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My Hyundai Kona EV: 900+ km road trip experience

I did face some difficulties charging my electric vehicle but otherwise, the Kona EV performed well. I can say that it is a good highway-runner.

BHPian mohanphadnis recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Just completed my first 900+ km journey in an EV, from Pune-Bhilai, over "3 days".

The plan was to start from Pune on Day 1 and do an overnight stop at Aurangabad.

Next, the plan was to leave Aurangabad early the next day, do two charges in Amravati (lunch) and Nagpur (teatime) and then reach Bhilai by night.

Was planning to do all the charges at Tata Power charging stations.

So it would be:

  • Pune - Aurangabad - 224 km
  • Aurangabad - Amravati - 320 km
  • Amravati - Nagpur - 155 km
  • Nagpur-Bhilai - 255 km

Started from home with a 100% charge at 4:00 pm and reached Aurangabad by 8:00 pm. The Tata Power charger at Dhoot Motors was showing as green and hence, decided to charge right there (was 1 km from my hotel).

The charger here was surprisingly slow and was going at only 11 kW, but as this was a night halt, it did not matter. Left the car parked for 2 hours to get fully charged while I checked in at the hotel and had dinner.

Post dinner when I reached Dhoot Motors, a security guard says, we don't allow non-MG vehicles after sundown by the order of the management. Not certain if Tata Power knows such a diktat being passed by the dealerships, but this will make life hell for everyone. If Tata Motors starts doing the same to MG customers, what is going to be their reaction?

Anyway, my car was charged, so I left for the hotel. Got late getting out of the hotel in the morning (the price we pay for travelling with two kids) and could only leave by 7:30 am. The Aurangabad-Jalna-Mehkar-Karanja-Amravati road has a good surface but is dotted with umpteen speed breakers. I was able to reach Amravati Rangoli Pearl charging station at 12:30 pm with just 3% of the charge left.

This is a perfectly placed charger. It is set on the wall of the hotel. You can go and park here. And while the car sipped electrons to reach 60%, we went in and had our lunch for an hour. Got 18 kW max from this charger.

Left the hotel at around 1:45 pm and as I was going through Amravati's main street, the TPMS gives a pressure warning. A huge chunk of metal had lodged into my rear left, so had to get it fixed and then by the time we left Amravati, it was 3:00 pm.

The 155 km from Amravati to Nagpur was uneventful. Reached Nagpur with 5% SOC left and I had some work in Nagpur, so decided to charge at the Jaika Nagpur charger. Reached here at 5:00 pm.

Of all the chargers I have seen, this is the worst-placed of all. The charger is in their delivery area, so of course, you cannot park next to it. On the other side there is a fence, next to which people park their 2-wheelers. So, if you want to charge during the daytime, you are parked almost on the road. "Silver lining": the charger did give 30 kW, so I was able to get to 90% in 1:30. I could have left for Bhilai by 6:30 pm. But because of the way the Jaika charger is set up, you need to sit in the car while it charges, this meant I could not go into the city and get work done and that was delayed after 6:30. This meant, my departure had to be delayed to the next day. Honestly, if I knew, that I would need to stay at the charging station while the car charged, I would have charged at Nangia Motor's 50 kW charger or EESL's 60 kW charger at the airport.

The folks in Jaika were very helpful, but whoever installed this charger, never really thought about how people will use it.

Anyway, that gave me some rest for the night. Got up early in the morning and reached Bhilai in 4 hours flat with 15% SOC still left.

Some learnings from this trip:

  • Speed breakers on high-speed roads are efficiency killers.
  • Even keeping a cruise speed of 85 km/h on Jalna-Amravati 2-lane road, I was able to manage an average speed of 60+ km/h. The acceleration of the Kona really helps in propelling the car back to its cruising speed. I was never able to achieve such high average speeds even in my XUV with lesser traffic on this road.
  • Nothing beats Kona when it comes to overtaking traffic. By the time ICE are shifting down and building up thrust, you are already crossing the third truck.
  • Do not assume that you will be able to leave your car at a charging station. There are always some, where they will make you sit in the car.
  • The car itself is an extremely good highway-runner. At 85 on a good road, the lack of sound means you almost feel like the car is doing closer to 30. The braking performance was spectacular.
  • TPMS is a godsend. If I had figured out the puncture after leaving Amravati, finding a puncture repair place would have been a nightmare.

I will request everyone to please update your check-ins on plug share (with photos, if possible) as we can use it as a yelp for chargers. It will also help people to choose better-placed chargers.

Traffic police stopped me twice, complaining that I have an irregular number plate! I have a Green HSRP provided by the RTO, just because they have never seen a green plate, they think that it must be illegal.

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