Kia has announced that it has partnered with the mobile charging service called Currently to provide on-demand service for battery-electric vehicle owners. The pilot program will launch in three major California cities, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. It will then be expanded to other cities around the United States based on the customer response to the initial launch.
The collaboration between Kia and Currently aims to make BEV ownership more convenient and reduce any potential range anxiety from consumers. From today until April 30, those interested can participate at no cost in the first three cities. Owners of Kia BEVs will need to download the Currently app into their smartphone and create an account before they can take part. The service allows drives to set a time and location for a Currently technician to come and charge their vehicles up to three times per week over the next two months. Vehicle owners should also review the terms and conditions on Currently’s website to get more details on the pilot service.
As Kia expands its lineup of electrified vehicles, it is continuing to look for ways to improve the ownership experience and make them more viable to a broader range of consumers. Together, Kia and Currently will have a huge impact on the environment and people’s lives,” said Josh Aviv, CEO, and Founder of SparkCharge, the parent company of Currently. But there is the often-overlooked timesaving element of full-service mobile charging, eliminating the wait at charging stations. Everyone can use an extra couple of hours each week. Kia and Currently are making Kia electrified vehicle owners’ lives in these cities better and greener.”
Greg Silverstri, Vice President of Service Operations at Kia America, noted that partnering with Currently fits with the brand’s Plan S strategy and enhances its commitment to expanded BEV adoption. Additionally, Silverstri also noted that making the charging experience easy also simplified the ownership experience.
Kia is among the most aggressive brands when it comes to electrification. However, unlike Volkswagen Group and General Motors who have gone all-in on BEVs, Kia is doing a multipronged approach just like its sister company, Hyundai. The Plan S strategy shows that it knows going all-electric is inevitable but the continued presence of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and vehicles on convergence platforms is proof that these will serve as transitionary models. As a result, you have hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the new Sorento and Sportage, and the second-generation Niro continues to have three versions including the BEV.
The EV6 is the first of a new generation of BEVs based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform that Kia shares with Hyundai and Genesis. It will be followed by the three-row EV9, which was previewed by a concept of the same name at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. Kia touts that it will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.0 seconds and have a driving range of over 300 miles. Like the other E-GMP-based vehicles, the EV9 will be able to take advantage of 350-kW DC chargers thanks to its 400/800-volt charging architecture. Kia recently expanded on the Plan S strategy, announcing that it will add two new electric trucks to its lineup and a new entry-level model.