With a little help from Amazon.
Unless you live in a city with a significant charging infrastructure, owning an electric vehicle can be a bit tedious. Tesla has tackled the problem with its extensive network of fast Superchargers and other automakers like Volkswagen are investing in charging networks of their own.
Kia is taking a slightly different approach by teaming up with Amazon to make charging more convenient at the owner's home. EV and plug-in hybrid owners will now be able to log into Amazon to easily purchase a Level 2, 240-volt charging unit that has been handpicked by Kia. If you own a Kia Optima PHEV, Niro PHEV, or Niro EV, you can visit the site to shop for chargers.
What you'll find is a trio of chargers available from Bosh, Chargepoint, and Juicebox for $764, $699, and $549 respectively. As with any other product on Amazon, buyers will be able to read customer reviews and see an upfront price. Once ordered, the site allows buyers to schedule a licensed electrician to install the charger in their home.
"Home-charging can't get any easier than this," says Orth Hedrick, executive director of Car Planning and Telematics at Kia Motors America. "Being able to order a Level 2 charger and installation through Amazon further demystifies and simplifies the experience for new Kia EV and PHEV owners. It's just another example of how we're constantly striving to provide the very best vehicles and customer experience."
By using a Level 2 charger, owners will be able to charge their cars up to 6.5 times faster. On a Level 1 charger, a Niro PHEV could take up to nine hours to charge fully compared to less than three hours on a Level 2 unit. EVs may still be a slight inconvenience compared to a conventional car but Kia's home solution should make it a lot easier.