Next stop was at the usual – Tebay Northbound. This time the numbers suggested the e-Niro was being slightly pessimistic, so we’d used less energy than it anticipated and were left with 199 miles. Again, straightforward charge with Ecotricity costing £7.80. We stopped again at Abington services on the M74 before heading off across the borders to Edinburgh, not because we needed to but because I wanted plenty left for the return trip across the borders. Accessible rapid chargers are extremely scarce at our destination, the pup needed a pee-stop anyway and the charger at Abington was on free vend, so we took 25.2kWh while we were at it. We arrived on the outskirts of Edinburgh with 150 miles range left, so two stops would still have been comfortable.
On the way home on the third day of the trip, it was much the same story except this time I was confident with Ecotricity and completely confident with the Kia’s range predictions. After a domestic socket top-up while we were there, we left for home with the range showing 240 miles. We stopped at Gretna after 87 miles for breakfast but didn’t bother charging, then Lancaster after another 84 miles with another top-up, then Keele and another top-up) after a further 74 miles then home, 91 miles away.
The total trip was 709 miles and we finished with a predicted range at the finish of 77 miles. Several of the stops were for us and the pup rather than the need to take on charge, but I also wanted to check whether the chargers were working. The adaptive cruise, active lane keeping and refinement of the e-Niro made it the most relaxing trip I’ve done to Scotland over the last few years and this time the Ecotricity chargers all did the job without a fight. In total we spent £42.60 on rapid charging and probably around £10 on home charging at both ends at about 15p/kWh. Say £45 energy cost, compared to around £85 in the family Fiesta 1.0-litre Ecoboost and around £130 in my 3.0-litre X5 diesel.
Of the three, the e-Niro was by far the most enjoyable to do the trip in and I’d started doing the man maths to buy one before we’d finished the first leg. But even set at maximum denial levels, my man maths faltered at the cost of buying an EV like this. It’s still so much more than a conventional equivalent even with the PiCG. In this case, the e-Niro (which only comes in the highest Niro 4 trim level at £34,495) is £4,940 more than the petrol hybrid version and almost £10,000 more than a Niro 2 trim hybrid at £24,885, including the £5,000 PiCG against the EV.
On the Kia website you are invited to ‘join the reservation list,’ so the chances of a deal are just about zero. In contrast there are deals out there for the Niro mild hybrid and for the new Ford Puma, which in fully loaded First Edition Titanium mild hybrid spec, can be had for significantly less than the £28,145 ticket price if you shop around. With PCP, that makes a big difference to the monthly payments.