Fully Charged Live 2019

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It seemed appropriate that our first major outing in our very first EV would be the Fully Charged Live Show at nearby Silverstone!

After picking up Chris and Mark in Northampton, we headed for this iconic location, where, in addition to plenty of ‘talkie-bits’, there was also an opportunity to test drive the latests EVs and look round at the numerous electricity-related Stands. I’d got my eye on test-driving the Jaguar i-Pace.

Hosted and organised by Red Drarf’s ‘Kryten’ aka actor, Robert Llewellyn, this was a Show for anyone with an interest in electricity and its role in the future of the Motor Industry.

Plenty to see and do!

Before going, I had a feeling this might be an event just for sandle-wearing envronmental hippies, but I was totally wrong! I’d go as far as to say, it was pretty ‘mainstream’ judging by the amount (and type) of people there (on both sides of the microphone).

..and plenty of experts on hand

We arrived just after 10 am, and judging by the Car-Park, it was already very busy. In addition to the numerous ICE cars, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many privately-owned Teslas – and even more pleased to NOT see another e-Niro! 😉👍. I’m sure there were going to be some – but ours was the only one when we arrived. It was truly a ‘rare beast’!

Our first big decision of the day was whether to take the short journey to the Show by Bus or by chauffeured Tesla. Ordinarily, this would have been a no-brainer, but with what seemed like the whole world queuing for Musk’s supercars, we took the free Bus instead!

Ten-minutes later, we’d arrived and we took a quick look round the exhibits inside before our first coffee.

It didn’t take us long to realise that this was no niche-ey event – it was very well supported by us the Public, as well as the very wide range of Exhibitors. From solar roof experts, petrol-to-electric engine conversions, solar-storage batteries the size of your radiators and many (many) home-electric charging companies, it seemed to cater for everyone with an interest in electricity as an energy source!

Nerd Alert! BP ChargeMaster showing off their brand new 150kW Charger

…and if the exhibits inside weren’t enough to get you interested, then there were plenty of organised presentations arranged throughout the day to discuss and explain in greater detail, electric cars and their impact.

The Most Polluted Road in the World

Did you know that Oxford Street here in the UK is the most polluted road in the World?

Almost more cars than people (almost!)

Time for a look around outside… And it didn’t disappoint! Although I did try and book a test-drive of the Jaguar i-Pace, it seemed the rest of mankind had the same idea, so as consolation, I took a closer look at a static model!

Jaguar i-Pace (A bit cramped in the back and the massive LCD screen in the front was of weird proportions!). However… “Yes please!”

After a quick Lunch, we took a look round the specialist exhibits. Some of which were iconic ICE cars converted to run on electricity…

…plus some that were all-electric by design…

…and I’ll have this one too, please! 😁👍

So, all-in-all, a GREAT event – and to make it even better, we even managed to get our coveted journey in a Tesla to get us back to the car-park…

Very flash!

…plus a few mementos of our visit…

A very well organised event in every sense! 👍😁 I’m sure I’ll be going again next year.

Charge!

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Well, we finally did it! We’ve taken the plunge and we’re now all electric for our main car! 👍

We fancied something in white, maybe with a touch of blue…

“Are we nearly there yet..?”
Milk Float from Express Dairies
Ooops! Wrong Photo! 😉
“Straight on, just round the corner…”

Our Choice

Ahh, there it is! The Kia e-Niro ‘First Edition’

After a lot of research, we narrowed it down to just ONE model! – The Kia e-Niro. It’s very similar to our outgoing car (a Kia Sportage) – just around 6 inches smaller. We learned back in January there were only 900 e-Niros allocated to the whole of the UK for 2019, so we needed to move fast!

We placed our order as soon as we could – when the order-books first opened in January – and good job we did too, as more than 200+ orders were taken in that launch week alone! Not long after, all UK stocks were exhausted, and there’s now just over a year’s wait for the next batch! Popular ehh?! 😁

What the Experts Say…

Taking the leap to buy this latest technological marvel from Kia took a lot of head-scratching (and web-surfing) but in the end, we’re certain we’ve made the right decision – and those that know more about this stuff, seem to agree…

The Press seemed to like it! Click HERE for more reviews

An Automotive Game-changer

As you can see, this model has won over all of the main car-critics! The e-Niro’s appearance in the car-market at this time should not be underestimated and whilst many other major motor manufacturers have done a lot of talking about making ‘electric cars’ mainstream, the South Koreans have ‘sneaked up the back-stairs’ and launched this automotive game-changer. It has an amazing level of spec (more about that later) and a sensible price for a brand new electric car – especially with the State giving £3500 towards the purchase. Perhaps most important of all, at last, there’s no ‘range anxiety’ at all, as it’ll cover 280 miles on a full-charge. At the time of writing, that’s way ahead of the majority of the current electric pack (and about the same range as my Petrol V6 Mondeo, way back in 2011!) 😎

OK, in a year-or-so, there will be a lot more competition out there: the choice will be much greater and the battery tech and range will have improved. But for now, this is the best all-electric mainstream car out there – says everyone! 👍

The interior is mostly the same as our outgoing Kia Sportage

Charging/Home Charger

Process for applying for a home-charger
Eight Steps to getting a Home-Charger (click on the image for a larger version)

Getting the Home Charger installed was pretty straightforward. The Government gives everyone a grant of £500 towards the cost – and for many people that will cover the total cost, including installation. We opted for the more powerful 7kW charger (so it charges more quickly) and that cost us a bit extra. There are plenty of suppliers to choose from, and we chose ChargeMaster – the biggest name in electric vehicle charging – now owned by the mighty BP (since June 2018). Oh, and one extra vital piece of information: the e-Niro comes supplied with not one charging leads but two, so we can even charge from a standard mains socket if needed (albeit a lot more slowly).

Charging made easy! All fitted in under four hours
Now that’s what I call a Plug!!!

How Quick to Charge? (from empty)

Rapid
(100kW)
Rapid
(50 kW)
Fast
(22kW)
Fast
(7kW)
Slow
(3kW)
30 minutes
(to 80%)
1 hour
(to 80%)
3 hours
(to 100%)
9 hours
(to 100%)
26 hours
(to 100%)

How Much to Charge? (from empty)

TypeCost p/kWh
(night rate)
Cost to Charge
(night rate)
Cost per mile
(night rate)
Home
(7kW Charger
to 100%)
17.38p (12.25p)£11.12 (£7.91)4.22p (3p)
Public
(Rapid Charger
to 80%)
30.00p (n/a)£15.36 (n/a) 7.1p (n/a)

Our current fuel provider offers a Green Tariff, so as you can see above, a complete fill-up-from-empty during the day, will cost us only £11.12. But at night, it’s even cheaper – just £7.91. When was the last time anyone paid that little for a full tank of fuel? I reckon around 1967!! 😊

Good news too, that it doesn’t mean getting up in the small hours to take advantage of off-peak electricity Nope! The start-time for charging can be pre-set from inside the vehicle. Clever tech ehh?! 😁

The Technical Spec

  • Top speed of 104 mph (167 km/h)
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.5 seconds
  • 30-70 km/h (18.7-43.5 mph) in 2.8 seconds
  • 60-100 km/h (37.3-62 mph) in 3.8 seconds
  • 80-120 km/h (49.7-74.6 mph) in 5.0 seconds
  • 201 BHP
  • Boot Capacity: 12 standard milk-crates 😂

Whistles and Bells

There is only ONE model at launch and it’s called the First Edition. This is an increasing trend by many motor manufacturers to add loads of ‘whistles and bells’ to their ‘first-launch’ cars to stimulate demand. Typically, with Kia, that means it sports many extras as standard that you pay err… extra for on other cars…

  • 7-year/1000,000 mile Warranty
  • Apple Carplay and Android Auto
  • Automatic Dipped Lighting
  • Automatic rain-sensing wipers
  • Cruise Control (Standard)
  • Cruise Control (Smart)
  • Diamond Cut 17″ Alloy Wheels
  • Distance Sensors (Front)
  • Distance Sensors (Rear)
  • Driver Attention Warning (zzzzz!)
  • Driving Style Monitor (Bugger!)
  • Dynamic Traffic Information (Speed cameras, traffic congestion, weather)
  • Electric Driver’s Seat
  • Electric Windows all-round
  • Electronic Handbrake
  • Forward Collision Alert (FCA+)
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • High Beam Assist (HBA)
  • Interior Mood Lighting (white, grey, bronze, red, green)
  • Keyless Entry
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather Seats
  • Premium JBL Sound System (320W/8 speaker)
  • Range-topping 282 miles on a single charge
  • Rear Camera
  • Regenerative Braking (3 levels + Auto)
  • Service Plan for 3 years (<£300)
  • USB Charging Sockets (front and rear)
  • Variable Driving Mode (Normal, Eco and Sport)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)

Our thanks to Jack and the team at Bells Kia Northampton for making it happen.

Now every car needs a friendly name doesn’t it? – and for us, the choice was obvious…

Photo of Robert De Niro
“You talkin’ to me..?”

“Robert”
😊

Now, let’s see if Robert lives up to all his promises…