is by no means curb-rash an alloy wheel, and this will get to be traumatic when parking in an city space the place you need to get as near the curb as doable to keep away from getting sideswiped by Everclear-swilling yahoos driving primered-out Stanza Altimas rolling on three different-size space-saver spares and one studded snow tire (welcome to the Bay Space!).

    Nonetheless, we weren’t wired and the EV6 is a really, very good machine for lengthy journeys.

    The EV6 has cool-looking fender bulges and mean-looking thick pillars—all of which obscure your view—and I discovered it nearly unattainable to line the automotive up precisely parallel with the curb and inside an inch or so (even with the assistance of the numerous outside-view cameras, which do not get down-to-the-inch decision). This may not matter in any respect if you happen to by no means park in high-vehicle-attrition city areas, in fact, nevertheless it drove me nuts.

    junkyard cars photographed by murilee martin in california and nevada in november of 2022

    Murilee Martin

    Now that I’ve gotten the actual automotive overview portion of this text out of the way in which—and I might like to precise my respect for my colleagues who deal with that process like bosses every single day of the yr, as a result of it is like pulling enamel for me—we’ll get again to the Junkyard/Playing Winter EV Street Journey Journey portion of this factor. I visited 5 self-service wrecking yards through the journey—three in California and two in Nevada.

    interstate 80 in nevada

    Murilee Martin

    Palms down, this was the best junkyard-photography street journey I’ve ever taken in my life, together with some wonderful circuits of Phoenix’s top-notch yards. I write for 2 publications that solely pay for my junkyard tales, on prime of normal Junkyard Treasures right here at Autoweek, which implies I have to discover a minimal of six traditionally important doomed automobiles or vans (or tanks) per week, each week. I documented greater than 60 discarded autos that met my strict requirements on this journey.

    junkyard tacos in san jose

    Murilee Martin

    Sure, it is not all nice taco-truck meals and car-parts boomboxes in my junkyard-centric existence (although there are many each). On my EV6 journey, I shot such standout junked equipment as a 1973 Citroën SM, a 2011 Nissan Leaf, a 1967 Cadillac Calais, a 1976 BMW 3.0 Si, a 1978 Datsun 510 station wagon, a 1985 Dodge Ram 50 Royal Turbodiesel, a 1986 GMC Jimmy, a 1990 Mazda MPV 4WD, a 1994 Chevrolet Corvette, and plenty of extra whose tales have but to be printed.

    The automotive had loads of vary, so the following morning we hit the Reno and Sparks junkyards.

    Quickly after we departed the Planet Auto Self Serve in Rancho Cordova (a brand new chain difficult the mighty Choose-n-Pull for Northern California dominance) and had lunch, we started the steep uphill climb into the Sierra Nevada mountains.

    The climate dipped beneath freezing as we ascended, however the EV6’s Vary-O-Meter confirmed the unfold—sure, we’ll be utilizing playing phrases at any time when doable from this level on—between the automotive’s estimated remaining vary and the space to our vacation spot hovering round 50 miles. At first.

    2022 kia ev6 range display

    Murilee Martin

    The whole journey distance can be 248 miles, and the absolutely charged EV6 started its journey exhibiting 313 miles on the Vary-O-Meter. I anticipated the steep grades on I-80 that start at about Auburn and proceed to the Nevada state line to take their toll, in fact, and I knew that chilly climate reduces the capability of EV batteries whereas additionally utilizing juice to warmth the passenger compartment. However I wasn’t ready for simply how briskly our predicted-range-to-actual-distance unfold would shrink as soon as uphill journey and out of doors temperatures within the 20s had their impact.

    donner summit road sign

    Murilee Martin

    I knew there have been public fast-charge stations in Truckee, which is about 35 miles west of Reno, so we most likely would not get stranded. The unfold dropped to 25 miles, then 20… after which we received caught in an uphill stop-and-go automotive jam attributable to a crash miles forward, with the mercury dropping by the second. By the point we received out of that, the unfold had dropped beneath zero and we had to cease and refuel. Sure, 50 miles of cushion evaporated similar to that.

    2022 kia ev6 charging

    Murilee Martin

    Nonetheless, we weren’t wired and the EV6 is a really, very good machine for lengthy journeys. In comparison with, say, one of many worst automobiles I’ve ever pushed between the Bay Space and Reno (a 50-buck 1976 Chevy Nova two-door with wheezing straight-six and automated) this was like being in an intergalactic starship. Granted, that Nova was in a position to simply cease at any gasoline station and prime off.

    I had two smartphone apps for finding EV charging stations, each of which I might used earlier than with EVs within the internal Bay Space: ChargePoint and PlugShare. However each of those apps sucked once we wanted them most.

    electrify america charging error message

    Murilee Martin

    We had been guided to charging stations that do not exist, unsuitable areas, incompatible {hardware}, and you may set all of the filters you need and nonetheless really feel like working over your cellphone.

    Happily, Truckee is a small metropolis and we bounced round city till we gave up on the EV apps and used Google Maps to search out an Electrify America charging station in a grocery store parking zone.

    In fact, we needed to strive a few the chargers earlier than we discovered one which labored.

    After which we recharged the automotive shortly and simply, similar to filling a tank with liquid gas, proper? Not a lot. After backing the automotive right into a charger house (the EV6 has the charging level within the rear, not like most EVs) in a crowded parking zone filled with, like hella aggro snowboard bros and their careening 4Runners, we found a fundamental fact about public EV charging stations: A lot of public chargers do not work.

    Possibly they’re simply plain useless, possibly they feed you error messages, possibly the {hardware} is busted. Anyway, after loads of traumatic backing and trying to fill at a pair non-functioning chargers (keep in mind, this automotive has not-so-great visibility), we discovered one which labored and attached the automotive.

    ev charging progress display

    Murilee Martin

    At this level, the charging course of went easily and fairly shortly. We received a charging velocity that peaked at a good 130kW and made it to 80% in 26 minutes. On prime of that, the fee was simply $0.43 per kWh, less expensive per-mile than gasoline. Afterward, at a charging station in Reno, I realized from an EV proprietor from Truckee that the charger we managed to make use of was the one one functioning in the entire city (one enjoyable factor about EV charging is that you just get to swap tales with different EV homeowners when you cost).

    reno, nevada

    Murilee Martin

    After that, the journey to Reno was a breeze. We pulled as much as the valet on the lodge, like correct whales in our smooth electron-burning South Korean sled—at which level we realized that the Silver Legacy gives EV charging solely for Teslas. Sure, one of many surprising pitfalls of the EV street journey, so ensure that your lodge gives the precise {hardware} specs for any chargers they declare to have on the premises. Good factor we might charged up 40 miles earlier! We received comped on the valet parking, not less than, and the view from our room was good.

    vietnamese food in reno

    Murilee Martin

    In fact, the World Collection sport received rescheduled on account of rain and so we could not wager on it. As a substitute, we received a couple of bucks down on professional basketball video games and headed out for some pho and beer at an incredible Vietnamese joint close to our lodge.

    kia ev6 in nevada

    Murilee Martin

    The automotive had loads of vary, so the following morning we hit the Reno and Sparks junkyards somewhat than topping up the batteries for the drive again downhill. The Planet Auto in Reno has a number of the friendliest junkyard workers I’ve ever encountered (exterior of my favourite Denver yard). If you happen to’re ever in Reno, make sure to drop by Planet Auto and inform them Murilee despatched you.

    ev charging progress display

    Murilee Martin

    After hitting the Planet Auto and a Choose-n-Pull (which had spectacular stock high quality), we discovered the situation of an Electrify America station in Reno and went for a full 100% cost.

    After that, it was easy, quiet EV driving again into California.

    In fact, we needed to strive a few the chargers earlier than we discovered one which labored. Then we needed to give up that charger as a result of it was solely giving us a tiny move of watts. Ultimately we received hooked as much as a great charger, then watched a stream of different EV drivers present up and bounce across the chargers looking for a great one.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    After that, it was easy, quiet EV driving again into California. Going downhill made all of the distinction within the vary, this course.

    2022 kia ev6 charging at evgo station

    Murilee Martin

    Again in Alameda, I spent just a few extra days visiting East Bay junkyards and charged the automotive up just a few extra instances. Throughout a type of events, I realized some EV drivers will pull as much as a charger with a number of connectors and plug one into their automotive, even whenever you’re utilizing the identical charger on a unique cable and you’ve got already paid.

    This instantly kills the charging to your automotive and switches it to their automotive. I am undecided if I paid for a couple of minutes’ charging to that electrical Mini Cooper earlier than I discovered what was happening and had a most disagreeable argument with the proprietor (“The APP says this charger is AVAILABLE!” she yelled as I unplugged her automotive), however this looks as if But One other Downside within the public-charging EV ecosystem.

    2022 kia ev6 cargo area

    Murilee Martin

    It wasn’t lengthy earlier than I used to be stuffing my baggage into the EV6’s cargo space and on the brink of go away. I had developed an actual affection for the automotive through the week I had it.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    I realized just a few issues I might been inquisitive about. First, steep hills knock again EV vary worse than they do with an internal-combustion engine. Second, chilly climate actually does zap your real-world EV vary, although not too badly within the present crop of latest EVs.

    Third, it is doable to drive an EV and rely solely on public charging stations, however you will must be affected person with the infrastructure till it will get constructed out much more totally.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    As for the driving value, it is determined by what you are paying for a kilowatt-hour nevertheless it’s practically all the time going to be cheaper than gasoline or diesel. If I might been utilizing a residential charger in Alameda with the EV6 getting the three.6 mi/kWh the automotive averaged through the week of largely freeway use, it might have value about $6.11 in electrical energy per 100 miles pushed (and about twice as a lot when shopping for the ability from Electrify America charging stations).

    At 25 miles per gallon of gasoline at $5.899/gallon, that is $23.60 per 100 miles pushed (or $12.67 on the common value per gallon in the USA on the time of this writing).

    Upkeep is cheaper with an EV, too, so there’s that.

    I am already looking for a used Kia Soul EV, to be fueled without spending a dime from the photo voltaic panels I have already got on my roof.

    Do you will have a story to share of EV charging on an extended street journey. Please use the remark part beneath?

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