EV charging experience on an 1800 km trip in my Hyundai Kona

Within a few minutes, there was a crowd around the Kona made up of people who were really interested in the cost/range etc. Interest in EVs is real and looks promising. Left here at 6 pm, would've left 15 min sooner (the car was done charging), but spent that time talking to people.

BHPian Rossiter recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Back in August, I did a 1800 km drive in my Kona. Was a seamless drive experience thanks to the good network of DC fast chargers across the main highways in South India now. Attached is the route map and the drive stats, followed by some brief trip notes as below.

Route planned:

  • Day 1: Bangalore - Chennai.
  • Day 2: Chennai.
  • Day 3: Chennai - Coimbatore-Alathur.
  • Day 4: Alathur-Surrounding areas-Alathur.
  • Day 5: Alathur-Coimbatore-Coorg (Siddapur).
  • Day 6: Coorg.
  • Day 7: Coorg-Bangalore.

Started Bangalore to Chennai with 58% SoC with the usual plan to have 20 min charge stops at Krishnagiri & Vellore each. Just as we were nearing Shoolagiri, had a bad tyre failure/cut, writing off the tyre and had to opt for a Bridgestone replacement (stock is Nexen) from a shop nearby.

One hour later was back on the road, charged up at Zeoncharging Krishnagiri, and later at MG Vellore before we reached Chennai.

Total journey time including the unplanned stops+charge- 6.5 hrs. ITC Grand Chola were happy enough to provide a 16A socket to charge up overnight.

Had about 100-150 km of driving around in Chennai to do, so started with 70% SoC. Got the stock low resistance Nexen tyre in Chennai, so had it fixed because I didn't want the range to drop because of one mismatched tyre. Finished my work and got back to ITC around 11pm and plugged in.

Was at full 100% 8 hours later, and was good to go by 7 am. This was going to be the longest I'd driven the Kona in a single day - 600km. We had a relaxed start, left for Coimbatore by around 1 pm. Reached Zeon Charging, Tindivanam by 2.45 & left by 3.30 after a lunch+charging stop.

Next stop was Zeon at Attur. This stretch (Tinidivanam-Attur) was empty and made for some really fast progress. Did 180 km in 1.75 hours and as a result, reached A2B/Zeon at Attur with 10% left, around 5.15 pm. Plugged in and left the car to have a coffee and snack.

Within a few minutes, there was a crowd around the Kona made up of people who were really interested in the cost/range etc. Interest in EVs is real and looks promising. Left here at 6 pm, would've left 15 min sooner (the car was done charging), but spent that time talking to people.

Next stop was Zeon Avinashi. We didn't have to stop there (had enough range to reach Zeon Navakkarai) but it was a new location and wanted to check it out for future travel plans. Reached the location (Hotel Tiruppur Sree Annapoorna) around 8.45 pm.

There was a brand new Nexon charging up there, and he was already at around 85% SoC, and the charging speed had already dropped to 15kW. He wanted another 10 min so decided to let him finish. But that 10 min turned into 45 mins because he was insistent that he get the full 100%. The Tata salesman who sold him the car had fed him some BS about the battery getting damaged if he didn't charge to 100% every time+an even bigger "golden" tip to not touch the car when charging. The owner wouldn't listen to me no matter what, so gave up and waited for him to hit 100%. I could've had my dinner in this time, but another Nexon showed up and I didn't want to lose my spot having waited this long. Finally, the Nexon hit 100% and I plugged in and went to have my dinner. Stopped the charge at 50% and left around 10 pm.

Dropped the wife off at Coimbatore by 10.45, carried on towards my place in Alathur,KL. At the Walayar TN-KL border,was stopped by the KL cops for entry checks,but they were more interested in the Kona. 15 min later ,they let me go. Reached my place around 12 am. Plugged in to my 7.2kW portable charger, at the 20A setting. Normally I charge as slow as possible, since I spend at least a full day here without driving anywhere. But I had to run around the next day, and I wanted a quick charge up. By 7 am it was at 80%.

Drove into the new Kuthiran tunnel (finally!) towards Thrissur, was done running errands and back home by 6pm with 9% left. Plugged in again for a 100% charge at 20A, since I had to leave for Coorg at 7 am the next day, with a distance of 390km to be covered.

Left by 7 am, reached Coimbatore by 8, picked up the wife and attended a function near Brookefields Mall. Since the mall had a Zeon 25kW DC charger, charged up from 70 to 90% while we were away at the function (convenient!). Finally we left Coimbatore around 12.30.

Although on paper,the Kona can do Alathur to Mysore without charging, the climb up Dhimbam ghats on the way would kill the range, and there's no major downhill section on the other side so wouldn't gain much by regen. After a scenic, rainy drive, reached Mysore by 4.30 with 22% SoC.

We had added exactly 20% at Coimbatore, so if we hadn't charged there, would've reached Mysore with just 2% left (range anxiety kicks in below 5% for me!).

Zeon at Mall of Mysore is a great location, with good food options in and around the mall. Spent exactly 30 min here and left. Left Mall of Mysore by 5.15 and we reached Evolve Back in Siddapur around 7pm and 105 km later, the last 30 km of which was beautiful, winding forest roads. Had around 28% but didn't plan on going anywhere the next day so I didn't plug in when we reached. Plugged in around 12.30 pm the next day, the resort very kindly ran an extension box for me from a socket near their front office. Allowed it to charge really slowly at 10A/2.2kW overnight, since we were going to have a late mid morning start around noon.

Left for Bangalore by 12 pm & a 100% charge. The plan was to beat potential traffic buildup on the infamous Bangalore-Mysore highway by getting through during off-peak hours. Drove through non-stop and luckily had very light traffic.

Reached Bangalore around 4 pm with 28% left.

It was a fantastic drive, and the detailed charge stops with cost is up in the 1st tweet of this very long (apologies!) thread.

This is an effort to prove that multi-day drive itineraries are easily done in an EV without range anxiety, at a fraction of ICE cost.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Power to the people