The EVER Fair has just presented in the Principality of Monaco, as every year, its new products “renewable energy and sustainable mobility”. To get there, we took a road trip partially off the road, leaving Paris. For this we have chosen to use the new Kia Sportage hybrid, which has allowed us to mix the modernity of the automotive and regional authenticity.
Long journeys in an electrified vehicle sometimes raise some concerns about battery life and charging time. Motorists who drive a lot generally prefer the services of a purely thermal car, or even a hybrid, rechargeable or not. It was also our choice opting for a HEV version, equipped with a small 1.49 kWh battery that still saves a few savings on unleaded depending on road conditions. Above 120 km / h, the hybrid system makes no profit (this is true for all cars), while on departmental roads or in urban areas, when regeneration is more active, fuel savings are makes it palpable.
Departure: Paris 15
We have an appointment at a Kia dealership to take possession of “our” Sportage. The grip is simple, although the rotary knob that serves as the control of the gearbox is a novelty. The dual digital panel, inherited from the EV6, also has a good effect. The first part of the route, made up of Parisian streets and sections of the motorway, allows us to understand the hybrid operation of the car. And note that the intervention of the electric motor is quite common. There is no comparison with the old Sportage because it was not offered with this type of engine (only mild hybrid 48V), but it is clear that this 4th generation seems well placed in its category. In addition, the first consumption declaration, after a hundred kilometers in the center of Paris and the suburbs, confirms our impressions: 5.8 l / 100 km. It barely exceeds the approved WLTP consumption (5.5 to 5.6 l / 100 km) in combined cycle.
To escape from the south of Paris, take a section of the A6 motorway, then cross the Fontainebleau forest on the side road. Extending our tour of the southern landscapes of the Seine and Marne and the Yonne, we arrived at lunch at Nitry (89), at the gates of the Morvan. The cozy and typical Auberge de la Beursaudière opens its doors to us. Period decorations, objects that bear witness to an era in which the cultivation of the land was manual, waiters in traditional dress, nothing is missing in this atypical place that contrasts with the modernity of our electrified car. After this break embellished with local products, we attack the Morvan Pass on the departmental roads and the National 6.
Morvan and Johnny, in the rain
The landscapes pass by, the turns are numerous, which allows us to appreciate the dynamism of our mountain. This is one of the biggest advances of the Sportage “4”, which makes us forget the slightly too wise character of the previous version, but which is much firmer in suspension. We can’t have it all. Its two motors (180 hp thermal + 60 hp electric) combine an available power of 230 hp. The accelerations are frank but not impressive. The energy reserve is, however, enough to surpass the nationals. The scenery is spectacular in this mountainous region, although torrential rain makes these large empty spaces a bit sad. The smile returns as we enter the “Johnny” gas station on Molphey’s Cross (21). The manager, a fan of the youth idol, decorated the place in his image. The place looks icy in the 60’s, and the shed next to the vintage gas pumps houses three old American cars, but also a statue of Johnny and “collectors” of all kinds. On the outside, an English model from at least fifty years ago is like drinking old bombs. In this multi-inspired station we forget the passage of time … but also the fact that there are still a few hundred kilometers to go.
Aboard our contemporary Korean, we resume our journey through the vineyards of Burgundy and Beaujolais, to the suburbs of Lyon and the charming town of Charbonnières-les Bains. Race results: less than 7l / 100 km on average, and a route we did not see pass. However, it took us almost 7 hours to cover just 500 km … The art of traveling seduced us in a different way.
Towards the French Riviera
The national road 7 but also the motorway for a matter of time take us to the Clos des Roses, a wine estate that also exhibits works of art near Fréjus (83). Among the participants in the road trip is Ted Ranghella, ex-wife of seamstress Calvin Klein and now Kia ambassador. ” lifestyle “Discover the Kia Sorento in hybrid version, through a series called” Epicureans followed by about 300,000 people. An adventure that will soon be posted on their social networks, and which allows you to realize that the new car promotion is now also going through this communication channel. After lunch, one last straight line takes us to the EVER Lounge. We need to introduce the future Kia Niro, but other surprises await us.
Prince Albert arrives in an electric truck!
The surprise of the EVER show is to have seen Prince Albert II of Monaco arrive from his Palace to join the exhibition at the wheel of a zero-emission truck. Accompanied by Roger Alm, Executive Vice President of Volvo Group, the Sovereign obviously had a lot of fun behind the wheel, playing in the narrowest alleys of the Principality. No one knows if he had trained before, but the performance went perfectly, with a road open for two cyclists. The princely truck, a 26-ton Volvo FE, is a model on sale. It carries three to six batteries of 66 kWh each for a range of at least 200 km, costs three times the price of a thermal truck, but is entitled to a government bonus of € 100,000. Like cars, the Volvo FE accepts a load of 22 kW to 150 kW DC and is designed to be ” own », And especially practical for deliveries to the city center, with a controlled route. According to Volvo Trucks, the heaviest trucks, the 44T semi-trailers, will also be electric next year. By proper distances, of course …
The fastest electric motorcycle in the world
Voxan Wattman, with whom Italian pilot Max Biaggi set several records last November on the runways of the Kennedy Space Center (Florida), was also a highlight of the show. Remember, the average speed of 465 km / h approved in a standard exercise, and a little more than 470 km / h maximum. On two wheels, these numbers are impressive. A little further on, under the marquee that also hosts the International Circus Festival and where EVER is now organized, we discover the new Kia Niro. the crossing compact was exhibited at the Lyon fair two weeks ago and is therefore this its second outing in Monaco. national », If we ignore the Franco-Monegasque border.
With a completely renewed style and a body with a two-tone spirit that gives it personality, it also adopts the interior of contemporary Kias, with a fully digital universe, identical to that of the Sportage. Equipped with a larger trunk and imbued with a welcome modernity compared to the current model, it will also be offered in hybrid, PHEV and 100% electric. Its prices are already known and orders open, but deliveries will not be made before the summer, while the first tests are expected in July.
After more than 1,000 km behind the wheel of the Kia Sportage hybrid, after a long visit to the EVER show, we can even better measure the turn towards electrification of all sectors. Among the more than 40 models of electric cars on offer for testing, but also two-wheelers of all kinds or public works machinery (excavators, dump trucks, forklifts) with batteries, it now seems impossible to escape the ” electric. For those who are not used to the idea, it will surely be necessary, in the vast majority of cases, to decide …