Kia Motors has published a report highlighting the major trends for electrification in Europe. The ‘Electric Mission’, a 4,100-kilometre drive through the world’s most developed electrified car markets, was carried out in partnership with automotive research consultancy World Shopper.

The Electric Mission lasted ten days, with a team of researchers visiting towns and cities across Northern Europe that are shaping the future of electric mobility. The team completed the journey in the Kia e-Niro all-electric crossover, passing through Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

During the road trip World Shopper’s industry analysts met with more than a hundred decision makers and stakeholders in the world of vehicle electrification, gathering data and first-hand insights for the Electric Mission report. The researchers also met with consumers, exploring attitudes towards electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, trends for electric vehicle adoption, and how they integrate electric vehicles into their daily lives. The report suggests that consumers are still put off by the perception of high electric vehicle purchase costs, inadequate vehicle charging infrastructure, and long charging times.

Crucially, the report also shows how drivers have successfully switched from gasoline and diesel vehicles, and incorporated electric vehicles into their lifestyle.

Install a home charger
The report found that consumers can more easily make the transition from fossil fuels to electric power by installing a home charging point. Often subsidised, or offered with the purchase of the car, home chargers enable drivers to leave home every morning with a full battery – not a luxury enjoyed by drivers of conventional vehicles. Kia e-Niro owners, for example, can set off every day with the maximum 455 kilometre range offered by the car (WLTP combined cycle) – significantly further than most drivers cover in a single day. The report found that the average single drive would only require around 4kW of the e-Niro’s 64 kWh battery capacity.

Adapt ‘refuelling’ habits
While the research from Kia and World Shopper highlighted a shift towards charging vehicles at home or at the office, many people have also fit electric vehicles into their lives by adapting their day-to-day charging habits. In Norway for example, many drivers use vehicle recharging time to have something to eat, have a coffee, or catch up on their emails.

The proliferation of fast chargers at service stops on major roads enables drivers to quickly recharge their vehicles sufficiently for a week of commuter driving in the space just 30 minutes. For example, charging a vehicle with a battery pack of 50kWh using a 175 kW fast charger a driver can recover an 80% battery charge in between 15 and 30 minutes.

Word of mouth and the experiences of others
Kia found during its research that one of the easiest ways for buyers of fossil fuel vehicles to overcome any concerns around electric vehicles was hearing about positive experiences of their friends and family. With vehicles such as the e-Niro making long-distance, zero-emissions transport possible, many drivers just need to hear about the added benefit of lower running costs,  maintenance costs and lower vehicle taxes to be convinced. Word of mouth remains  the number one reason why many people have switched to electric power in certain markets, and the longer driving range of the new generation of electric vehicles is now making them a truly viable choice for the majority of drivers.

e-Niro on sale in Europe; zero-emissions with a range up to 455 kilometres

Kia’s first fully-electric crossover, the e-Niro, offers a driving range of up to 455 kilometres (282 miles)* on a single charge – and up to 615 kilometres (382 miles) in the city**. Now on-sale in select European markets, the new Kia e-Niro offers greater driving range than many gasoline cars and most mainstream electric vehicles (and even many significantly more expensive electric cars) from its zero-emissions powertrain. Its unique combination of style and practicality is also matched by Kia’s unrivalled 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty, which also covers the battery pack and electric motor.

The e-Niro is available with a long-range, high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, as well as a 39.2 kWh power pack, which offers drivers up to 289 km (179 miles) of zero-emissions motoring on a full charge. Plugged into a 100 kW fast charger, it takes only 42 minutes to recharge the e-Niro’s 64 kWh battery from 20% to 80%.

The new e-Niro joins existing Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants of the Niro – of which more than 250,000 have sold globally since its introduction in 2016. To date, Europe has accounted for more than 90,000 sales of the hybrid crossover.