This month, we sent out EV Gurus, David and Bianca, on an adventure to Wales in the Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV, a fairly recent edition to the EV Experience Centre’s electric vehicle fleet. The journey would be just over 600 miles overall, but to add an additional challenge to the adventure, the EV Gurus did little planning prior to setting off.
“We left the EV Experience Centre in Milton Keynes mid-morning heading towards Snowdonia National Park, and the first thing we noticed was how quiet the car was, even with a petrol engine on the go. Driving in Hybrid mode for the entire journey, we particularly enjoyed setting the on-board screen to see the energy flow of the engine and battery, a feature we highly recommend as there’s much you can learn.
We travelled from Milton Keynes to Bewts-y-coed in Snowdonia National Park, then on to Pen-y-pass for a hike up half of Snowdonia. Halted by the wind and rain, we were happy to head back to the luxury of heated seats and steering wheel. Warmed up, we drove back into Bewts-y-coed then on to Llandudno to turn in for the night.
The following morning, we adventured more in the Optima Sportswagon, travelling to Aberystwyth then on to Fishguard before reluctantly heading back to Milton Keynes.
Overall, driving the Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV was a joy to drive and we were sad to hand it back. Easy to operate and with straight forward and driver-friendsly features, the Optima’s dirve was smooth and comfortable, and with only one spec you always know what you’re getting for your money. You have the option to drive in fully electric or in hybrid; after spending plenty of time on the road in hybrid mode we learnt that the hybrid system keeps the battery fairly constant ensuring you always have something left. We also discovered that the car will begin in electric mode before switching to predominantly petrol however when there is higher demand for power (e.g. steep hills) the car will use both in unison. The regenerative braking is also adjustable by altering your pressure on the brake pedal, pressing lightly will use a little amount of regen, more pressure will use more, while pressing hard will simply just use the brakes.”
Over the course of the two days, Bianca and David covered 643 miles, spending £72.80 on petrol overall. The car was also able to give us averages on their speed and driving style; which we’ve included below:
Average consumption on motorways – 55mpg
Average consumption on country roads – 42mpg
Average consumption on rough country roads – 31mpg