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If you’re in Vancouver and have ever considered an electric vehicle but aren’t sure about how it will fit into your life, Kia’s EV Experience Centre (EVEC), a first of its kind, is a great way to learn about all the ins and outs of owning a greener ride.

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I attended a media presentation earlier this week that included a test drive in an all-new plug-in Niro. Many questions come to mind when it comes to EVs, the biggest concerns being range and charging.

Kia EVEC Vancouver

Kia is dedicated to educating the public when it comes to the difference between hybrids (HEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV).

For starters, every Kia includes a Level 1 charging cable which fits into a standard 110-120 volt outlet. This is ideal for overnight charges at home, as opposed to fee-based public charging stations. In fact, according to stats, just over 70% of charging is done at home.

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There are currently over 14,000 level 2 and 3 public charging ports across Canada (level 2 and 3 offer quicker charge times than level 1). A level 2 full charge typically takes a few hours, so you can plan to be in a city and enjoy a meal or walk while charging.

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When you book a 90-minute EVEC visit, you’ll learn about the history and future of mobile tech as well as different charger hardware and associated costs of owning an EV versus a gas-powered car, including gas consumption, maintenance and rebates for recycling an older (non-electric) vehicle.

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At the end of the tour, you’ll be able to test-drive one of Kia’s four green vehicle options. The test drive is an optimized route to showcase the benefits of various EV charging networks, HOV lane access for EVs and preferred parking for EVs.

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For example, the 2020 Niro EV SX has a higher sticker price than a 2021 Kia Soul GT, however over a seven-year period, the savings add up. And the big plus is never having to smell gas on your hands or fussing with oil changes ever again.

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Both iOS and Android users can download the ChargeHub app with a built-in trip planner to view charging stations from point A to point B. A majority of the BC population only uses about 50km per month; a full charge is only really necessary when considering a longer road trip.

Vancouver was chosen as Kia’s first EV Experience Centre due to its green city status. Additional Experience Centres (particularly in Ontario) are under future consideration.

Kia Charging Hub

The Kia EV Experience Centre is located at 1778 West 8th Avenue near Burrard Street. Visit Kia Canada online for more details.

Unwatermarked photos courtesy of Kia Canada.

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