The Kia dealer’s fast charger was broken (because of course it was), so we picked up our new Niro EV with 50 miles of battery left. We had to drive straight to Seattle for dinner plans (15 miles away), so we thought we’d find a charger there. There was only one within walking distance of dinner (which we were late to because the dealership neglected to call when the car was “ready”). I’m now learning that this is a common problem, but the charging station was out of order.
We finished dinner and drove home with about 30 miles range left, but my wife needed to drive about 100 miles the following day. We don’t have a level 2 charger yet (no 220V outlet in the garage yet to plug it in to), so we’d have about 10 hours to charge the car on level 1. It takes 60 hours on level 1 to charge, so that wouldn’t be nearly enough.
I volunteered to find a fast charger and hang out a while. It takes 75 minutes to 80% on level 3. The first one I drove to was also out of order! There was another one in the same parking lot, but it was a level 2 which would have taken all night. I found a fast charger 8 miles away at a closed and empty Harley Davidson dealership. I drove there and had to spend 15 minutes downloading an app and putting in my payment and car info. I’d complain, but once that was done the app worked great. I plugged in and it estimated 2 hours to charge to 80%. So I sat there in the dark as the car got colder and colder until it got to 53%. It took about an hour and a half, plus the half hour to find the working charger. Plus it cost $6.33 for the electricity. Cheaper than gas, but not exactly convenient.
That stuff was all undeniably frustrating, but once we have a level 2 charger in the house we’ll be fine. I can even program the car to stop at a certain percentage and only charge during off-peak times. Until then, it’s time for some serious range anxiety.
It’s a testament to the car that I didn’t get any buyer’s remorse through all of this. Driving home from the charging station, my overriding thought was “worth it.”