I’ve been given compensation for this post by Kia Motors. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Like many families, my family strives to be conscientious when it comes to our global environment. It started with turning off lights, and then when they were available, replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs. We installed water saving shower heads and took shorter showers. When we renovated our home, we purchased energy-efficient windows and insulated our walls and water pipes.
For as long as I can remember, we’ve always recycled cardboard, paper, plastic and metal. And thanks to our town, we have a very efficient recycling program. All households in our community have been provided with a very large trash-sized bin that are picked up curbside once a week. It could not be any easier to play our part in helping reduce our carbon footprint.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of global warming, no one can argue that it doesn’t make sense to live a more “green” lifestyle. In addition to reducing the carbon footprint and reliance on oil and gas, there are significant cost savings. Kerry and I have talked about getting solar panels put on our roof. For many years, I thought they were an eye sore, but the designs are so improved. Now, when I see solar panels on roofs, I think they look pretty cool. It also tells me that the people and/or business are smart about wanting to save money and play on active role in being “green.”
Last Sunday, Catherine and I attended the Go Green Festival in Wilton, Connecticut. It was held on the town green and filled with businesses and vendor who offer eco-friendly products and services. One of things that we did was check out the Kia motors tent. Kia was there with a line-up of their eco-friendly cars, including the Optima Hybrid, Niro, Optima Plug-In Hybrid and the Soul EV.
My First Experience With An Electric Car
I took a test drive of the Kia Soul EV and was pleasantly surprised with my first hands-on experience with an electric car. I had assumed that electric cars would be under-featured and I went into the test-drive thinking that I would be driving a no frills car that didn’t pack a lot of excitement. To me, that’s what being eco-friendly is. You strip away the extras. Right?
If you know anything about electric cars, one of the most common observations is that they are very, very quiet. Tomb like. What I was not expecting was the sensation I got when I drove it. The Kia Soul EV is a surprisingly smooth ride. The combination of the silent car combined with the sleek design gives you the feeling like you are gliding. It just felt effortless.
The engineers behind this 100% electric Kia were forward thinking when it came to designing the car and all the amenities that go with it.
| the cross-over has lots of room for groceries and little monkeys |
- You can expect a state-of-the-art sound system with 6 speakers, a 5″ or 8″ touch-screen display (depending on the model), Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM Traffic and HD Radio, and a navigation system and Bluetooth.
- Rear Camera Display and parking assist.
- Heat pump heating and ventilated air conditioning system built-in to the seats, because it is more energy-efficient to heat and cool “the person” rather than the cabin.
- There are different trim packages for the interior, but I was most impressed with the head space. I am 5′ 9″ and was totally comfortable. It comes with 6-way adjustable seats, cup holders, an arm rest and many other features to make your drive enjoyable.
- Having access to recharge your car is obviously critical, so you can imagine that they already have a find the closest “Charging Station” feature included.
But, clearly the most impressive aspect of the car is the cost savings. It costs of fraction of the price to drive an electric car than a gas-powered vehicle. Depending on your current MPG of your gas-powered car and the average amount of miles you drive annually, you can save hundreds of dollars a year by switching to electric, or a hybrid of gas and electric (my preference).
Upgrading to a 100% electric car comes with a new mindset when you are driving. Long drives will take planning and the ability and willingness to stop along the route and recharge. Recharging time varies with the type of charge port you use (there are two different volts), which means that you need to be prepared for down-time or nap-time on long trips. If you can tempted to start the conversation, consider a hybrid. It gives you a cost savings and eases you into the charging habit.
For much more information on Kia’s line of eco efficient cars, check out their website. I’ve also included links to some other useful websites: