The deal with Kia will lower the cost for charging, but only temporarily.

Electrify America, together with Kia Motors America, has announced the "Kia Select" plan, created to address billing problems that Kia Niro EV owners experience while using the Electrify America network. The plan is identical to the Hyundai Select plan that was introduced last month.

For those not familiar with this issue, let us explain. Electrify America's pricing structure has three pricing tiers, and customers pay based on the maximum charging rate the vehicle is capable of accepting. We highlighted the word capable because the car doesn't actually need to accept that level of power during the charging session, it just needs to be capable of charging at that level in order to be placed in the higher tier pricing.

Electrify America Pricing
Electrify America's California Pricing. Pricing is different from state to state.

The vehicle may not accept the full charge rate during the session because there are factors that will throttle back what power the car accepts, like battery temperature and the vehicle's current state of charge. During the initial handshake when the customer plugs in, the car tells the charging station what it's capable of accepting, and that rate is used to establish what pricing tier the vehicle will be assigned to. 

“Electrify America has worked closely with Kia Motors America to develop a pricing program that recognizes the unique charging profile of the Kia Niro EV, and enhances the charging experience of Niro EV drivers” said Wayne Killen, director of infrastructure planning and business development at Electrify America. “While we will continue to offer ways to facilitate the mobility of EV drivers with our rapidly expanding ultra-fast nationwide charging network, we encourage all our customers to stay at home as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, and abide by all government and CDC guidelines.” 

The problem with the Kia Niro EV (and as well as the Hyundai Kona Electric) is that when the vehicle initially communicates with the Electrify America station, the vehicle tells the station that it is capable of accepting 77kW. That puts it just slightly over the threshold for the middle-tier pricing.

Kia Niro EV

However, the Niro EV rarely ever accepts over 70 kW, so the vehicle really shouldn't be in the middle-tier pricing tier, it should be in the lowest tier, which would allow Niro EV owners to pay the significantly-lower tier 1 per-minute fee.

This issue can more than double the cost of charging and has had many Niro EV owners reach out to us and say they won't use the Electrify America network until they correct what they view as an unfair pricing scheme.

The new Kia Select program offers a flat rate of 35 cents per-minute for Kia Niro EV drivers, which for some drivers, could cut the cost of charging a Niro EV in half. The program also waives session fees and has no subscription fees for participants. 

“Working with Electrify America to offer the ‘Kia Select’ charging program to our valued Niro EV drivers is the latest embodiment of Kia’s Give It Everything philosophy,” said Michael Cole, president, Kia Motors America. “We believe this value-priced program will encourage more consumers to take advantage of the newest, fastest EV charging technology available, ensuring the charging experience matches the fun-to-drive EV model our customers have come to know and love.”

This deal with Kia mirrors the deal Electrify America struck with Hyundai Motors in March, and at the time we offered a more detailed analysis of the issue. Since this is exactly the same issue, and exactly the same solution, we'll direct you to the comprehensive post we made on this a few weeks ago, if you want a more detailed explanation of what the issue is and how Electrify America is working to resolve it. 

It is also important to note that this is only a temporary solution. The Kia Select plan is only valid until December 31st, 2020. We don't yet know what happens after that, but we're pretty confident there will be a permanent solution in place so that Kia and Hyundai owners won't need to sign up for a special plan in order to get fair pricing. 

So if you drive a Kia Niro EV and use the Electrify America network, head over the Electrify America's website and join the Kia Select plan, your wallet will thank you for it. Also, check out the Kia Niro Forum for discussions among other Niro EV owners and enthusiasts. 

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Electrify America, Kia Motors America Offer DC Fast Charging Plan for Kia Niro EV drivers 

Reston, VA (April 8, 2020) – Electrify America today announced an agreement with Kia Motors America to offer ‘Kia Select,’ a new charging program with optimized pricing for the Kia Niro electric vehicle (EV) model on Electrify America’s direct current (DC) fast charging network. 

The ‘Kia Select’ program offers a flat rate of 35 cents per-minute charging for current Kia Niro EV drivers, designed specifically for the unique DC charging characteristics of the model. The program also waives session fees and has no subscription fees for participants. 

“Electrify America has worked closely with Kia Motors America to develop a pricing program that recognizes the unique charging profile of the Kia Niro EV, and enhances the charging experience of Niro EV drivers” said Wayne Killen, director of infrastructure planning and business development at Electrify America. “While we will continue to offer ways to facilitate the mobility of EV drivers with our rapidly expanding ultra-fast nationwide charging network, we encourage all our customers to stay at home as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, and abide by all government and CDC guidelines.” 

To participate in the program, drivers can simply download the Electrify America charging app and complete a brief enrollment process. Drivers can also use the app to locate Electrify America charging stations, start a charging session, and remit payment using their credit or debit card entered during the registration process. 

“Working with Electrify America to offer the ‘Kia Select’ charging program to our valued Niro EV drivers is the latest embodiment of Kia’s Give It Everything philosophy,” said Michael Cole, president, Kia Motors America. “We believe this value-priced program will encourage more consumers to take advantage of the newest, fastest EV charging technology available, ensuring the charging experience matches the fun-to-drive EV model our customers have come to know and love.” 

The ‘Kia Select’ program is available now in the United States for all 2019 and 2020 model year Niro EV owners and lessees. The two companies will promote the program in a joint communications effort to encourage enrollment for all eligible drivers. The ‘Kia Select’ program will continue in effect until December 31, 2020 and will be re-evaluated at the end of 2020. 

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About Electrify America Electrify America LLC, the largest open DC fast charging network in the U.S., is investing $2 billion over 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education and access. The investment will enable millions of Americans to discover the benefits of electric driving and support the build-out of a nationwide network of workplace, community and highway chargers that are convenient and reliable. Electrify America expects to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging stations with about 3,500 DC fast chargers by December 2021. During this period, the company will be expanding to 29 metros and 45 states, including two cross-country routes, delivering on its commitment to support increased ZEV adoption with a network that is comprehensive, technologically advanced and customer friendly. Electrify America also offers home charging solutions for consumers with flexible installation options. 

For more information, visit www.electrifyamerica.com and www.media.electrifyamerica.com. 

About Kia Motors America Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America has been the highest ranked mass market brand in initial quality for five consecutive years according to J.D. Power**, and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands by Interbrand. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly assembled in West Point, Georgia.* 

For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert. 

*The Telluride, Sorento and Optima (excluding Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts. 

**Kia received the lowest rate of reported problems among mass market brands in the J.D. Power 2015-19 U.S. Initial Quality Studies of new vehicle owners’ experiences with their own vehicle after 90 days of ownership. Visit jdpower.com/awards for more details. 

NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS: 


Electrify America: Mike Moran Mike.Moran@ElectrifyAmerica.com 703.872.7936 

Kia Motors America: Neil Dunlop NDunlop@Kiausa.com 917.539.1327