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

Taking the Kia EV6 on a Actual-World, Chilly-Climate Mountain Journey
  • Driving the Kia EV6 on this winter highway journey was most gratifying, however the charging expertise was disappointing. We found a primary fact about public EV charging stations: Numerous them do not work.
  • Heading from San Francisco to Reno—uphill via the chilly Sierras—required charging before anticipated as a result of the steep grade and chilly temps meant depleted vary. However heading again downhill was simple peasy.
  • The EV6 prices fairly rapidly to 8o%, however that final 20% requires persistence. When performed, we have 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 inclined to have house 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 go out on a highway journey over the Sierras in freezing climate, with only a 70-mile vary cushion between place to begin and vacation spot and relying fully on public chargers? I got down to be taught this stuff with a 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD.

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

    Murilee Martin

    I would 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 would deliberate. I preferred driving it quite a bit 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 would 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 Sequence sport.

    I requested Kia for one more Niro, however all that they had accessible that week was a rear-wheel-drive EV6. No drawback, I instructed 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 via the years (tip: when you attempt to {photograph} a Chevy Bolt subsequent to the Tesla manufacturing unit, Tesla safety staffers will come after you), and each a type of EVs got here with an adapter to permit charging with extraordinary 120-volt AC wall-outlet energy.

    2022 kia ev6 charging port

    Murilee Martin

    I keep on the previous household homestead once I go to the area, and I cost EVs in a single day there with a 12-gauge extension wire 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. After I was performed, I noticed that I would been charged $19.55 for 31.845 kilowatt-hours. That involves about $0.61/kWh, which was a lot greater than the common $0.22/kWh charged to house customers within the metropolis of Alameda.

    One among 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 would like (extra on that later on this article).

    Why drive to Reno from the Bay, other than all the nice automotive graveyards alongside I-80? I spent a lot of the early Nineties via early 2000s driving to Reno in numerous more-or-less-hooptie automobiles. I would at all times carry alongside some digital camera gear and shoot some pictures.

    reno gamblers in 1992

    Murilee Martin

    I would get an affordable room at a on line casino resort, lay down a few low-buck bets on video games on the sports activities guide, 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 do-it-yourself dual-camera 3D rigs and pinhole cameras for me, in addition to a cause to shake down low-cost Japanese automobiles I would 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 photograph on 35mm; I’ve since moved on to medium-format pinhole cameras comprised of Camry facet mirrors.

    gamblers in reno, 1999

    Murilee Martin

    I’ve a complete sequence of movie pictures 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 smart choices on betting strains, so we would be a part of up and drive his truck (or one in all my Civics, Tercels, or Sentras) on some Reno journeys.

    interstate 80 onramp near auburn california

    Murilee Martin

    We would had some actual automotive adventures throughout the dozens of occasions 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 may 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.

    One among my mid-Eighties Civics ate a entrance axle throughout a sketchy nighttime downhill drive in snow on one journey, and we narrowly prevented numerous crashes and spinouts attributable to drivers who believed that every one wheel-drive means you possibly can 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 would at all times carry tire chains, full rain fits, heavy gloves, and an excellent flooring jack alongside on our journeys (I need to admit that I additionally put in junkyard 4WD emblems on FWD Toyota Tercel wagons, as a result of the CHP may be overly strict about chain-up necessities when there is a quarter-inch of the white stuff on the bottom; don’t do that your self).

    installing tire chains on 1988 toyota hilux pickup

    Murilee Martin

    When it turned crucial to put in tire chains, we by no means needed to pay the chain monkeys to assist us with our load; we would swimsuit up, jack up the automobile, and throw on the chains in a matter of a minute or two. It was all very Components One crew-ish.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    So, there was the plan: I would choose Jim up on the East Bay pad he shared with my sister within the morning of November 4 (the day of World Sequence Recreation 6). We would 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 would keep in a pleasant room on the Silver Legacy on line casino resort, the place we would been instructed there was free in a single day charging for the EVs of visitors who acquired valet parking (extra on that later). Sure, we would be excessive rollers. Whales!

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    Since I had the rear-wheel-drive EV6 and the forecast referred to as for an opportunity of snow on our route, we introduced alongside tire chains and rain gear (however no flooring jack). What’s it like driving an EV with tire chains? We by no means acquired 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 utility of torque from a standing begin, for stoplight drag races, however you aren’t getting all that torque immediately off the road (if I needed to guess the rationale why, I would say the sudden utility of huge 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 positively room right here for 2 full-sized adults to take a seat 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 in regards to 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 taking place, as all of us skilled with gradual house 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, numerous kludgery between generations of code and/or {hardware} used over time in numerous Hyundai interfaces) contained in the poor overworked pc. The HVAC interface will get puzzling, too, although you’d type that out quick sufficient when you owned this automotive. Not a dealbreaker, however in 2022 I count on UIs to be fast and intuitive.

    2022 kia ev6 wheel

    Murilee Martin

    Then there’s the issue of outdoor visibility from the driving force’s seat, particularly when parking. Probably the most necessary guidelines for a automotive author with a press automobile is by no means curb-rash an alloy wheel, and this will get to be nerve-racking when parking in an city space the place you need to get as near the curb as potential 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 stressed 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 various outside-view cameras, which do not get down-to-the-inch decision). This would possibly not matter in any respect when you by no means park in high-vehicle-attrition city areas, in fact, but it surely 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 best way—and I would like to specific my respect for my colleagues who deal with that process like bosses daily of the yr, as a result of it is like pulling tooth 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 throughout the journey—three in California and two in Nevada.

    interstate 80 in nevada

    Murilee Martin

    Fingers down, this was the best junkyard-photography highway journey I’ve ever taken in my life, together with some superb circuits of Phoenix’s top-notch yards. I write for 2 publications that solely pay for my junkyard tales, on prime of standard Junkyard Treasures right here at Autoweek, which suggests I need to discover a minimal of six traditionally important doomed automobiles or vehicles (or tanks) per week, each week. I documented greater than 60 discarded automobiles 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 revealed.

    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 Decide-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 each time potential from this level on—between the automotive’s estimated remaining vary and the gap to our vacation spot hovering round 50 miles. At first.

    2022 kia ev6 range display

    Murilee Martin

    The overall journey distance can be 248 miles, and the totally 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 outdoors 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 in all probability would not get stranded. The unfold dropped to 25 miles, then 20… after which we acquired 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 acquired 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 stressed 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 capable of simply cease at any gasoline station and prime off.

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

    electrify america charging error message

    Murilee Martin

    We have been guided to charging stations that do not exist, flawed places, incompatible {hardware}, and you’ll set all of the filters you need and nonetheless really feel like working over your telephone.

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

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

    After which we recharged the automotive rapidly 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, in contrast to most EVs) in a crowded car parking zone stuffed with, like hella aggro snowboard bros and their careening 4Runners, we found a primary fact about public EV charging stations: Numerous public chargers do not work.

    Possibly they’re simply plain useless, perhaps they feed you error messages, perhaps the {hardware} is busted. Anyway, after plenty of nerve-racking backing and making an attempt to fill at a pair non-functioning chargers (bear in mind, this automotive has not-so-great visibility), we discovered one which labored and connected the automotive.

    ev charging progress display

    Murilee Martin

    At this level, the charging course of went easily and fairly rapidly. We acquired a charging pace that peaked at a decent 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 whilst you cost).

    reno, nevada

    Murilee Martin

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

    vietnamese food in reno

    Murilee Martin

    After all, the World Sequence sport acquired rescheduled as a result of rain and so we could not wager on it. As an alternative, we acquired a couple of dollars down on professional basketball video games and headed out for some pho and beer at a terrific Vietnamese joint close to our resort.

    kia ev6 in nevada

    Murilee Martin

    The automotive had loads of vary, so the following morning we hit the Reno and Sparks junkyards relatively than topping up the batteries for the drive again downhill. The Planet Auto in Reno has among the friendliest junkyard staff I’ve ever encountered (exterior of my favourite Denver yard). For those who’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 Decide-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 clean, quiet EV driving again into California.

    After all, we needed to strive a few the chargers earlier than we discovered one which labored. Then we needed to stop that charger as a result of it was solely giving us a tiny circulate of watts. Finally we acquired hooked as much as an excellent charger, then watched a stream of different EV drivers present up and bounce across the chargers in the hunt for an excellent one.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    After that, it was clean, 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 a couple of extra days visiting East Bay junkyards and charged the automotive up a couple of extra occasions. 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 once you’re utilizing the identical charger on a distinct cable and you have 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 like 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 luggage into the EV6’s cargo space and on the brink of depart. I had developed an actual affection for the automotive throughout the week I had it.

    2022 kia ev6

    Murilee Martin

    I realized a couple of issues I would been interested by. 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 potential to drive an EV and rely fully on public charging stations, however you may 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 will depend on what you are paying for a kilowatt-hour but it surely’s almost at all times going to be cheaper than gasoline or diesel. If I would been utilizing a residential charger in Alameda with the EV6 getting the three.6 mi/kWh the automotive averaged throughout the week of principally freeway use, it will 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 totally free from the photo voltaic panels I have already got on my roof.

    Do you’ve gotten a story to share of EV charging on a protracted highway journey. Please use the remark part beneath?