KIA ECO CARS

Stop Wondering. Start Driving

Thinking about switching to an Electric car? If you’re new to the world of electric and hybrid cars, our simple guide below will help to answer all of your questions

What is a battery electric car?
A battery electric vehicle is better for the environment than a petrol or diesel car, cheaper to run, and simple to own. Like the sound of that? Find out more.

What is a hybrid or self-charging hybrid car?
Hybrid cars can offer you improved fuel economy and lower emissions, without the need to change how you use your vehicle. No plugging in required. ​Find out more.​

What is a Plug-in Hybrid car?
Plug-in hybrid cars can offer you many of the benefits of an electric car, they have a shorter electric range but can rely on a petrol motor for longer trips. Find out more.​

What is a mild hybrid car?
Mild Hybrids allow your engine to switch off more frequently, which improves fuel economy and reduces emissions. Find out more.​

How does charging work?
Don’t worry, charging may seem like a whole new world, but in reality it’s very simple. Find out more.​

What is the cost of running an electric car?
Owning an electric car is cheaper than you might think. Find out more.

What is a battery electric car?


A battery electric vehicle is better for the environment than a petrol or diesel car, cheaper to run, and simple to own. Like the sound of that? Our simple guide can tell you more.

Stop Wondering. Start Driving
Thinking about switching to an Electric car? If you’re new to the world of electric and hybrid cars, our simple guide below will help to answer all of your questions

How does a battery electric vehicle work?
In simple terms, energy is stored in a large battery, which drives a powerful electric motor. Easy. To charge it, simply plug it into a home chargepoint, or a public charger when you’re out and about, and the car will take care of the rest. Plug it in at home, and you wake up every morning with a ‘full tank’* – in the case of the e-Niro, that’s a potential 282-mile range! The car then drives on battery power alone, there is no need to add petrol or diesel. It can even add charge to the battery while you are driving by recovering energy that would normally be lost – when braking for example.

What are the benefits of going electric?
There are many substantial benefits to owning a battery-electric car. Here are just few reasons to Stop Wondering. Start Driving.

Cheap to run
Luckily, being kind to the environment is also good for your wallet – electricity is much cheaper than petrol or diesel, so your journey may cost less than a third of what it would in a combustion-engined car. And that’s before you take into account the fact that battery-electric vehicles can also travel in the UK’s new and upcoming Clean Air Zones – and London’s Congestion Zone – for free. There are tax incentives, too. There’s a £3,500 plug-in car grant available, plus, for company car drivers, battery-electric cars are subject to a lower company car BiK tax, which is currently 16%, but drops to just 2% in 2020/2021.

Zero Emissions
There are no exhaust emissions from the tailpipe of an electric vehicle – in fact, it doesn’t even have a tailpipe – this is particularly helpful for improving air quality in urban areas.

Charge at home
Another major perk is home charging. Imagine waking up every day with a ‘full tank’. You can get a £500 OLEV grant to help you pay for the home charger, too. Just plug in when you get home, and your car takes care of the rest

Relaxing drive
Of course, electric cars are incredibly quiet inside, making for a relaxing atmosphere. Driving is easy, too, because electric motors produce maximum torque at all revs, so acceleration is instant.

What is it like to drive an electric car?
Rather fun, actually. Electric cars are incredibly responsive. That’s because unlike combustion engines, electric motors produce maximum torque at any rpm. So you can enjoy brisk, instant acceleration at any speed without worrying about gear changes – all that torque means electric cars only need one forward gear! The All-New e-Niro can surge from 0-62mph in just 7.8 seconds.

Handling can be impressive, too. Because the batteries are in the floor, electric cars have a low centre of gravity, which helps minimise body roll while making the car feel planted, providing a fun, dynamic drive. The All-New e-Niro even has a sport mode!

If efficiency is your main concern, there’s an eco mode, too. The All-New Kia e-Niro offers a driving range of 282 miles (WLTP combined cycle) on a full charge – that’s London to Newcastle! For some everyday context, the average UK commute is just 10 miles – so the average person could do more than two weeks of commuting without needing to charge once.

Most charging with an electric car is done at home. But If you want to top up on the go, there are more than 7,000 public charging locations in the UK, and most of them have multiple connectors. Plug an All-New e-Niro into a 100kW fast charger and you’ll have 80% charge in just 54 minutes – that’s enough to travel 225 miles!.

What is a hybrid or self-charging hybrid car?


Hybrid cars can offer you improved fuel economy and lower emissions, without the need to change how you use your vehicle. No plugging in required.

How does a self-charging hybrid car work?
In terms of how you use it, a self-charging hybrid car works just like a conventional car – there is no need to plug in – simply fill up with petrol at the pumps, and off you go! So what does hybrid mean? It’s pretty simple, along with a petrol or diesel engine, hybrid cars also have an electric motor that is powered by a small battery. The aim of the electric motor is to assist the engine and occasionally drive very short distances on battery power – as opposed to driving long distances on battery power alone as a plug-in hybrid or a battery-electric vehicle would.

The battery is charged by recovering energy that would otherwise be wasted – when slowing down for example. The battery then feeds this energy to the electric motor to help with acceleration or to drive the car at low speeds. This means lower emissions, better fuel economy and more money to spend on the things you enjoy. Great!

What are the benefits of a self-charging hybrid car?
There are several benefits to owning a self-charging hybrid car.

Lower emissions
Because the electric motor can assist with acceleration, there is less strain on the engine. This results in lower emissions. The electric motor can also take over at low speeds – in stop-start traffic in town centres for example. That means the engine doesn’t have to be running for as long, which results in cleaner air for everybody.

Reduced running cost
Using less fuel is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your finances! Improved fuel economy means less money spent on fuel, and less time wasted at the pumps. The lower emissions also mean a reduced VED rate and lower BIK tax.

Doesn’t require you to make any changes
If you aren’t quite ready to switch to a plug-in vehicle, or don’t have the option of a home charge point, hybrid cars might be the solution you’re looking for. A hybrid car doesn’t require you to do anything different than you would do in a conventional car. The car’s clever electronics take care of how the energy is recovered and used. All you have to worry about is keeping it topped up with petrol.

Relaxing drive
The assistance from the electric motor means the engine doesn’t have to work as hard and that makes for a quieter journey. The added torque also means effortless acceleration for a more relaxing driving experience.

What is it like to drive a self-charging hybrid car?
Very similar to driving a conventional car, but with a few bonuses. The best part is that the car’s clever systems decide how to use the battery and electric motor in the most efficient way possible. You just need to drive as you normally would, while enjoying improved fuel economy and lower emissions.

If you want to have more of a say, you can change driving modes to encourage the car to focus on economy, or if you want a more dynamic drive, you can switch Sport mode. You will also notice that the car is quieter, particularly around town, thanks to the assistance from the electric motor.

What is a Plug-in Hybrid car?


Plug-in hybrid cars can offer you many of the benefits of an electric car, they have a shorter electric range but can rely on a petrol motor for longer trips.

How does a plug-in hybrid car work?
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) works in a similar way to a self-charging hybrid– there is a petrol engine that works with an electric motor and a battery. In a plug-in hybrid, the battery is much larger than in a self-charging hybrid. This means the car is able to travel around 30 miles on battery power alone – more than enough for the UK average daily commute – but it can also call on the petrol engine for longer trips.

Like a self-charging hybrid, the battery can be charged a little while driving, but for the full benefit, you will need to plug in. Charging a PHEV should take less than three hours. Put this all together and you can enjoy miles of low-cost, all-electric driving while still having a petrol engine for those rare long distance trips. Perfect.

What are the benefits of a plug-in hybrid?
There are plenty of benefits to owning a plug-in hybrid car, here are some of our favourites

Flexibility
If you aren’t quite ready to go fully electric, a plug-in hybrid is the perfect compromise. You get around 30-miles of electric driving, which should be more than enough for most journeys, but you always have the petrol engine to fall back on if you’re planning a longer trip.

Zero emissions driving
Most of your driving will be on battery power, which is particularly helpful for improving air quality in urban areas.

Cheap to run
Electricity is much cheaper than petrol or diesel, so when running on battery power, your journey may cost less than a third of what it would in a combustion-engined car. There are tax incentives, too. VED is lower for PHEV drivers, and for company car drivers BIK tax is also reduced. There’s even an OLEV grant available that puts £500 towards your home charger.

Charge at home
Home charging is a major perk. Imagine waking up every day knowing you have 30 miles of electric range. Even if you’re low on fuel, you know you’ll have plenty of range to get to a filling station. You can get a £500 OLEV grant to help you pay for the home charger, too. Just plug in when you get home, and your car takes care of the rest.

Relaxing drive
When running on battery power, PHEVs are incredibly quiet inside, making for a relaxed atmosphere. Driving is easy, too, because electric motors produce maximum torque at all revs, so acceleration is instant.

What’s it like to drive a PHEV?
Relaxing and rather fun, actually. When running on battery power, PHEVs are very responsive, because unlike combustion engines, electric motors produce maximum torque at any rpm. Acceleration is instant.

Most charging in the UK is done at home, but If you want to top up on the go, there are more than 7,000 public charging locations in the UK. Or, you can simply let the petrol engine take over when you run out of charge.

All you have to worry about is driving as you normally would, while reaping the benefits of improved fuel economy and lower emissions.

What is a mild hybrid car?


Mild Hybrids allow your engine to switch off more frequently, which improves fuel economy and reduces emissions.

How does a mild hybrid car work?
A mild hybrid car works in a very similar way to a self-charging hybrid car, but it has a smaller battery. Because the battery is smaller, a mild hybrid cannot drive on battery power alone – unlike a self-charging hybrid in which the motor can take over at low speed or when cruising.

Instead, the petrol or diesel engine does the majority of the work and the electric motor is there to provide assistance. This means the engine doesn’t have to work as hard, which means lower emissions and increased fuel economy. The battery is charged by recovering energy that would otherwise be wasted – when slowing down for example. There is no need to plug-in a mild hybrid, simply keep it topped up with petrol or diesel as you would with a conventional car.

What are the benefits of a mild hybrid car?
There are many substantial benefits to owning a mild hybrid car. Here are just few reasons to Stop Wondering. Start Driving.

Lower emissions
Because the electric motor can assist with acceleration, there is less strain on the engine. It also allows the engine to switch off more regularly – when coasting for example. This means lower emissions and cleaner air for everybody.

Reduced running cost
Using less fuel is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your finances, too! Improved fuel economy means less money spent on fuel, and less time wasted at the pumps. The lower emissions could also mean a reduced VED rate and lower BIK tax.

Relaxing drive
The assistance from the electric motor means the engine doesn’t have to work as hard and that makes for a quieter journey. The added torque also means effortless acceleration for a more relaxing driving experience.

Doesn’t require you to make any changes
If you aren’t quite ready to switch to a plug-in vehicle, mild-hybrid cars might be the solution for you. A mild-hybrid car doesn’t require you to do anything different than you would do in a conventional car. The car’s clever electronics take care of how the energy is recovered and used. All you have to worry about is keeping it topped up with petrol or diesel.

Lower initial cost
While a mild hybrid doesn’t offer the same level of benefits as a full self-charging hybrid, the mild hybrid’s smaller battery means the initial purchase cost is lower.

What is it like to drive a mild hybrid car?
Almost exactly the same as a conventional car. You will notice that the engine stops more often thanks to the assistance from the electric motor. Acceleration is more immediate thanks to the added torque from the electric motor, and fuel economy is improved.

How does charging work?


Don’t worry, charging may seem like a whole new world, but in reality it’s very simple

How do you charge a hybrid or electric car?
Hybrid and electric cars are most commonly charged at home, but can be charged at work, or at thousands of public chargers, such as at supermarkets or service stations. You can find out a bit more about how each works below.

How to charge an electric car at home
In the UK, the vast majority of electric car charging is done at home. This is usually the most convenient and cost-effective way to charge. Get home, plug in, wake up with a full charge. Brilliant! To charge from home, it is best to get a home charge point installed. A dedicated home EV charger will charge your car much faster than using a three-pin plug – up to three times quicker! It’s safer, too. A home chargepoint from Pod Point – Kia’s charging partner – is weatherproof, so you can of course charge when it’s raining. The charge point is also smart, and WiFi enabled which means it can keep track of how much you have spent on charging – so you can invoice for travel costs for example. It can even save you money by charging when electricity is cheapest.

How much does it cost to install a home charge point?
Good news, there is a £500 OLEV government grant available to help with the cost of a home charge point. This means for a standard installation, our partner, Pod Point, can supply and install a home charge point from as little as £279 for a 3.6kW charger, or, for Kia customers, a special price of £300 (£359 RRP) for a 7kW charger after the grant.

If you don’t know which charger you need, fear not, we’ll explain that next. If you’re thinking about getting a home charge point, it is also worth switching your electricity to a smart meter. If you haven’t already done so, switching to a smart meter is usually free, and provides many benefits for drivers who charge at home. A smart meter will allow you take advantage of smart tariffs, which mean your car can charge when it’s greenest and cheapest to do so. In future, you will need a smart meter to take advantage of the OLEV grant. (The benefit of the government’s £500 grant towards a home charge point, you need to own your home, have off-street parking and not have claimed the grant for the vehicle.

What type of charger do I need at home?
Yes, there are different types of charger and connector for electric vehicles. But don’t panic, it sounds more complicated than it is.

Chargers can range from 3.6kW up to 50kW, and there are even faster chargers coming soon. For now though, let’s look exclusively at home charging. When charging at home, there is a choice of 3.6kW or 7kW. As you may have guessed, a 7kW charger will charge faster than a 3.6kW, so is ideal for full EVs – such as the All-New Kia e-Niro. Not all cars can charge at 7kW, most plug-in hybrids will only charge at 3.6kW – this is because they have much smaller batteries and don’t need to charge as fast.

A 7kW charger will still charge a 3.6kW car, but only at the speed of a 3.6kW charger. You can also charge by plugging into a regular 3-pin socket in your house, but this is much slower, and best avoided. It is also important to check that it is safe to use a three-pin charger – they should not be used with an extension lead, for example – and it may not be possible in every home

. Once you know what charge speed you require at home, you then need to know how to connect the car to the charger. For home charging, there are two main types of connector, and they are simply known as Type 1 (a five-pin plug) and Type 2 (a seven-pin plug). For example, the All-New e-Niro uses a Type 2 charger and can charge at 7kW – but can also charge faster at rapid public charge points (more on that below).

You can specify your Pod Point charger to come with a Type 1 or Type 2 cable already tethered, or, you can have a universal socket, so you can plug your own cable in. The Kia e-Niro comes with its own Type 2 charge cable, so if you have two different vehicles that require different connectors, a universal socket is the way to go. You can find out more about home charging from our partner Pod Point.

How do I charge my car in public?
There are more than 20,000 public connectors in the UK at more than 7,000 locations, and that number is rising every day. Many public chargers can be found in town centres, supermarkets and motorway services. If you want to see where your nearest public charger is, whether it is in use and whether it is working, you can check with services such as the Zap Map app. Public chargers can vary in speed from 3kW to rapid 50kW DC chargers. Rapid DC uses different connectors – CCS (Combined Charging System) or CHAdeMO. The Kia e-Niro for example a CCS connector for rapid DC charging. It will be made clear which speeds and connectors your car is compatible with.

How do I pay for public charging?
Some public chargers are free, but many will require payment. Different chargers can be run by different networks, and each will have slightly different ways of charging. But generally, it’s as simple as having an app on your phone and selecting the charger you wish to use. Take Pod Point for example, you simply plug in your car, select the charge point you are using in the app, and you’re good to go. It’s that easy.

For networks that require payment, this is usually also done through the app. Some networks used to require you to use an RFID card that would be sent in the post, but for the most part these have been replaced by smartphone apps. You can check apps and websites such as Zap Map to find out more about the different charging networks. You can also use the service to look up which networks operate your local charge points.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
Much like charging times, the cost of charging a car will vary by battery size and when and where it is charged. The average overnight electricity rate in the UK is 13p per kWh, so to fully charge a Kia e-Niro from 0% could cost around £8.30 – but this will vary depending electricity supplier and and tariff fluctuations.

The cost of charging at public charge points varies by network, but is still substantially cheaper than petrol or diesel per mile.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?
That’s a good question. And the answer is, it varies massively depending on the size of the car’s battery and the charger being used. Let’s use the Kia e-Niro as an example. The Kia e-Niro can drive up to 282 miles on a single charge – one of the longest ranges available right now. Part of the reason it can achieve this range is because it has a very large (64kWh) battery. So how long will it take to charge?

It’s incredibly rare that you charge from 0%. The majority of the time, when you plug your car in at home or in public, you’ll likely be topping up. If you did want to charge from 0% though, it would take just over 10 hours to get a full charge at home on a 7kW charger. If you were charging in public at a rapid 50kW charger – at a motorway services for example – you could get from 0% to 80% charge in an hour. 100kW rapid chargers are also coming soon, which will allow 0% to 80% in 45 minutes. To put this into context, you could stop at the services, plug in, grab yourself a coffee and a bite to eat, then return to the car with around 200 miles of range in the battery. Great!

Plug-in hybrids have much smaller batteries, so don’t take as long to charge.

What is the cost of running an electric car?


Owning an electric car is cheaper than you might think

How much does an electric car cost?
That depends on which one you buy, but whichever you choose, there are some government incentives that make it cheaper to buy a new EV. There is a government grant for electric cars called the Plug-in Car Grant – this reduces the price of a battery electric vehicle by £3,500. So a new Kia e-Niro – WhatCar?’s Car of the Year 2019 – costs just £32,995 after the £3,500 grant. There is also a £500 homecharge grant to help you with the cost of a home charger.

Cost of Electric: Cheaper than you think
Here are just few reasons to Stop Wondering. Start Driving.

Lower maintenance costs
Petrol and diesel engines are incredibly complex and have hundreds of components that can wear, fail and need replacing. Electric cars on the other hand have just three main components and far fewer moving parts than a combustion engine. That means servicing and maintenance is simpler and cheaper, which saves you money.

Tax benefits
There is no yearly or first-year tax with an electric vehicle, which could save you around £500 over the first three years of ownership compared to a mid-sized petrol or diesel equivalent.

Big savings on BiK tax for company car drivers
Company car tax is already drastically lower if you drive an electric car. But in 2020/2021 it drops from 16% to just 2%! That represents a massive saving over a conventional car. For example, in that tax year, the BiK tax on a Kia e-Niro for someone in the 40% bracket would be just £292. Compare that to a mid-size diesel equivalent which would be £4,058 – that’s a massive saving!

Electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel
Electricity is cheap, particularly when you charge at home. When you look at cost per mile, driving on electricity can cost around a third of an equivalent petrol or diesel car.

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