I Drove the Electric Kia EV9 Around Australia – Here’s How It Went (Honestly)

Date:

As I set off on my epic road trip around Australia, I was both excited and a little apprehensive. My trusty steed for the journey? The all-new Kia EV9, the Korean automaker’s latest foray into the electric vehicle (EV) market. With its sleek design, impressive range, and cutting-edge tech, I was eager to see how it would perform on the open road. But, as I soon discovered, driving an EV around Australia comes with its own set of unique challenges.

The Route: A Lap of Australia

My adventure took me on a 7,000-kilometer journey, circumnavigating the country from the sun-kissed beaches of Queensland to the rugged Outback of Western Australia, and everywhere in between. The route was carefully planned to test the EV9’s mettle in a variety of conditions, from urban sprawls to remote rural areas.

First Impressions: A Smooth Operator

From the moment I slipped behind the wheel, I was impressed by the EV9’s refined driving experience. The instant torque and smooth acceleration made for a comfortable and quiet ride, perfect for long stretches of highway driving. The cabin was spacious and well-appointed, with intuitive controls and a user-friendly infotainment system.

Range Anxiety: A Real Concern

However, as I ventured further into the Outback, range anxiety began to creep in. With limited charging infrastructure in rural areas, I had to carefully plan my route and charging stops to avoid running out of juice. The EV9’s estimated range of 450 kilometers was more than adequate for most days, but I still found myself constantly monitoring the battery level and adjusting my driving style to maximize efficiency.

Charging Challenges: A Mixed Bag

Charging the EV9 was a mixed bag, to say the least. In urban areas, I had access to fast-charging stations that could replenish the battery to 80% in under 30 minutes. However, in rural areas, I often had to rely on slower Level 2 charging, which took several hours to achieve the same result. On one occasion, I even had to resort to using a portable generator to top up the battery – not exactly the most convenient or efficient solution.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

So, what did I learn from my experience driving the Kia EV9 around Australia? Here are the highlights:

The Good:

 The EV9’s range and efficiency were impressive, making it an excellent choice for long road trips.

 The car’s smooth acceleration and quiet ride made for a comfortable driving experience.

 The infotainment system and driver assistance features were intuitive and user-friendly.

The Bad:

 Range anxiety was a constant concern, particularly in rural areas with limited charging infrastructure.

 Charging times varied greatly depending on the type of charging station and the car’s battery level.

 The lack of standardization in charging connectors and payment systems was frustrating.

The Ugly:

 The EV9’s limited ground clearance made it unsuitable for rough off-road terrain, limiting my exploration of Australia’s rugged Outback.

 The car’s large size and weight made it difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, such as narrow city streets and parking lots.

Conclusion:

Driving the Kia EV9 around Australia was an eye-opening experience that highlighted both the benefits and challenges of electric vehicle ownership. While the car’s range and efficiency were impressive, the limited charging infrastructure in rural areas and the lack of standardization in charging systems were significant drawbacks.

Despite these challenges, I remain convinced that electric vehicles are the future of transportation. As charging infrastructure continues to improve and EV technology advances, cars like the Kia EV9 will become increasingly viable options for long road trips and daily driving.

For now, I’ll cherish the memories of my epic adventure around Australia and look forward to seeing how the EV9 and its competitors evolve in the years to come.

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