A partnership with mobile charging service 'Currently' allows owners to charge up when and where they want.
While electric vehicles require less maintenance and are cheaper to run than their gas-powered counterparts, they are still prohibitively expensive to buy. Even with incentives, something like the Kia EV6 is still out of reach for many American consumers. To make EVs even more appealing, manufacturers often offer battery-powered cars with complimentary charging.
We've seen this recently with Toyota, which has offered one year of free charging at EV-go owned and operated charging stations across the US. The deal is available to anyone who chooses to purchase or lease a 2023 Toyota bZ4X.
Kia America is the latest manufacturer to jump on the bandwagon, partnering with 'Currently' to provide Kia EV owners with an "on-demand concierge service."
The partnership officially kicked off on March 1 and will allow drivers to charge EVs at a convenient location. All Kia EV owners will gain access to two months of cost-free charging and, while it's not a full year, some free charging is better than nothing. However, it differs from regular EV charging. Drivers simply schedule a time and place for their car to be charged via the Currently smartphone app. A Currently Delivery Technician will arrive and charge the vehicle.
While there are plans to expand to other cities in the near future, the initial rollout is now available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, where electric vehicles are very popular.
"The relationship with our customers does not end after delivery. In fact, that is just the beginning...partnering with Currently to offer complimentary EV charging connects to our larger 'Plan S' strategy and amplifies our commitment to overall EV adoption. We believe making charging easy also makes EV ownership easy," said Greg Silvestri, Kia's VP of Service Operations.
Currently is the first mobile EV charging service available in America and will add yet another level of practicality to EV ownership. What's more, it will curb range anxiety, allowing drivers to charge their cars anywhere, provided they plan ahead.
Josh Aviv, CEO of Currently's parent company, Sparkcharge said, "Together, Kia and Currently will have a huge impact on the environment and people's lives. But there is the often-overlooked time-saving element of full-service mobile charging, eliminating the wait at charging stations. Everyone can use an extra couple of hours each week. Kia and Currently are making Kia EV owners' lives in these cities better and greener."
While the cost-free period is far shorter than others, especially Audi's incredible three years of complimentary charging, Kia's partnership with Currently will undoubtedly gain a few loyal users. The convenience afforded by the unique concierge system allows owners to charge when and where they want, instead of wasting time at a charging station.
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