Design & Technology / Lifestyle

5 things you should know about green cars June 18th, 2015

As a leading global green auto brand, Kia has successfully developed some of the best eco-friendly cars on the market including Soul EV and Optima Hybrid. But there seems to be differing opinions on what green cars are all about, which is understandable since they are relatively new to the market. Here are 5 common myths about green vehicles, along with facts to help you straighten things out.


More on Kia’s EcoDynamics:

Kia goes greener with EcoDynamics


Kia Soul EV


Myth 1: Hybrid and electric cars may get good mileage, but they suffer from low power

Fact: One of the major advantages of environmentally-friendly vehicles is their high fuel efficiency. But many motorists assume green cars have poorer performance compared to gasoline-fueled cars. This is because they are engineered to accelerate slowly to prevent fuel-efficiency loss from sudden accelerations. For those who are in the mood for a more snappy take off, they can simply switch from ‘Eco mode’ to ‘Sport mode.’ In fact, Kia Optima Hybrids Nu 2.0 MPI engine boasts a maximum power of 150 ps@6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 18.3 kg.m@5,000 rpm, which is similar to the output of the Optima with just a traditional internal combustion engine.


2015 Optima Hybrid


Myth 2: Electric cars could give users an electric shock

Fact: Batteries in eco-friendly cars have a higher power density compared to gasoline models, but the chance of getting an electric shock from them is virtually zero thanks to stringent safety tests and technological breakthroughs. The main controller and sub-controllers in the car always monitor electricity conditions and shut the power down instantly in case of a crash. Electric cars are equipped with a battery package that can be opened only with special tools to keep drivers from mishandling the battery. Furthermore, the entire system will shut down the moment the battery package is opened forcibly.


Myth 3: But still, there is a possibility of getting electrocuted if the vehicle comes in contact with water

Fact: Batteries in eco-friendly cars decrease in power rapidly as soon as they come in contact with water in order to prevent any type of electric shock. The battery mode normally operates in a series structure mode, but immediately switches to a parallel structure mode when in contact with water. Hence, a 370V power supply will immediately switch to 3.7V as soon as it touches water.


Soul_EV Electric car


Myth 4: Owners have to change pricey batteries 2 to 3 times during the life of their car

Fact: Battery life is one of the most common misunderstandings about eco-friendly vehicles. Battery life for eco-friendly vehicles is extremely long. In particular, the lithium-ion polymer batteries in Kia cars not only have outstanding performance, but also have the longest life among any type of car batteries available on the market. Also, Kia’s eco-friendly cars are covered by some of the longest warranties in the industry, so you are in good hands when it comes to maintaining your car.


Soul EV battery


Myth 5: Green car batteries are easily subject to the self-discharge phenomenon

Fact: Self-discharge often occurs in car batteries when left unused for a long period of time. Lead acid batteries used by some car manufacturers are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon. However, the lithium-ion polymer batteries in Kia’s hybrid and electric cars have self-discharge rates that are 20 times lower than lead acid batteries. Even when the vehicle is unused for more than 60 days, the self-discharge rate is only 2 percent. Also, while some customers have concerns about quality degradation of batteries in hot temperatures, lithium-ion polymer batteries can operate in temperatures of 65° Celsius or even higher.