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Kia confirms development of battery-electric Soul for US; on sale in 2014

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.


Michael B.

> "or 25 minutes on fast charge with 100kW output"

The question is, what standard of fast charger? Isn't Chademo currently limited to 62.5kW?


The GM Spark EV uses a SAE Combo DC Fast Charger and recharges to 80% in 20 minutes but has a slightly smaller battery pack (21 kWh vs 27 kWh. I would guess that the Kia Soul would use the same charger in the US.


The only system that makes sense is the Tesla system. The charging plug fits in your hand easily and functions as the J-1772 plug and the quick charger. The other two systems are poorly engineered systems that need to be replaced. It's the same old story; a poorly engineered standard is adopted because it is based on politics and sales, not on what's best for the user.

May as well keep your Leaf; this car is not that much of an improvement...an improvement would be twice the range at about the same price as the Leaf.


I bet this will sell as well as a Focus EV or Fit EV.
Marketing is based on perception and the Kia Soul has created a positive brand.

If you add up Leaf, Focus, Spark, Fit, Soul and all the rest, you would probably not get much more than 100,000 units per year sold in the U.S. Considering we sell more than 10 million units, the projections that we will all be driving EVs real soon now seems to be based more on faith than fact.

I am an EV fan, but reality is what it is.


That's a heck of a claimed range, and if the EPA rating is anything like it should win many converts.

Bob Wallace

New technology adoption almost always begins quite slowly and builds. At some point it just flat takes off.

EV/PHEV sales are moving up faster than did hybrids when they came to market.

If this turns out to be a true 100 mile EV - 100 mile range commuting with the AC/heater going full blast - I suspect it will do pretty well. Moving into triple digit range is likely to have a large psychological influence on buyers.


To go from 80-90 miles range to 110-120 miles is not enough of a change to convince that many buyers. This is just some minimum fine tuning.

To gain more market share, extended range EVs need much higher capacity (100+ kWh) much lighter (800 Wh/Kg) affordable batteries.

That may not happen before 2020 or so.

Meanwhile, buyers will have to be satisfied with short range city EVs, at least until Tesla produces a lower cost ($45K) extended range (350 to 400 miles) EV.


That is the idea of cheaper versus better batteries.
While that statement may seem misleading, it is not.

If you need 1000 cells for the average EV and each sell costs $10,
then there you have it. If those 1000 cells store 20 kWh, there is your range.

If those 1000 cells now store 40 kWh but still only cost $10 each, you have more range without the higher cost. I know this is a simple concept, but this is about "sustainable mobility".

Tom Prucha

"...and are powered by a 109-hp (142 kW) electric motor" Something isn't right. 142 HP = ~106 kW. 109 kW = ~146 HP.

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