Kia to offer on-demand mobile concierge service for EV charging
Imagine driving down a traffic-infested road, all proud of being in a zero-emission vehicle, and running out of charge. The traffic only gets heavier and you have nowhere other than by the side of the road to remain standstill. It isn't as if you can hitch a ride to the nearest fuel station, get a canister of fuel and ride back. This could be a nightmare for EV (electric vehicle) owners but Kia has a simple solution - mobile charging vehicles.
Part of a pilot program in three locations of California - Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose, the Kia mobile units will arrive at the location where its EV owners are stuck due to a depleted battery. A stranded Kia owner can make a request using the Currently app which is available on App Store and Google Play. Once the technician arrives, he or she can provide the necessary charge.
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(Also read: Kia to have 14 all-electric models by 2030)
Interestingly, the service can also be made use of in non-emergency situations - up to three times every week for two months. And from now until April 30, the service is free of cost. In a press statement, Kia America notes that it is periodically exploring ways of enhancing ownership experience for its EV owners. "The relationship with our customers does not end after delivery. In fact, that is just the beginning," said Greg Silvestri, Kia's Vice President of Service Operations, said. "Partnering with Currently to offer complimentary charging connects perfectly to our larger 'Plan S' strategy and amplifies our commitment to overall electrified vehicle adoption. We believe that making charging easy also makes ownership easy."
With the Koreans committing to more and more EV products for markets across the world, the pertinent issues of range anxieties and public charging infrastructure is likely to come down. A mobile charging vehicle, in this way, could go a long way in reposing faith of prospective customers in battery-powered options.