In 2016, I road tripped around the UK in an electric car. It was a fantastic experience that allowed me to see the whole of the UK and Ireland, while getting to grips with an electric car for the first time.
I’ve always been interested in electric cars but, as a road tripper, I’ve always been worried about the range. Doing the Route 57 road trip only confirmed my worries and while I learned to handle an electric car over those 2500 miles, stopping at service stations every 100 miles did get a bit dull.
Battery technology has moved on in leaps and bounds in the past two years. I drove a beautiful Kia Soul EV on the Route 57 trip but Kia has recently announced the new e-Niro, an electric crossover with a range of 301 miles.
The e-Niro occupies a unique position in the market as an all-electric crossover, with intelligent packaging, practicality, and a long-distance driving range. Buyers will also benefit from a range of dedicated electric vehicle (EV) in-car technologies, new safety features, and stand-out exterior and interior design.
Of course, there are other EVs out there with good range like this but few are quite as affordable. Like all Kia cars, it also comes with a seven-year warranty, which gives even the most serious of road trippers peace of mind.
The world is changing and at some point, we’ll need to embrace electric cars. For now, they provide a slower pace of road trip life, with little bursts of wonderful instant torque. For the most part, the charging infrastructure in the UK is pretty good and Europe is well served too but there are still gaps that make road tripping difficult.
Longer ranges will help change the perception of these vehicles because if drivers can see a range similar to what they might get in a petrol vehicle, they’re going to feel more comfortable trying them out.
The Kia e-Niro will go on sale in February 2019 at around £30,000.
Jess Shanahan is a road trip journalist and motorsport consultant who loves high heels, V8s and the open road. You can find her on Twitter @Jetlbomb.