p> Kia Motors has confirmed the development of a battery-electric version of the Kia Soul for the US market, scheduled to go on sale in 2014. The Kia Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle marketed outside of Korea.
The Soul EV takes its design cues from the recently-launched second-generation Kia Soul. Equipped with a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Soul EV is expected to offer a driving range of more than 120 miles (193 km) on a single charge. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 240v outlet, or 25 minutes on fast charge with 100 kW output.
The new Soul EV will be at the forefront of Kia’s Clean Mobility program, which aims to provide environmentally-friendly vehicles to our customers around the world, when it goes on sale globally next year. Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea.—Kia Motors America’s executive director of product planning, Orth Hedrick
The front-wheel drive Soul EV prototype test cars currently under development are built on modified versions of the 2014 Kia Soul and are powered by a 109-hp (142 kW) electric motor, producing 210 lb-ft (284 N·m) of torque. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit.
Accelerating from 0-62 mph takes less than 12 seconds, and the top speed is “in the region” of 90 mph (145 km/h).
For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV will be equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an audio alert at speeds below 12 mph (19 km/h) and whenever the car is in reverse.
When it goes on sale in 2014, the Soul EV will offer projection type headlamps, LED positioning lamps, LED rear combination lamps, plus aerodynamically shaped 16-inch alloy wheels.
Inside the cabin, the vehicle is fitted with a Supervision instrument cluster and center stack with an eight-inch display screen. The interior components and trim will use an increased range of recycled materials including Bio Plastic, Bio Foam, Bio Fabric and Bio PET Felt, together with low volatility organic compounds and newly developed antibacterial materials and paint.