With our new electric vehicle (Kia eSoul with a 64 kWh battery and max. 75 kW charging power) we have now covered distance trips (≈700 km) on the Autobahn. That proved very interesting, and in part thrilling, not in a good way… My experiences are are, of course, still limited and apply to some degree to that car.
TL;DR: Have a plan B for everything, namely charge point access, cable, route, charge points, ….
More detail: The goal is to arrive in a timely fashion with few charging stops. However,
- There is always too little charge 😜.
- The car drives so comfortable and silently, that it takes a major effort to discipline oneself to limited speeds.
- Even with a ≫75 kW charge point, charging power markedly depends on charge state.
- Below ≈15% there seems to be some throtteling, then the expected 75 kW can be enjoyed, and from 55% up there is increasing throtteling. (All e-cars have this, but to different degrees.)
- Consequently, a full 0–100% charge does not last the expected hour (even with a very high energy charger), but rather ≈ 3 hrs.
- Thus it is inefficient to try to charge fully on each stop. Rather charge only to 70% or so, and have one more stop – saves time overall.
- Have more than one way to start charging, e.g. “mobility”-card and an app.
- Some charge stations are out of order or can’t be persuaded to charge, even if indicated as working in the app (this happenend once so far).
- I had relied on DC charging (high power >75 kW with CCS). Yes, there are many of those by now, but some do not work (although flagged as ok in the charge provider app) and it could happen that the next one is out of range – then it’s a welcome relief to have an AC type 2 charge cable at hand. Low power stations are quite frequent, and at least one can reach the next DC station. So I’ve ordered an AC type 2 cable – important to look for number of phases and required max. power, I selected 3 phases and 22 kW.
- Charge points differ very much, not just in power: a few have an attached AC cable, most have not (so bring your own). Not all have a QR code. Some have impressive displays, entertaining you visually during the boring charge process, some are completely bland and leave you guessing.
- Funnily, the eSoul has no button to stop charging… That’s awkward when the charge point has no “stop” button, and the app does not work (claiming car is “busy” 😎) … The manual is deafeningly silent on this.