Kia is set to bring a groundbreaking advancement in electric vehicle (EV) charging to European customers, starting with the upcoming launch of the EV9 model. The Korean automaker is rolling out Plug&Charge technology, which promises to simplify and expedite the charging process.
With Plug&Charge, Kia's EV customers will be able to seamlessly connect their vehicles to any Plug&Charge compatible public charging station, eliminating the need for additional identification or manual steps to initiate the charging process. Authentication is fully automated, making charging fast, secure, and hassle-free.
Sjoerd Knipping, Vice President of Marketing and Product at Kia Europe, commented, “Plug&Charge is a very convenient technology that offers decreased manual handling, resulting in a faster, smoother process for our customers. By offering our customers electric vehicles as well as the most advanced charging solutions, we're smoothing the way for the switch to sustainable mobility, as well as proving ourselves to be serious contenders in the highly competitive EV market in Europe.”
Plug&Charge is essentially an integrated identification method within the vehicle, enabling direct communication with Plug&Charge compatible charging stations. Customers simply connect their EV to the charging station, and the charging process begins automatically. Unlike traditional methods that required account verification at the charging point using RFID cards or mobile apps, Plug&Charge streamlines the process, requiring no additional steps.
The security of Plug&Charge is assured through an automated exchange of digital certificates between the car and charger, identifying the customer's account and charging contract linked to their Kia Charge account. The Hubject Plug&Charge ecosystem manages this certificate exchange among stakeholders, including charging point operators, mobility operators, and original equipment manufacturers, adhering to the international standard ISO 15118.
While Plug&Charge simplifies charging, Kia's existing Kia Charge app continues to offer valuable features such as navigation, real-time updates on charging fees and availability, and filter options for plug type, charging speed, and access type. After completing the charging process, customers can simply disconnect their car and drive away, with the payment seamlessly added to their monthly bill according to their contract terms.
Sjoerd Knipping emphasized Kia's commitment to enhancing the customer experience, saying, “Together with our partners such as DCS (mobility provider), Hubject (Plug&Charge service provider), and several network partners like IONITY, we at Kia are using all available technology to improve customer experience.” Plug&Charge now joins Kia Connect and Kia Charge in Kia's array of advanced charging technologies.