Kia Reveals Surprising Way To Improve EV Range

Electric Vehicles / 8 Comments

It's not about the weather, or how and where you charge. This is far simpler than that.

You may have heard to roll your windows up or brake carefully to preserve fuel economy and improve EV range, but there are several other factors impacting an EV's ability to achieve its best efficiency. In a new study, Kia took a fascinating look at how drivers react to different genres of music and, subsequently, how their behavior changes impact range.

As part of the study, drivers listened to a range of music that included Beethoven, Adele, Kanye, The Weeknd, Tycho, and Anna Meredith. The Kia EV6 electric crossover got the nod for the test, which offers up to 328 miles of range and fast charging tech. Unsurprisingly, listening to fast, high-energy music gives drivers a heavier right foot and reduces range.

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Kia found that drivers listening to Beethoven's "Symphony Number 9" exhibited a driving style that is "composed and level-headed." Classical tunes ended up being the musical style that accompanied the most efficient travel, as drivers listening to the genre drove gently enough to be four times more efficient than when jamming other tracks. It'd be interesting to see these same tests performed in a gas family hauler, like the new Kia Telluride, though screaming kids cause stress-induced driving instead of the good kind caused by enjoyable music.

Listening to pop music, on the other hand, the drivers produced a completely different result. The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights" provided the soundtrack for a portion of the test. Drivers were twice as inefficient when listening to the song and were found to show "more spirited and energetic driving styles." In between those two extremes, drivers listening to Adele's "Hello" responded to the song's ups and downs, which impacted range but not as much as more energetic tracks.

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Kia conducted the test with participants who had no prior knowledge of what they were getting into. The cars covered an 18-mile course designed to test various scenarios a driver may typically encounter, including roundabouts, highways, and shopping centers. Drivers wore a device to measure heart rate and take biometric measurements. The EV6 used in testing had the optional 14-speaker Meridian sound system, and all audio settings were checked before each run.

The EV6 isn't Kia's first EV, but it's the first to ride on its Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Kia shares the platform with Hyundai, and it currently underpins three vehicles across both companies' lineups, including the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60. Whichever you choose, it would appear that your music choice is likely to have a greater effect on your driving range than which brand you prefer.

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