The warriors of the dawn were out in force on an early Friday morning as we merged onto the motorway heading for Dublin’s ferry port from Wicklow to catch the 08:05 Irish Ferries sailing to Holyhead, Wales. We got through 14 per cent of the battery’s capacity in the initial and quite swift 30km to the city limits and then sipped the kilowatts as we tackled urban traffic on the way to Terminal 1.
Our chariot was the circa €85,000 KIA EV6 GT, an outrageously brisk electric car with 585hp / 740nm, four wheel drive traction and striking looks. Our car had beautiful matt grey paint and yellow brake calibers to give it a bit of extra on street attitude as the anchors cut through its big alloys. We were warmly welcomed at the car check in lane – our number plate had given our details to the operator in the kiosk. The trip computer said we had averaged 20.1kW/100km – so far, not bad and had started the day with a range of 370km. WLTP figures for the GT suggest 424km is possible in ideal conditions. Wet ship ramps can pose a problem for nervous drivers in manual cars with conventional handbrakes but we had zero issues with stopping midway up a slope as our EV had brake hold, all wheel drive traction and of course a smooth auto transmission.
We had plenty of power in the 74kWh (usable) battery so did not need to charge on the outbound ferry and enjoyed a relaxing cruise on the Ulysses cross the Irish Sea to Wales. Beside us a Porsche Taycan EV didn’t turn our heads as we had similar performance, although we liked its low stance but then felt that our taller driving position and cabin offered more practicality all round and would be a more relaxing drive. Should the need arise top speed in the EV6 GT is 260km/h.
At Holyhead we drove across the isle of Anglesey keeping an eye out for RAF jets stationed nearby, and then along the north coast of Wales, stopping off for food and to stretch our legs. The GT delivered effortless traction and a sense of utter contentment from the driver’s seat. It is a lovely feeling knowing that there were few vehicles on the road that delivered such an attractive package of traction, power and practicality wrapped up in a contemporary family car, albeit with a little bit more attitude than most. While the fast jets were having a tea break we did see a few piston engined trainers and felt they would be no match on the runway with our GT as it can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds – if you fit wings to it, it could take off… possibly.
We took in the Wales v Ireland under 20s rugby match at Parc Eirias and then returned to Holyhead to catch the very early morning ferry back to Dublin. At Holyhead when we arrived we had 32 per cent battery life remaining from that morning’s full charge, that worked out at roughly 102km driving range. By the time we embarked a few hours later the GT read 28 per cent and 86km. We had a charge point booked and at check-in were given a green sheet of A4 with Electric Car written on it to place on the dash. We were directed to a bay of parking slots with EV charge points. We reversed in and connected our type 2 cable to the socket and turned on the red isolator switch and the AC power then flowed.
The ship’s EV charger delivered power at a rate 6.4kW as we locked up and headed for our cabins. The sailing charge brought the EV6 GT back up to 55 per cent and 189km, more than enough to drive the GT in GT Mode all the way home – of course I didn’t do that, choosing to drive in eco mode… okay I did use GT mode briefly every now and again… it would be rude not to. The EV6 GT has a CCS charging port and can charge at speeds of up to 233kW DC. In theory the GT can go from a range of 37km to 296km in 16 minutes. It has a useful 11kW AC charging capacity at Public three phase AC chargers (slow chargers). As with EV6 models there is vehicle to load (V2L) ability so an adapter can be plugged in to the car to deliver up to 3.6kW of AC power
The KIA EV6 GT is an a very capable car with outrageous power and traction. Is it worth the premium over regular EV6s… that depends on how much you value outright performance. This was our first ferry trip with an EV and the whole Irish Ferries experience was top class. Those thinking of travelling should book their EV spot in advance when booking their travel, and a word of caution when travelling further afield, e.g. France, check that the Ferry you are travelling on has EV charging capability.