Kia has strengthened its sustainability credentials with the addition of further green energy to its European ‘Kia Charge’ charging network. Kia already works alongside IONITY to provide green charging solutions on UK and European motorways. Kia’s partnership with Digital Charging Solutions (DCS) to run the Kia Charge service means Kia customers can run a zero-emissions vehicle in the knowledge that their charging activity is compensated by 100 per cent renewable energy.
Through Kia Charge, Kia will determine the amount of energy used by European customers to charge their electric vehicles (in compliance with the relevant data protection regulations). Kia will then purchase the equivalent number of megawatt-hours (MWhs) through ‘Guarantee of Origin’ (GO) certificates. In Kia’s case, the renewable energy comes from wind power, and DCS will use the GOs to flood the grid with more green energy, then used to power charge points and other electrical items.
Green energy suppliers generate zero-emissions energy using natural resources such as wind or solar power, which is then converted into electric energy. An independent registry authenticates the green origin of each unit of power produced, measured in MWh, by issuing a GO certificate.
Jörg Reimann, CEO of Digital Charging Solutions, adds: “DCS is a key driver in the future of sustainable mobility worldwide. By working with ‘GO’ certificates, we guarantee that one hundred per cent of the energy consumed during each charging process is fed back into the power grid as electricity from European wind turbines. That makes the demand for green electricity visible on the market and helps to pave the way for a more sustainable future.”
All energy produced, whether green or grey, is fed back into the grid and cannot be identified or selected for use by type. Kia customers have the freedom to charge at any public charge point on the Kia Charge network, and it is impossible for the company to control the source of energy used to power each one. Kia’s work with DCS is an effort to boost the amount of green energy available on the grid, committing to match every megawatt-hour of energy used in customer public charging with 100 per cent renewable energy.
Jason Jeong, President of Kia Europe, commented: “By pushing more green energy into the grid, we can increase the energy mix in favour of more sustainable sources. In time, we hope to be part of a wider network that can work directly with renewable energy suppliers that offer customers 100 per cent green charging facilities. However, until there is absolutely no grey energy on the grid, this latest action is a firm step in the right direction,” he concluded.
Kia Charge – one of the fastest growing charging networks in Europe
In partnership with DCS, Kia Charge gives drivers access to one of the world’s largest public charging networks with over 300,000 charge points across 29 European countries. Users of the pan-European integrated public charging service have access to charge points from all the main operators via a single platform for simple and easy use.
Kia Charge users can access charge points from all main operators via the Kia Charge charging card or Kia Charge app. No additional contracts with other providers are necessary, as payments are made via a single monthly invoice.
An additional benefit for Kia Charge users is access to IONITY, a pan-European integrated public charging service with more than 1,600 high-power charge points across 24 European countries within the IONITY network. The high-speed 350kW chargers support ultra-fast charging of the Kia EV6 from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes.
Kia Charge is currently available in 16 European markets: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Kia Charge in the UK
Kia Charge was launched in the UK in February 2021. Since then the number of UK charging points accessible to Kia Charge customers has grown by around 44 per cent to more than 20,500 – accounting for 69 per cent of the UK charging network. This includes around 2,500 DC ‘fast chargers’, which account for two-thirds of Kia Charge users’ charging activity in the UK.
23 UK charging networks are part of Kia Charge. Major networks available via Kia Charge include bp pulse, IONITY, Pod Point, Source London, Instavolt, Shell NewMotion, Osprey, Char.gy, and ESB.
In the last 12 months, Kia Charge has supplied more than 264 MWh of charging to UK users, with this number accelerating further each month as Kia delivers ever-greater numbers of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to customers. In 2021, EVs accounted for 16 per cent of all Kia UK sales.
Kia disclosed its sustainability targets under its new ‘Plan S’ strategy in 2021, a significant part of which is introducing a fully electric passenger car line-up in Europe by 2035. Kia’s first dedicated electric vehicle, the EV6, recently arrived in Europe to great acclaim and has attracted favourable comparison with many premium brands.
The Kia brand has undergone a huge transformation to become a global sustainability leader with its products, technologies, and services. Kia’s latest announcement to invest in green energy is a move to reduce the environmental concerns around the lifecycle of electric vehicles.