After a first test with the Renault ZOE, Automobile Propre set off again on the road to the Alps at the wheel of the electric Kia Niro.
The electric car in the mountains, act 2! After attempting a first ascent of the Col de Turini aboard the Renault ZOE, Automobile Propre offers itself a second trip to the Alps. For this new test, we are changing the vehicle but also our strategy. At the wheel of the Kia e-Niro, we opt for a longer journey. Spread over nearly 100 kilometers, it takes us from the seaside to the winter resort of Auron, at an altitude of 1600 meters. A test that we wanted closer to a real use case of an electric car owner.
Driving the Kia e-Niro
For this second test on the mountain roads, we took the wheel of the Kia e-Niro in its 64 kWh version. Offering more than 450 km of autonomy in the WLTP cycle, the Korean SUV has little to fear from the route that we are going to impose on it. The same goes for the engine. With 204 horsepower under the hood (150 kW), the electric Niro swallowed our climb without flinching. So much so that we hardly ever used sport mode.
Started with a battery about 95% charged, we arrive at the top with 61% energy remaining. Over the more than 80 km traveled, the on-board computer indicates an average consumption of 26.8 kWh / 100 km. It’s less than what we saw when we tested the Renault ZOE, but the course is also very different.
Top charging solutions
If the battery in our electric Kia Niro does not impose an intermediate charge, other cars with more limited ranges may need an energy boost once they reach the top.
In the case of Auron, a few terminals are installed at the bottom of the slopes. They are part of the “La Prize de Nice” network deployed by the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan area. Subscribers to the service can benefit from two free hours. The service is then billed at 2 euros per hour.
Regenerative brake optimized for descent
On the descent phase, the regeneration system of our electric Niro is optimal. The four modes offered can be directly controlled via the steering wheel controls. Without doubt the most practical solution from an ergonomic point of view.
From mode 0 (freewheels) to mode 3, it is possible to dose the regeneration level according to your needs. Keeping the pallet down even makes it possible to strengthen the effect of the engine braking to bring the car to a complete stop. A very practical system that allows you to pass the pins without having to touch the brake pedal. Be careful, however, not to go too hard. On the electric Niro, the regeneration is such that it could be dangerous on slippery roads. As with a classic brake, you have to know how to dose …
On the consumption side, we have long remained at 0 kWh / 100 km during the descent phase. We do, however, consume a little energy. Not because of the engine but of the auxiliary equipment. On the Kia e-Niro, the electric menu gives rather clear indications. Of the 2% of energy consumed during the first tens of kilometers of our descent, 70% is linked to the air conditioning and 30% to the electronic system.
In the end, our average consumption on the return trip was 5.4 kWh / 100 km according to the indications of the on-board computer. Taking into account the journey, Eco mode was favored on more than 90% of the driving.
Less than 5 euros of electricity
In the overall results of this test, our average consumption is 16.4 kWh / 100 km over the entire journey.
Left with a battery approximately 95% charged, we finish 52% when we return to our starting point. In terms of energy consumed, we estimate that we have consumed around 30 kWh over the entire route. Enough to put our “fuel budget” at less than 5 €.
16.4 kWh / 100 km
|Total energy consumed|
|Round trip cost|
4.3 euros (0.16 € / kWh)