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      Kia Motors to Use Volkswagen’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure within the U.S.

      Apr 15, 2020

      Kia Motors is planning to work with Volkswagen Group, which is currently operating the biggest charging infrastructure in the U.S., in order to expand its electric vehicle business within the North American market. This collaboration is drawing eyes as it is the first case of collaboration between two electric vehicle competitors.
      According to the industry, Kia Motors recently signed a partnership with “EA (Electrify America)”, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group and the biggest ultra-fast charging infrastructure company in the U.S., regarding using its charging infrastructure. This is the first case when one’s charging infrastructure, which had been used only by owners of cars from Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, has been made available to owners of cars from a competitor.
      EA was established by Volkswagen Group as part of a compensation for “Dieselgate” in 2015. EA is planning to build and operate ultra-fast chargers worth $1.81 billion (2.2 trillion KRW) throughout the U.S. by 2027 according to a promise made with the U.S. Government. The current number of ultra-fast chargers (150 and 350kW) operated by EA is around 2,000 that is more than 100 times the number of ultra-fast chargers in South Korea.
      “We have pushed for this partnership with EA in order to increase accessibility to charging infrastructure by Niro EV owners and to provide a stable price of using EA’s infrastructure.” said a representative for Kia Motors.

      Kia Motors’ Niro EV is using a charger of EA that is an American charging service provider of Volkswagen Group. <Kia Motors’ Niro EV is using a charger of EA that is an American charging service provider of Volkswagen Group.>

      There have been complaints by customers from the U.S. as cost of using a charging infrastructure and charging time and speed are different amongst companies and regions.
      Due to these issues, Kia Motors and EA have prepared a price system based on minute. It will cost $0.35 per minute for using EA’s ultra-fast charger. Monthly fee ($4) is exempted, and the new cost is about half of the current cost per minute that is at $0.64.
      “Partnership between EA and Kia Motors is a rare case of two competitors sharing charging infrastructures.” said a representative for EA’s partnering company. “Because EA’s service is centered on ultra-fast chargers and provides a flat fee, there have been positive responses from customers.”
      Kia Motors’ 2020 “Niro EV” can travel approximately 384km on a single charge and is capable of charging at 100kWh. It costs $39,090 (based on the exchange rate as of the 14th and the battery capacity of 64kWh) in the U.S.
      Staff Reporter Park, Taejoon | gaius@etnews.com

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