The average electric vehicle driver could save money by making simple changes to driving style, as confirmed by a research study from Kia UK and independent automotive training organisation, Motiv8.
The study reveals how drivers with no previous training can quickly adapt their driving style to increase the efficiency of an EV, improving range by up to a third. For the average festive season journey of 311 miles, that could equate to a saving of between £7 and £16, depending on charging location.
Kia’s EV efficiency study was implemented following its comprehensive new research of 1,200 UK drivers, which identified key concerns related to the cost-of-living crisis. It revealed that while seven in 10 drivers agree that owning an EV has helped reduce the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on their household, 52 per cent wish they were more aware of ways they could adapt their driving style to minimise expenditure.
David Taylor, Director at Motiv8 International, which conducted the training on behalf of Kia, said: “Kia has some of the most advanced EVs available on the market today, so were the perfect partner to test our efficiency methods. The results speak for themselves; by changing simple inputs, drivers can easily optimise their vehicle’s efficiency and go further on a charge, save on recharging costs and reducing their energy use.
“This is Kia’s gift to EV drivers this festive season – easy techniques that anyone can apply to save money, as well as reduce demand on the national grid. With the average driver travelling 311 miles to visit friends and family, now is the perfect time to follow Kia’s tips and start saving,” concluded Taylor.
EV efficiency training
Kia selected the all-new fully electric Niro for the EV efficiency skills session due to its impressive 285-mile range, two-wheel drive electrified powertrain, low drag co-efficient and smart regenerative braking system.
With batteries at 100 per cent and the available range noted, the independent drivers were invited to drive a route which included winding country roads, town driving and stretches of motorway. During the first cycle, they were free to drive in their usual style under the instructor’s observation. On return to the training centre, figures from Niro’s intuitive instrument cluster were recorded to indicate driving efficiency and available range for later comparison.
Motiv8 experts then analysed each driver’s habits and style for potential areas of improvement, and tailored advice was given to maximise gains in efficiency before repeating the same route under detailed instruction. On completion of the second cycle, range and efficiency data were compared to reveal an average improvement of 33 per cent greater electric range across all participants.
Taylor explains: “With the average home charge costing around 3p/kWh and public rapid charging at around 7p/kWh, it is easy to see where savings can be made. If you take the average improvement in the Kia study and extrapolate that over the UK average of 9,435 electric miles a year, an EV driver could save between £220 and £500 per annum.”
EV driving tips
As a result of the training, Kia has compiled a list of the top-five most helpful efficiency tips to help EV drivers save money:
- Go easy with the right foot – The instant torque of an EV is exhilarating, but it comes at a price. Up to 50% of the energy powering a car goes into acceleration, so aggressive driving uses more energy
- Lighten the load – Take the roof box off if you’re not using it and unload any unnecessary clutter (but don’t forget the presents!)
- Momentum – Careful route planning to avoid jams will keep you moving. Sometimes the fastest way is not the most efficient way
- Anticipate – Anticipating the traffic situation ahead will keep the car moving at a steady pace and use less energy than heavy slowing and acceleration
- Go slow, and wham on the radio! – Cutting your speed from 60 mph to 50 mph can improve efficiency by up to 15%
The voice of the customer
In Kia’s recent consumer survey, over seven in 10 (71 per cent) respondents who already drive an electric or hybrid car agree that owning an electrified vehicle has helped them reduce the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on their household, with over a third (34 per cent) strongly agreeing. A significant 86% of Londoners said the same.
52 per cent said they wished they were aware of more ways to adapt their driving style to reduce battery consumption but interestingly, this decreased with respondent age. Perhaps a reflection of the greater impact of the cost-of-living crisis on younger people, the 18 to 24 age group came out as those most likely to spend less on non-essentials so they can keep using their car as they always have.
As part of the survey, Kia asked if respondents would be interested in a service which offers discounts for access to multiple public charge-point providers, such as via a subscription charging solution. Three-quarters (75 per cent) replied positively to the concept, with a third (33 per cent) being very interested in such a scheme. 100 per cent of those polled in the North West were very interested, followed by 58 per cent of Londoners. This starkly contrasted with those in the South West who responded as not very interested (47 per cent).
Kia provides its own customers with access to Kia Charge, a pan-european charging solution with over 28,500 multi-speed charge points available across the UK, equating to 86 per cent of the nation’s public charging network.