Things didn’t go so well when Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Wolfe attempted to travel all the way from New Orleans, Louisiana to Chicago, Illinois in a brand-new Kia EV6.
In fact, after completing what should have been a relatively easy road trip in a brand-new vehicle, the journalist was sick and tired of dealing with the slow-charging electric vehicle, complaining that she spent more time charging it than sleeping and that, once she was done with the experiment, gas “fumes never smelled so sweet.” And that’s despite the high price of gas.
Writing about the trip in a column for the newspaper, Wolfe chronicled the difficult journey and all of the many pitfalls of attempting a road trip in an electric vehicle.
Notably, the problems with the trip and car included the Kia having an even shorter range than she expected, difficult to deal with and finicky charging cables, charging stations that were somehow even slower than the already painfully slow speed at which they advertised being able to charge the electric vehicle, and the many areas of the country where there aren’t any of the relatively speedy charging stations, forcing her to rely on even slower charging ports.
In fact, the charging thing was such an issue that Wolfe complained that they needed to spend more hours simply waiting for the vehicle to charge than they spent sleeping, which is especially painful when compared to the few minutes it takes to fill up even a large gas tank.
Describing the problem with the charging stations and how some are advertized as being “fast” but really aren’t, Wolfe said:
“The biggest variable, according to State of Charge, is how many kilowatts a unit can churn out in an hour. To be considered ‘fast,’ a charger must be capable of about 24 kW. The fastest chargers can pump out up to 350.”
The Blaze, noting some of those issues and how Kia attempted to explain them away, noted that:
Frequently, they were forced to make changes to their charted course and pre-planned schedule due to unexpected battery drains along the highway. “Factors such as average highway speed, altitude changes, and total cargo weight can all impact range, whether derived from a tank of gasoline or a fully charged battery,” a Kia spokesman later informs them.
The same Blaze report notes the relatively small cost savings, particularly when compared to the wasted time spent sitting around at charging stations simply waiting for the battery to fill up, saying:
On a positive note, the pair spent just $175 on charging in comparison to the $275 they estimated they would have paid in a similarly-sized gas-fueled vehicle. However, “That $100 savings cost us many hours in waiting time,” Wolfe clarified, adding, “that’s not the whole story.”
So, slick as EV marketing might seem, the supposed cost savings and ability to plug a car in over night aren’t the full story. They’re fine when driving a few miles to work and back but, when it comes to making a long road trip, are in reality very far from ideal.