Questions and concerns about Kia's UVO app from a new owner.

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by Scizmz, Jan 4, 2020.

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  1. Scizmz

    Scizmz New Member

    Hello peeps. So, I talked my wife into getting an EV, and we eventually settled on the Niro. We got it, great. It's fun to drive, it works, love the safety features and all that. But.. Starting to run into some questionable things.

    1. The UVO app it's self is annoying, as it requires a pw every time you log on. Ok no big deal. Apparently we get the first year free, but after that we're told it's going to cost us $300.
    Now, I'm ok with skipping out on that personally. My wife just wants to be able to see the state of charge for it as she still has range anxiety. But then...

    2. We got a lvl 2 charger. I already have an outlet in my garage for a NEMA 6-50 (welder) and thought, great! level 2 here we come! And it seems to work, except... it doesn't. I've tried setting the car's off peak hours for its first level 2 charging. Where we live it is substantially cheaper to charge from midnight to 6am ($.09/kwh vs $.29/kwh). So, I put in the off peak hours as 12am to 6am. I also set up departure time at 7:15 am as thats when my wife will usually leave the house on a normal work day. So, first day of level 2 charging and.... it didn't charge. At least, not until the next morning when my wife logged into the UVO app.

    Now, this worries me. Are we going to "need" a UVO subscription in order to use basic functionality on the vehicle?

    I also noticed in another post from earlier last year that software updates for the vehicle had to be purchased and were only pushed out with the purchase of navigation.

    This starts sending up red flags for me left and right. Is KIA trying to ... I don't wanna call it nickle and diming when we're in the $150-$300 range. What the actual ****? Am I wrong to assume that this can only get worse with time? I have an innate distrust for corporations, and I'm getting zero warm fuzzy feelings about this. Even my wife is saying she's regretting this car (based on the $300 bit) and I haven't even talked to her about the additional charges for basic software updates.

    So, thoughts? Feedback? Anybody else with concerns?
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  3. TheHellYouSay

    TheHellYouSay Member

    I can tell you my experiences and thoughts, others will undoubtedly have better, more detailed answers...

    I bought the base model so no navigation. I use UVO with a browser, does time out frequently and does require a password, but the browser remembers so for me nothing more than a couple of clicks. I've got an Android phone app called KIA Access that lets me into UVO and it can be logged into with the Moto's fingerprint authentication. Apple phones must have similar, or more likely, far better tools for accessing UVO.

    I've never timed a charging session since electricity in WA is always the same price, about 10c a kWh. Like you, my son had the foresight to add wiring for a welder during our last remodel, so I just needed the 4-50 outlet installed, which he was able to do for me after I bought the charger. I opted for a plug-in ClipperCreek charger so no wifi BS or any of that, the car would need to be used to start/stop the charging session, but since there's no rate difference based on time, I just plug it in and it stops when it reaches whatever you've programmed it to stop at (which I've learned should NOT be 100% unless you need it).

    As far as UVO goes, it seems slow and clunky, maybe a bit buggy at times. I'm sure as hell not paying that fee after one year, but I'm hoping that as KIA sells more and more of these, the unpopularity of that extra fee will make them reconsider their position. If not, I can live without it, I like to see SoC and start the heater, but otherwise, not that much there IMO.
  4. We use the Kia Access app to setup departure time schedule, and charge time schedule (off peak hours charging), and the charging starts per the charge time schedule we have set up. Haven’t tried setting this up from the in-car interface yet. I assumed it would work as well.
  5. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Are you saying it's starting to charge immediately when off-peak period begins or it delays start of charging closer to departure? I was never able to get both features to work properly together as explained in another thread on this forum. Even if you disable the off-peak feature, the departure feature is still pretty buggy - it tends to begin charging much too early and finishes too early, a long time before actual departure.
  6. When setup to charge at off periods, it starts charging immediately at the beginning of the off period. I would have thought it would start later so as to finish the charge closer to either the departure time or the end of the off period. Hasn’t been a problem as I usually charge to 80%, but when occasionally charging to 100%, it would be nice if it work as I had expected.

    The climate control schedule seems to work as expected - starts warming up ~15min before departure time, I think, then shuts off at about departure time or shortly thereafter.
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  8. What $300 bit? You mean the absurdly priced UVO subscription? You do not need that to set the charging times in the software, only for the remote Kia Access app.
  9. Scizmz

    Scizmz New Member

    So, the off peak and scheduled departure are 2 different features. The Scheduled departure time has 2 different functions. One, it will charge the battery if you do not have an off-peak time set. The other is that as long as it's plugged in, it will prepare the climate of the vehicle for departure time.

    The concern I have is that when I set the off-peak charge times in the vehicle, it did not charge the car. It waited to begin charging until my wife had logged into the UVO app (the next morning) in order to start charging. So the settings that I change in the car require the car to connect to UVO in order to happen.
  10. CanuckTom

    CanuckTom Member

    My experience has been that off peak charging has worked, but I was having major trouble with scheduled climate or "scheduled departure" earlier this year.

    So in my case our off peak time is between 7pm and 7am and all weekend. I had initially set the off peak time for 11pm and off at 7am and had scheduled departure at 8:10 am. What happened was that the car would wait until 11pm to start charging and then begin charging at full speed from there until it hit the setpoint, usually 80%, but nothing would happen before my schedule departure time (no climate or any action from the car). My fix was to set the off peak time to include my scheduled departure time, so now my off peak time is 11pm - 8:20am with scheduled departure time if 8:10am. This seemed to solve my problem, the car would charge full speed to set point (80%) as soon as 11pm came around and the car initiated the climate setting set in scheduled climate at 7:40am (which by the way seems like a very long time to precondition the car). So everything worked... But here's my one caviat... It worked for one day, it worked on October 25th in the morning really well, then that afternoon I was in a collision and have been waiting for the repair to be completed since ... So I can't tell you whether it is still a solution... Also, in my case, the departure time puts the scheduled climate settings into our peak electricity period in the morning, which is twice as costly as our off peak period, so that 30 minutes of heavy draw from the car each morning while paying for peak electricity may not be the best option as the car often pulls over 5 kw when first starting to heat the car, so depending on how cold it is, it could draw quite a bit of energy each morning and cost quite a bit for preconditioning... So when our car comes back, good god hopefully in the next week or so, we'll see how this plays out and whether or not we keep paying to heat a car for half an hour each morning in our driveway.
  11. Why would your vehicle draw 5kW if it is already at 80%, if all it is doing is running climate control? That is a LOT of heating.
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  13. CanuckTom

    CanuckTom Member

    That's what I thought as well, unfortunately when the vehicle is plugged in the Electric Consumption screen isn't available so I can't be sure, and I haven't had my car since October 25th due to a collision so I haven't been able to check the electrical usage with Torque Pro. My guess is that because there is such a great differential in temperatures from current to set point it throws all the heating possible at the vehicle, my understanding is that even vehicles with the heat pump there is still a PTC heater that draws a maximum of 5 KW, so that's one potential source for the energy draw. The second is that as a Canadian owner there is also the battery warmer, and with the vehicle plugged in and with low outside temps, it is possible this too is drawing 2 KW in attempts to warm the battery. I will say that from watching the energy draw in late October when we were seeing temps just below 0 C the energy draw of 5 KW did drop off to ~ 1.8 KW or so after a few minutes, so there is the possibility that once the PTC heater is able to get heat flowing that the energy draw does drop.

    Still even if the energy draw when the temps are between 0 to -5 C (average winter weather in Southern Ontario) is say ~2000 watts while pre-conditioning, this is still a lot of energy being consumed for 30 minutes each departure day. Especially when that energy is costs around $0.20 per KW... Really .20c per day to warm up the car isn't gonna break the bank here, but it's definitely not very efficient - that's ~ 30 KW/H per month.

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