Op-Ed: The Other Side Of The Story – The KIA Dealer’s Version of Steve’s i3 Visit

AUG 22 2015 BY JAMES MELVIN 67

Kia at the 2015 New York Auto Show

Kia at the 2015 New York Auto Show

You may have read a piece here by contributor Steve C. depicting a confrontation of sorts between himself and a KIA dealer in regards to his ability to charge his BMW i3 at their store.

IN THE NAME OF FAIRNESS

Upon reading Steve’s piece (originally at his blog here), I felt compelled to call that dealership just to gain clarity on what exactly happened that day from their perspective. We all know there are two sides to every story and it’s only right to hear what happened from their point of view. One question I had was if Steve had contacted the sales manager, the dealership’s owner or an official who had the authority/knowledge to make a decision whether to allow non-customers use of their fueling source and if it was advertised as open for use by the general public. Fair questions, no?

I had the pleasure of talking to Kenny Jakel, the sales manager of Lee Johnson KIA in Kirkland, Washington – the dealership that seems to be at the center of Steve’s lengthy vent. The insight gained gives forth a rare window into how some EV enthusiasts can sometimes do more harm than good.

Lee Johnson Kia (via James M)

Lee Johnson Kia (via James M)

STEVE’S VERSION

“And when the KIA salesperson approached me while I sat humbly in my i3, I thought that it may be the smoothest contact across the EV demarcation line in history. For that salesman was carrying a baby!

Easy was not to be. The KIA salesperson was in such a foul state upon my request to charge on the CCS plug that I started worrying about the baby’s wellbeing. What a conundrum! Would he start trembling with rage, dropping the baby? Would he get animated, and set the baby down on the BMW? What if the baby had a poopy diaper? Oh, heavens!”

Attempting to avoid a standoff that would make Papa Boehner and Mama Pilosi envious and proud, I offered to write about (him and) the KIA dealership in a blog post. Shockingly, the salesperson merrily asked me to park the i3 “right in front of the dealership” to charge. After plugging in, though, his parting comment was, “this charger is for emergency use only.”

THE DEALERSHIP’S VERSION:

Mr. Jakel’s recollection of how this occasion transpired is quite different. He states that having his tiny baby with him did not make him onery, skeptical nor unfriendly. An auto professional, Kenny is the dealership’s Sales Manager, not “a salesman”.

His point of view upon first contact with Steve was that he parked his BMW at his one-and-only quick charger and set off ( to ask permission ) on a mission – that being for confrontation. We all know that these issues often happen when one person approaches a situation with certain biases or expectations and this can color our outward posture, tone or presentation. Mr. Jakel says he was polite and professional, and not ready to “start trembling with rage” – a very strong assertion coming from EV-blogger Steve. Leaving that to differing personal perceptions, we’ll continue to Steve’s account. He contends the “salesman” changed his tune once Steve cleverly decided to tell him he would blog good things online if they consented to a free charge whilst he visited, that Steve would write a ( hopefully ) positive piece on their SoulEV.

In Kenny’s version of what went down that day, he said he informed Steve that the fast charger was for critical need use with dealer cars, but informed him they had several L 2 chargers up front and he was more than welcome to charge there. Next, Kenny handed Steve off to one of his sales staff – as he was holding his baby – and Steve wanted to take photographs. The salesman then gladly ( “merrily?” ) directed Steve to the front of the dealership where the chargers were located. Mr. Jakel said Steve informed him he was a blogger and inferred, “he would thrash us unless we treated him nice”. Steve: “I’m a blogger, this is what I do for a living!”. Kenny told me his mom once taught him to “pick his battles”, and he chose to deal with this man and his i3 in a cooperative, professional manner as to not incite some sort of scene.

Kia Soul EV charging

Kia Soul EV L2 charging

There you have it – two versions of the same encounter. One paints an unfriendly dealer, hoarding his Fast-Charger to maintain his product, who, in the opinion of the writer – should avail it to the general public using all brands of EV due to the fact his charger had both CCS and ChadeMo capabilities. Jakel said he discovered his QC was listed on Plugshare, and called to correct their error. It would be understandable to have a non-customer with another brand car assume the KIA dealer’s QC was open to the public by seeing it listed there. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Steve, as it appears he read about the QC’s existence and attempted to use it. Mr. Jakel asserts there is no process in place at his dealership to collect-and-charge at this time. He stated that KIA is installing several such QCs at dealerships in our area, all intended for dealer use. His was only the first to be installed.

Was Steve looking for an axe to grind? Did he see this as a good controversy for a story? The truth is out there and very well may be something in-between as is the case ofttimes. All we have to go on from Steve’s perspective is what he wrote. In his piece, Steve blogged that he has used “guerilla tactics” to charge in the past, but those ways were no longer publically acceptable. Were they ever?! Is plugging in and leaving a restricted charger, assuming it’s OK , EVER good ethics? Do we want to tick people off with our electric cars giving all EV drivers a black eye in the public’s opinion?! We’re not jerks, driving around looking for a slot to plug our cars in, or a freebie – just assuming a company wants to offer us free fueling opportunities in the name of good PR.. Tip: Never assume ( you know the saying ). I’ll quote Steve verbatim: “

“Gone are the days of guerrilla tactics wherein I would pull into a restricted charging station, plug-in, and disappear knowing that 95% of people would feel dirty unplugging somebody else’s EV. I have also retired my other tried-and-true technique, which is quite the opposite of the “Plug-N-Run”: pull in, plug-in, stand outside of the car–all seven feet of me–and feebly attempt to puff my chest into a bird-chested intimidation to keep potential charge rage manicals away. “You feel lucky, punk?””

IN CONCLUSION:

Steve uses the wordage, “standoff”, “conundrum” and “EV demarcation line”. His own descriptions convey a strong feeling of antagonism, or – an “us vs. them” mindset.

A few weeks ago I wrote an Op/Ed piece here on re-naming EVs to something that resonated more with people everywhere. I mentioned Recumbent Bicyclists and how that small subgroup of bicycling enthusiasts deeply believed that their seated form of cycling was superior in many ways to the standard, upright-seating cyclists in the vast majority. What ensued were bouts of name-calling, finger-pointing and a derogatory war of words predominantly coming from the minority – a war they eventually lost.

I feel Steve’s assumptions, regardless of the feeling he got from his encounter with Kenny – were wrong. Very wrong. As EV supporters we are a minority of a grand scale vs. folks who choose automobiles and trucks fueled by fossil fuels. When and if we get into negative attitudes placing ourselves as the just, biblical David, vs. a Goliath of conventional car owners – we have already lost the battle of sharing just how amazing it is to drive electric to society.

Truly, we need to take the high road in every situation and circumstance, not a contentious stance in the name of perceived justice. This way, we all win and EV drivers are more apt to be looked upon favorably versus a small minority of jerks at war with everyone else. This naturally includes how we present ourselves to car dealers as well. Imagine if we felt entitled to a full tank of gas from our local car dealer just because we stopped by their store! After all, they have gas on hand for the cars they sell, don’t they?! Lastly, no blogger or journalist should use that position to intimate favorable reviews based upon his experience – just like no professional food critic with integrity would waltz into a restaurant and tell the employees who he was.

Fair is fair.

Update: Steve’s original story via his blog has been removed upon request

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67 Comments on "Op-Ed: The Other Side Of The Story – The KIA Dealer’s Version of Steve’s i3 Visit"

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Bit rich of the blogger with the I3 demanding the use of a fast charger with a threat.

Not fond of car dealers, but I’ll back the KIA dealer all the way on this one.

Blogger may have expected too much one thinks, maybe he should purchase a KIA EV and then ask nicely if he can use their quick charger ?

Ego and free things is such bad karma LOL!

Actually I think we should use this same technique to make a GM dealer look bad. It wouldn’t be about a charger though. We should tape a dealer (salesperson) deliberately poo pooing the Volt and leading the customer to a gas car.

Make a total fool out of that dealer (this includes 95% of all Chevy dealerships) and then splash the news for all to see.

Good point George, why isn’t GM sending secret shoppers to their dealerships to find out which ones are steering people away from Volts?

You mean they aren’t?

Sure doesn’t seem like it.

As written, I imagine the truth lies somewhere in between. But the blogger sounds like a jerk.
If I am going to asking to charge somewhere, it is a favor I am asking. Electricity isn’t free, and the equipment is there for the business, not for strangers, regardless of how badly the stranger needs a charge.

Steve drives a iREX, so its not he needed the charge, it is after-all, also petrol driven

A hacked i3 REX at that, so he doesn’t even have the normal limitations of the i3 REX that might lead to somebody needing to charge before something like a long, steep mountain climb.

I was a follower of Steve on “Stevecoramblogspot.com”. As a result of this incident I will not be following him anymore. He has lost my respect. With the power of the pen comes great responsibility.

blah blah

The moment you make any kind of threat at all or use vulgar language at me unprovoked the conversation is over and you may go away. I have hung up on clients because of this.

Typical self-entitled BMW owner.

+1000

James,

Perhaps your sarcasm detector isn’t functioning properly. I for one thought Steve wrote his Kia Dealer blog post completely tongue-in-cheek, and that it depicted reality as truthfully as any of the “Real Housewives” or “Bachelorette” reality TV shows. In the same vein, I made a tongue-in-cheek comment to Steve’s story and it went over some people’s heads.

Please dumb-down your humor for us to grasp it. Thanks. 🙂

OK. I’ll try.

FOOL CELL!

Is that dumb enough for you? 😉

Thank you for posting this perspective.

Earlier this year I charged a Leaf on the Chademo fast charger at a Nissan dealership. I was told in clear terms by a manager that I was not welcome since the Leaf was sold by a different dealer. When I pointed out that this would not be good for Leaf sales in general, he gestured to all the gas cars in the lot and said that he did not care about EVs. I know for a fact that the owner has diametrically opposite views, and the next time I came, I was treated very nicely and all of the 6 or so EV charging spots that were previously blocked for no reason were easily accessible. These things are usually about individuals. We even have one EV driver at work (out of 5) who sometimes acts like a school-yard bully. I am told that I personally have been mean once or twice in my life 😉

As has already been said: There are two sides to every story. It really surprises me that everyone commenting here seems to be taking the dealership’s word for everything… or at least the dealership’s side as filtered through James’ apparently very biased viewpoint. In general, I think most InsideEVs readers know that traditional auto dealerships are notorious for having salesmen and service reps who practice lying to customers on a regular basis. I think most readers will also agree that in many if not most dealerships, salesmen and service reps try to manipulate and cheat the customer at every opportunity, trying to sell him things he doesn’t need or want, and frequently overcharging for servicing and repair. So why is everyone suddenly treating the dealership as a paragon of truthfulness? And that aside, when was the last time you actually believed everything told to you by a salesman working on commission? * * * * * I advise everyone to read the original post on this subject: “BMW i3 Owner Questions Kia Dealership’s Policy On CCS Fast Charging” by Steve Coram http://insideevs.com/bmw-i3-owner-questions-kia-dealerships-policy-on-ccs-fast-charging/ Also, read the comments, including no less than twelve from “James”, who apparently is “James Melvin”, the author… Read more »
As in the past, you’ve seemed to take offense at something I’ve written. Hey, it’s good to hear different viewpoints – but I’ll refuse to be blind to Steve’s account which pertends humor by slamming a particular automobile dealership unjustly. In a piece that started out a lamenting commentary about frustrations with the current mess of so many charging standards – he soon turns it into an attack of one particular auto dealer. Before you play the humor card – listen to Steve: “Instead of wooing me into spending time kicking the tires and licking the plugs of the Soul EV, I felt like Nick Symmonds at a Nike Olympics. All who qualify are welcome, so long as they wear the right brand and sign their lives away.”. Do you find it funny that an EV blogger thinks he should be “wooed” by anybody? I find it disappointing. Next, he takes absurdity to the next level by describing a KIA salesman as an idiot for asking him how he liked his i3″! Steve: “While the i3 charged, and taking pictures for the agreed upon blog post, another KIA salesperson approached. After circling me once, and the i3 twice, he, with… Read more »

Great counterpoint. Seriously, some bloggers are jerks.

@James:

I’ve expressed my opinion, and given what I think are rational reasons for it.

I feel no need to add to what I’ve said.

I expect that James, as well as the dealer, has forgotten the old adage “the customer is always right.” So now that “quaint” idea of customer service is now conflated with expecting special treatment. I also expect that Steve was being sarcastic and a bit snarky with the dealer and the dealer misinterpreted it as being antagonistic.

But here is something that has been lost in this post that Steve pointed out. Since the Soul EV uses a ChadeMo charger, what do they need a combo QC for? What use would a dealer have for something that none of their cars even use?

I have to agree with sven on this one (it was bound to happen sooner or later :).
I, too, thought Steve’s blog piece was written tongue-in-cheek. And tell me again why Kia installed dual DCFC?? So they could charge all the CCS equipped EVs that were traded for their Kia EV in 20 minutes? I gotta call BS on that one. They have L2 chargers at the stealership that could do that just fine. Kia did it for PR reasons, and the stealership reneged on Kia Corporate’s intent. After all, does an 80% charge in an i3 cost more than the coffee and donuts they give away inside? Since the dual head charger is there anyway, why not charge $5-10 for a quick charge and recoup *something* from the expense?
The whole idea of dealership installed QC is BS IMO. Who wants to go hang out at a car dealer for a charge???? I’d rather go to the dentist.

And yes, this post is tongue-in-cheek also.

A medium sized dealership may have a peak demand for the month of 40 kw. To arbitrarily add 26.5 kw (25 kw to the car plus 1500 watts loss in the charger box plus wiring losses) is a big increase in the electric bill. If its only for emergencies normally than Steve was the first one using it in the month, and he pushed up the demand.

That could by a truck load of donuts.

Of course, then we get the Tesla posting saying buy an “S”, and go to the SuperCharger. But now Musk doesn’t want us to do that and you’ll get a mean letter if you continue to do so.

Why is it that Kia isn’t allowed in your mind to attempt to future-proof their most expensive charger, by leaving open the possibility of a future CCS charger equipped Kia being sold some day?

What’s the point of installing something that may not be used for years? Or never?

Rick: I agree with our comment. The KIA dealership installed a great dual charger, yet didn’t want anyone other than KIA customers to use it. While that is their right, it is kind of strange. And being on Plugshare, one would have to assume this actually is a public charging location. Wonder what Steve would have done if they allowed him to use it at the typical cost that is charged at many QC sites? They did have several Level II’s so if he was “stuck”, an hour at the Level II would net him something like 25 miles on an I3, if I am correct. This does sound like a set up, and a sales manager that was not a big fan of EV’s(or maybe not of EV drivers). One thing that this episode tell me is that the car makers really need to get their bleep together and work out some kind of formal protocol that enables EV drivers to pull in and charge. I am sure this is exactly the situation Tesla anticipated when they set up their own SC network(admitting that they don’t allow non Tesla drivers to use it). There has to be a better… Read more »

The solution is simple: buy a Tesla, the only EV that comes with transparent and comprehensive charging infrastructure included.

Only if you don’t use it too often, which was not exactly transparent.

Okay, that bit was less than transparent but when you buy a Tesla it’s completely clear what sort of support you can expect for your long distance travel.

No need to beg/threat at some Kia dealership.

I thought at some point the dealer made it clear that the QuickCharger was ‘for dealer use only on dealership cars’, and that as a COURTESY, free level 2 docking stations were offered to the public.

Since Steve’s I3 has a motorcycle engine in it, is he going to go to a Toyota Dealer next and insist on filling up at the dealership’s private gas pump? And then try to write a ‘funny’ article about it?

If he tries that without permission, I’m sure they can find a jail cell with 7 ft tall ceilings, as he’s so found of reminding us he needs.

I mean he goes to a KIA dealership and insists on free service? On some vague comment by a Kia Marketing guy?

That’s like me reading that gas prices are coming down and going to the corner gas station insisting on free gas since I’d say, “Oh, I thought you meant since gas prices are coming down I thought ZERO (i.e. free) was a nice to stop”.

James Melvin wrote:

“There you have it – two versions of the same encounter. One paints an unfriendly dealer, hoarding his Fast-Charger to maintain his product…”

You mean, that’s your twisted and intellectually dishonest version of what Steve actually wrote. His article included this: “…the salesperson merrily asked me to park the i3 ‘right in front of the dealership’ to charge.”

I don’t know what your definition of “hoarding” is, but that behavior is rather contrary to mine!

Furthermore, Steve never says or implies that the Kia dealer was unfriendly. He merely gives an account of dealing with a salesman at the Kia dealership who was having a bad day, one who apparently was in a bad mood at the time. Nonetheless, despite Steve’s delightfully funny, over-the-top suggestion that the salesman might become so upset that he would tremble with rage at Steve’s request, the outcome as reported by Steve was quite satisfactory.

One wonders just how far James went in twisting what Steve actually wrote, when he called the dealership to denounce Steve’s article? If what James wrote in his comments on Steve’s article is any indication, he must have twisted Steve’s comments very far out of recognition indeed.

You would be wrong. They had read the piece themselves.

No twisting needed. Steve’s piece is, as you say, “over the top”.

“Intellectually dishonest” – Pushmi, ….Really?!!

Whilst calling me a liar, you also forgot this is an OP/ED piece.

I respect your right to your own opinion. Please respect mine as well.

To James Melvin – Author: “Lastly, no blogger or journalist should use that position to intimate favorable reviews based upon his experience – just like no professional food critic with integrity would waltz into a restaurant and tell the employees who he was.” – Agreed! Wrong Tactic. For sure not as valuable as the Silent Shopper technique. Other Reference: “Mr. Jakel…stated that KIA is installing several such QCs at dealerships in our area, all intended for dealer use.” The Part – ‘for dealer use’ is not exactly clear, because – KIA USA might have meant – ‘for dealer use – to attract other EV Owners to their showroom to see the KIA Soul EV’, or it might have meant – ‘for dealer use – to make sure that the Soul EV is never caught short with a dead battery when needed for a Test drive for a prospective buyer’ and more particularly – it assumes that this “Mr. Jakel” is an Authority on the purposes behind KIA USA’s implementation of the DC QC, but he has no explanation on why it has, in fact, the CCS when the strict form of “intended for dealer use” would suggest that – it… Read more »

Was he “testing the water”, or looking for a fight? I believe I was fair in stating the truth is out there — and could be somewhere in-between.

This is not a piece about KIA, nor it’s choice of charger protocols. You seem bent on defending Steve’s attitude by quoting past media that quotes rumors (“word is, that KIA doesn’t want to leave anybody out” ). That, my friend is the very description of an unsubstantiated rumor.

You can assume all day long — but truth is, a business can install anything they want for any reason they want. You can speculate all day long also — one could also say KIA future-proofed their chargers as the current status, as Steve commented upon, is that there is no certain winner in the one-protocol-fits-all future.

It seems KIA deciding to install a dual-format QC for their own use appears to you as an affront or an invitation.

You could be wrong.

James, I just thing that there is still more to this world of EV’s than just Car Dealers and their understanding of business. They are not actually ‘Independent’ once they put a Brand Sign up on their property – but a Representative of the Brand. Independent Dealers usually sell any car they want, have, or can get their hands on. Franchised: For example – ‘Subway’ Franchisee – is TOLD by HQ – to install a $6,000 Special 220V Toaster Oven that can quick Toast the customers sandwich – when they will now ask – “Would you like that Toasted?” – but apprently – Car ‘Dealer Franchises’ Can’t be ‘Told’ How to use their KIA PROVIDED Chargers? It boggles the mind even more! So – did you think I was Assuming something? Well – >> from 11 months ago: “Officially, Kia’s stance is that it aims to promote and support the entire electric vehicle community, not just those who happen to own a CHAdeMO-capable EV.” – http://insideevs.com/kia-dealership-california-installs-abb-multistandard-fast-charger-chademo-ccs/ So – If I assumed anything – it was based on that sentence – which I remembered – “Officially, Kia’s stance is that it aims to promote and support the entire electric vehicle community,… Read more »
Subway as part of the franchisee agreement may have to provide TurboChef’s to be in agreement with the national advertising. Dealers however have more leverage. With GM, dealers were told to install at least (2) Two Level 2 chargers, one for the service bay and one for the public. Some big dealerships locally ignore the Directive and tell GM to pound salt. Paddock, the second or first largest (goes back and forth with a dealership in texas as to who is the biggest), offers no public faciities. Basil, the 3rd largest dealer chain locally, has never purchased a SINGLE evse anywhere, not even in their service bays. When I queried them as to what to do to make sure the charger is properly working, they use the ‘charger brick’ included with that car, or one close by. The reason these dealers have the ability to ignore GM’s directives, is that the alternative, is to simply not sell the models they dislike. While Basil still sells all models, most Cadillac Dealers in the area have refused to sell the ELR period. I side with the dealerships on this issue. I’d rather have them give me a better deal (I got about… Read more »

Bill: I can say from personal experience that few Chevy dealers down here in Philly offer public EVSE. There is a dealer 1 mile from my house who sells Volts. No public charging to my knowledge. Directly next to them is a Nissan dealer that has 3 Level II’s and one QC. Another local dealer has a Level II just inside their service bay, but no public EVSE. I find this very backwards as even 1 public EVSE can alleviate “range anxiety” for someone, can put the dealership on the Plugshare map and can help spread the EV experience. It is, of course, their choice and nothing is free. But the availability of dealership EV charging can be a boon to EV acceptance(until a better developed charging network is in place).

Robert Weekley said: “Neither the Dealership in this rebuttal, nor the author, seem to have justified why KIA USA is installing anything beyond CHAdeMO Fast Chargers… I believe I remember an article here that said they wanted to play fair with ALL EV’s!” From Steve’s original article, there appears to be some confusion over whether or not corporate Kia intended the chargers to be “public access”. Even after reading James’ account (above) of talking directly to the management of the dealership, it’s still unclear to me if Steve’s attempt to use the Kia charger was a result of the charger appearing on some list of publicly accessible charge locations, or not. In Steve’s original article, he ends his description of the exchange with the sales rep thus: “After plugging in, though, his parting comment was, ‘this charger is for emergency use only’.” That seems pretty clear. In that case, how did Steve learn about the Kia charger? James’ article says this: “Kenny Jakel, the sales manager of Lee Johnson KIA in Kirkland, Washington… said he discovered his QC was listed on Plugshare, and called to correct their error.” This also seems pretty straightforward. They were listed as a publicly accessible… Read more »
Yes. Their single QC charger is not for the public. They have L2s up front that are free. Steve’s depiction says they changed their tune and let him charge. This from his article: ” Shockingly, the salesperson merrily asked me to park the i3 “right in front of the dealership” to charge”. This is consistent with Mr. Jakel’s version. The L2s are up in front of the showroom right out in front of the dealership. The one and only Fast Charger is on the side next to the service dept. as shown in Steve’s photo, and referenced in the photo above. Not up front. Details, details. In Steve’s photo, his i3 is parked next to the Fast Charger under the canopy, but NOT plugged in. On the surface this backs up the dealer’s story and Steve may have gotten that a bit mixed up in his article, which sounds as if the dealer changed his mind and let him Fast Charge. I’m not sticking up for car dealers as you’ve said. Instead I’m just trying to insure we EVers treat others ethically and with respect – for we all are ambassadors. I spent time today volunteering with other folks in… Read more »
I have to say this is a big gray area. I see two other sides to this story. Side 1: While it may be true that the blogger came in to start a confrontation or “test” the dealership in this regard, I still have to wonder why a Kia dealership would bother to install a DC fast charger in the first place if it weren’t for customer use? I mean, if they just need to keep their vehicles on the lot charged up, the L2 works fine for that. And considering how few Soul EVs are in stock around the country, I think I’ve made my point. Side 2: Let’s look at this from a traditional perspective. Most dealerships have gas stations somewhere on site to fill their cars. If a person rolls in off the street and asks to fill their tank (especially for free, in a vehicle they didn’t even buy there) what should the dealer do? So the real issue boils down to lack of public charging infrastructure. In some areas it is barely adequate, and in other areas totally non-existent. That is why I think the PHEV is the best answer for most people at the… Read more »

David – I re-Quote: “Officially, Kia’s stance is that it aims to promote and support the entire electric vehicle community, not just those who happen to own a CHAdeMO-capable EV.” – as I linked the story above!

It just seems dealers have not been well informed, or at least – all staff at the dealership are not on board with the brands intent!

Like all ICE-based auto companies ( which is all but one ), surely it’s not top-priority to place several QCs on their property, taking up precious lot space intended to hold their stock and customer’s cars.

“…to support the entire EV community” is politico-speak, PR. Obviously one charger is not going to support many in the EV community. Was the intention then to have people come from far and near to charge at their dealership? C’mon, let’s be realistic here. You’re placing way too much onus on a PR statement made by an ICE company who basically has come out with one single compliance-esque BEV.

But the dealership *IS* supporting the ‘entire ev community’ by providing courtesy, industry-standard (J1772) docking stations.

I don’t consider auto companies to be ‘Ice Based’. Its simply the propulsion system they are using for the moment. If steam cars become popular again they’ll have ECE (external combustion engines). When people start buying electric cars in numbers because battery prices go down, or gasoline prices go up, then they’ll have electric cars.

VW and Audi I’m sure are making EV’s since soon you won’t be able to drive VW’s diesel in London and Paris and they better be making something else like EV’s.

Excellent point.

Now that you mention it – it’s true. They are servicing the EV community, just not with it’s single QC unit.

I remember comments in the Story by Steve – based on the charging picture – that it was in fact a ‘REx’ Version – as they noted – ‘See the Gas Door’ (front right) while the cord was plugged in Right Rear! So – this might simply have been a ‘Story Getting Trip’ – as it seemed to be, and – what a story we are getting here!

Oooh, good point about dealerships having gas pumps on site and ICE drivers asking/never-asking to fill up.

@David. A very well-balanced way to look at it.

One issue that this highlights is how, as EVs become more common, and especially 80 mile city/commuter BEVs – the once quaint and polite charging issue is becoming more war zone than we may have anticipated. Steve bought a CCS BMW in our state which has decidedly gone ChadeMo. He knew this as he previously owned a LEAF. I understand how this could make some people with a German EV cranky…But if they went in knowing the situation…

The other main issue here is how EVers deal with everyone, not just dealers. It’s plain that no matter how much “over-the-top” humor Steve infused here – he literally did expect special treatment and didn’t hold back in telling everyone he was a professional blogger.

I think that is very clear.

It was clear from the photos, Steve’s i3 is a REX version. So it has a petrol tank, so it can’t be an emergency refill.

Another good early story – also from 11 months ago – here: – “In addition to unveiling the world’s first 100 kW multi-standard (CHAdeMO + CCS) DC fast charger, Kia laid out its plans for charging station deployment in Europe:” and – “This is part of a wider plan from Kia to install a robust charging network around the world, as the Soul EV is to be sold globally.” – http://insideevs.com/kia-details-massive-charging-station-installation-plans-europe/

All Good – But Most Dealers are – as has been said – not really ‘on top of’ the EV World – even when they sell them! Selling their ICE counterparts is their lifeblood!

This kinda “takes the cake” for me.

Steve was asked not to use the fast charger, but there were several relatively fast (level 2) docking stations he was invited to use for free. That is bein an ingrate.

IT seems to be part of his Schtick to constantly call attention to his height, as if people will pay money (or read advertising) to his compensated pieces. Perhaps he thinks thats how he can differentiate himself and keep people interested in him. But we’re quickly losing interest if this is the way he treats a magnanomous, unsuspecting dealership.

The vast majority (over 90%) of the dealerships around me have ZERO public facilities. And he’s bad mouthing those who do, and offer some kind of free facility, only holding back their most pricey offering for emergencies? C’mon.

100% spot on!

From 5 months ago – a Positive KIA Dealer Experience – http://insideevs.com/refreshing-kia-dealer-goes-extra-mile-soul-ev-buyer/

For David Murray – re: ‘Side 2’ – in the above Good News Kia Story – a Comment: “My local BMW dealer should take lessons from Kia. They thoughtfully wanted to add $80 to “fill the gas tank” on a i3 BEV I had on order.” (Not a REx Version!) Communication often gets lost in the wind with routines, habits, and lack of thinking!

I would put up a sign “Not for public charging” on the charger and indicate the availability of the other chargers.
In general I think people are more rude today than they used to be. Instead of blaming others for reacting to your own rudeness put yourself in their shoes.

Btw how does one sit humbly in their vehicle? A persons demeanor is not automatically perceived by another, unless it is quite obvious. He went from being humble to being threatening quite readily.
(This post was written with all humility).

Are there very many models of 100kW charger available? Is it possible that in terms of 100kW chargers the dual-standard charger was just what was available/what KIA could get the best deal on? They would want a 100kW charger to show off their ability to charge at 100kW.

Don’t have hard information here, but I’m under the impression a 25 kw quickCharger is the only unit that is fully utilized by the Kia Soul. In other words, a 50 kw unit won’t get you twice the speed, and a 100 kw unit is only slightly faster than a 50.

Since someone somewhere has to PAY the electric bill, whomever is paying it would want the 25 kw QC since its the most bang for the buck, and you still don’t have to wait too long.

It’s their charger, their rules. You ALWAYS ask, otherwise you are stealing. I own a Ford Energi. I’ve charged at 2 Nissan, several Ford (I didn’t buy from), and a BMW dealer. EACH time, I pulled in, ASKED first, then charged. What is so hard about that?

To be honest, I’m not even sure why you would bother sitting at a dealership to charge a PHEV like the Energi. (is it the C-Max or Fusion?)

Regardless of this event, I’ve found Steve Coram’s blogs in the past to be sensationalist in nature. From his stories about him knowingly pushing his i3 far past it’s range, to claiming that his coded i3 was the best road trip car ever, it always seemed intentionally overly dramatic.

Not my favorite writing style.

Yeah, seems like a hard way to make a living. I’d think it would be much easier to just have advertisers come to you.

“He stated that KIA is installing several such QCs at dealerships in our area, all intended for dealer use”.

“Officially, Kia’s stance is that it aims to promote and support the entire electric vehicle community.” – http://insideevs.com/kia-dealership-california-installs-abb-multistandard-fast-charger-chademo-ccs/

These two statements sound contradictory.

If Kia (not the dealerships) is installing fast chargers “to promote and support the entire electric vehicle community” then the sales manager was wrong to claim they are for use by the dealers only.

If the dealership owners are installing fast chargers at their own expense, then Kia is not supporting the EV community.

Either way, this sales manager has put me off buying a Kia Soul EV, which is on my shortlist. On my long commute, I pass a Kia dealership. My main worry about a BEV is that the public charging network is notoriously unreliable. On days when the public charger does not work, I need a 20 minute DC fast charge on the way home, not a 4 hour wait at a level 2 charger.

It would be helpful if Jay could reach out to Kia USA to ask them to clarify whether the chargers are for the use of the EV community or for the exclusive use of their franchisees.

Kia USA neither pays the electricity bill, nor the cost of installing the chargers. Kia Franchises are not owned by Kia. They are independently owned by the local store owner.

I don’t know where this idea came from that somehow independent local business owners (who happen to have a Kia franchise agreement) are somehow suddenly bound by vague Kia USA corporate marketing speak.

Have you ever seen the phrase “Participating Dealers”? This is because the dealerships are completely separate legal entities. They are not bound to anything they don’t agree to. Certainly aren’t bound to some vague marketing speak from corporate that would somehow in your mind require them to offer more than just level 2 chargers, like they offered Steve.

Thanks for following up on this story, after reading the original post from the Blogger I felt confused by the emotions in the story, and felt that it started off confrontational with the dealer then calming it down and offering to open the Kia EV and the charger whilst the Blogger remained antagonistic and self important.