With its new Niro EV and redesigned Soul EV electric cars hitting the road before summer, each complementing the existing Niro Plug-in Hybrid and Optima Plug-in Hybrid, Kia is making it easy for customers to upgrade to a 240-volt home charging station.
In partnership with Amazon, the automaker makes ordering a home charging station simple. But you need to go to www.amazon.com/ChargeMyKia. Don’t go to Amazon and type, “charge my kia” into the search box. I did that and one of the top search results was a faded red baseball hat saying: “I just want to drink wine and pet my dog.” Naturally, all of these words were accompanied by depictions of both a wine glass and a pooch, rendering the entire graphic illegible unless you got up close and personal with the wearer.
And it was a “dad hat.”
No, you need to go to that exact link, and then you can order one of three recommended chargers, see how the investment will decrease the amount of time it takes to recharge your car, and schedule installation. Amazon’s “happiness guarantee” means they’ll install it right or, if they don’t, they’ll make it right after you file what apparently would be an “unhappiness” claim.
As always, restrictions and limitations apply.
Do You Need a Home Charging Station?
In a statement related to the Kia/Amazon announcement, Orth Hedrick, executive director of Car Planning and Telematics, Kia Motors America, said: “Home-charging can’t get any easier than this. 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.”
I’d have to agree. But I’d also recommend that if you’ve got a Niro PHEV or Optima PHEV, you don’t need to spend the money on this. Both of these models easily recharge overnight using a standard 120-volt household power outlet.
With the Niro EV and Soul EV, you might want to upgrade. Both are long-range electric cars, and even with a 240-volt home charging station, they need to be plugged in overnight if you want to power the battery from zero to hero.
Installation costs vary, depending on the charger you select, the age of your home, where your electrical panel is located, and other factors, potentially including where you live. I checked to see what it would cost for my own house, built in 1964 in the Los Angeles suburbs, and equipped with an upgraded electrical panel more than five feet from the garage. Amazon gave me an estimate of $1,147, and that’s on top of the $549 for the least-expensive Juice Box charger (not including tax).
As you decide the best course of action, learn more about whether or not we think a plug-in hybrid or an electric vehicle makes the best financial sense.
After all, your happiness depends on it.