This weekend, in our autonomy challenge, we push the seven-sales limit in the Spanish electric vehicle market last January with 233 units, the KIA e-Niro. This time it will not be through an external collaboration but internally, since we will be driving a fleet vehicle from Circutor's Technical Assistance Service. How will this champion behave in winter temperatures?
An SUV, which the Korean brand offers with different hybrid, plug-in hybrid and 100% electric gasoline engines, therefore, mounted on a platform that has not been designed exclusively for battery-powered vehicles.
On Friday we were able to do the usual driving tests, in order to familiarize ourselves with the vehicle and also with its efficiency and recharging. Very interesting, by the way, the fact that the regeneration of energy using the electric motor as a brake can be adjusted simply and quickly using the levers located on the sides of the steering wheel.
These data tell us that, with efficient driving, we can reach consumptions very close to those approved and therefore overcome a 400 km route comfortably.
It has been a challenge divided into two parts:
In the first stage, held on Saturday morning, our friend Albert Sagarra accompanied us, at the wheel of a brand new BMW iX Drive40 with 71 kWh net compared to the 64 kWh of our Korean.
Albert agreed to do the 300 km challenge, not much, if we take into account that the Germanic whale, despite weighing 2.5 tons, has a WLTP 425 km certification, we decided to be prudent.
We met in Santa Perpètua de la Mogoda, he came from Caldes de Montbui and we from Viladecavalls. At the meeting point, the BMW was with a 93% battery and 312 km of autonomy on the display. The e-Niro indicated a 96% battery and 419 km, having already done 26 km from a full charge.
Our route takes us to the gates of the Dalí museum, in Figueres, on the A7 motorway, at temperatures of 10 to 14 C. At this point, the Niro still maintains 70% capacity and promises us 297 km more, with a Accumulated consumption of 14.3 kW/100km over the 150 km that we have already done. Have we made magic? The vehicle indicated a range of 433 km when charged and if we now add what we have done and what the on-board computer still tells us, we could do a total of 450 km. It is simply the result of efficient driving.
But how do we have the BMW at this point? Well, Albert has not done anything wrong and a little blackbird has also done something, his battery is at 61% and his autonomy, calculated by the vehicle, is 231 km after having done 137.7 km, therefore a total 368 km, far from homologation but enough to go back home?
After passing through the Dalí Museum in Figueres, both vehicles participating in the #CircutorElectroChallenge took the N-260 road towards the beautiful town of Besalú and then took the A-26 to Olot.
In the capital of La Garrotxa, after almost 190 km since the start, the e-Niro still retains 61% of the battery and indicates a range of 254 km more, with a consumption of 14.7 kWh/100 km , an increase compared to the records in Figueres since the orography is becoming more complicated.
The BMW, at this point retains 50% of its capacity with a range of 180 km and a consumption of 18.4 kWh/100 km. enough to calmly face the main obstacle on the route, the Bracons tunnels, with slopes of up to 6.5%, which we face calmly knowing that we have an extra lane.
For reasons of family logistics, Albert and his BMW Whale leave us at the height of Vic, to continue down the C-17 and favorable wind to home where they arrive with a 28% battery and 121 km of autonomy, thanks to an incredible consumption of only 17.5 kWh/100 km. Making the corrections, the total autonomy would have been around 400 km, very close to the 425 that the WLTP approves. A crack of efficiency!
As for the e-Niro, and after passing through Manresa, we arrived at the CIRCUTOR headquarters at 2 in the afternoon, after traveling 305 km, with a consumption of 13.9 kWh/100 km, retaining 36% of battery and an estimated autonomy of 154 km, that is to say that adding the km done and the remaining ones we could reach 459 km. Will it be possible?
It is clear that we will have to continue driving to try to verify if this is the case or if the computer that indicated only 433 km at the start is deceiving us...
After charging the batteries of the human team, with a good menu, it's time to continue this adventure and finally reveal what the KIA e-Niro will give of itself.
We start the march from Terrassa in the direction of Manresa on the C-58 through Coll Cardús until it joins the C-55, where we turn towards Olesa de Montserrat and Abrera, with very favorable terrain where the slope predominates, in the same way that It does the rest of our route towards Barcelona on the A-2 to the port of the city. This terrain, so favorable, allows us to lower the accumulated consumption since the beginning of the challenge to values somewhat higher than in the previous tests, but still below the homologation.
Results Autonomy Challenge - KIA e-Niro
We have been able to demonstrate that, in this range of temperatures, using Efficient Driving techniques, the KIA e-Niro is capable of exceeding the autonomy approved by the brand using the WLTP cycle.
It should also be noted that the vehicle's calculation algorithms have shown on the screen, at all times, a very stable autonomy and quite similar to the one finally obtained, with a maximum of 485 and a minimum of 433 km. Once the recharging was finished, the car indicated, be prepared to repeat the experience with a calculated autonomy of 466 km.
The Solidarity Tour is a 20 km route starting and finishing at the Circutor headquarters in Viladecavalls, which runs along very twisty secondary roads with slopes of up to 250 m.
The EcoBest tour is a 60 km mixed route that includes approximately 50% motorway, 25% city and the rest on interurban roads, very similar to the distribution of the WLTP cycle.
All our challenges are based on achieving maximum autonomy, in real traffic conditions, using efficient driving techniques and moderate speeds, always above the minimum marked on each road.
WRITTEN BY CIRCUTOR