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Kia EV6: all the advantages (and one disadvantage) of super-fast charging up to 240 kW

Fast charging is essential for the major breakthrough of the electric car. Just like with a petrol car, you have to be able to stop at a filling station and drive hundreds of kilometers after a short break. But is fast charging really fast, if you have to wait 30 minutes to an hour for a full battery?

Kia EV6: the benefits of fast charging up to 240 kW

The Kia EV6 lives up to the term fast charging by going from 10 to 80 percent battery charge in 18 minutes. The biggest advantage can be guessed: the shorter you have to wait, the better. Because everyone is in a hurry and time is money. But that’s only half the answer.

“During fast charging, the first 18 minutes are the most fun.”

If you have to wait at the fast charger, the first 18 minutes are the most fun. You’re glad you can stop, because you have to go to the bathroom, are thirsty or hungry and your phone has already vibrated a few times. In other words: you’re having a great time, those first 18 minutes. After that you are actually ready to go and the real waiting begins. And waiting is long.

You also help other EV drivers, because you only occupy the fast charging station for a short time, which is good for the flow of cars. The company behind the 300 or 350 kW fast charging stations is also happy with you, because Fastned and Ionity would rather fill up three Kia’s EV6 per hour than one Renault Zoe. After all, they have to recoup their investment with every kilowatt hour sold.

The E-GMP platform of the Kia EV6 works with 800 volts

The Kia EV6 can quickly charge with 240 kW is due to its 800-volt charging system. Most electric SUVs support 400 volts and charge at 120 to 150 kW. The EV6 therefore waltzes over it with almost double. In the Netherlands, we are fortunate that you can already find many charging stations along the highways that support 240 kW. Kia works together with Ionity (almost all their charging points are 350 kW) and fast charging farmers like Fastned are installing more and more 300 kW stations.

We have respect for Kia, who had the foresight to work with 800 volts when developing the E-GMP platform on which the EV6 stands. At a large EV brand such as Renault, 800 volts are indeed being worked on, but it is still in the future at the moment. And Volkswagen has the technology in house, but reserves it for the very expensive Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT. The EV6 is just for sale, for a normal amount.

Disadvantage: usually no 240 kW in winter

You get terribly spoiled. That is the disadvantage of fast charging with 240 kW. When we drive the Kia EV6, it has to get used to the Dutch winter weather and does not charge with the full 240 kW in the cold. In the beginning we get 76 kW and then 150 kW for a while. After 31 minutes, the battery is 80 percent full. You would sign for this with any other electric SUV, but if the folder promises 18 minutes, you are not happy.

“We can’t wait for spring and summer.”

We think we know the problem: the battery is too cold to charge quickly. While driving, the battery pack does get warm, but the EV6 has been raised economically and uses that heat to get the cabin to 21 degrees. That is not useful if you are going to charge quickly. Now the battery will warm up first and you will not get the maximum charging speed all that time. If the battery is 25 degrees, you should be charging at full speed. We can’t wait for spring and summer.

Don’t worry, this is a great example of a software issue that an over the air update can fix. That’s as simple as instructing the EV6 to let its battery warm up in the winter or cool it down in the summer, as soon as you select a fast charging station in the navigation system as the destination. We don’t know when this update will come, but Kia has indicated that they are working on a solution.

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