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Kia Motors America expands Soul EV availability to four additional states; 10 total

Following the launch of the Soul EV (earlier post) late last year in California, along with sales beginning in Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii earlier this year, Kia Motors America (KMA) is expanding availability of its fully charged urban runabout into four new states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland. KMA’s announcement will bring the total number of states selling the Soul EV to 10.

Nineteen Kia dealers will be certified to sell and service the Soul EV across these four states, and customers will have access to charging stations installed at these facilities. The Soul EV will be sold in eight New York dealerships, six New Jersey dealerships, three Maryland dealerships, and two Connecticut dealerships. From January through September, KMA has sold 727 units of the Soul EV, according to the monthly compilation by


Soul EV sales in the Northeast will begin in the fourth quarter. Soul EV owners will easily be able to locate charging stations using the standard UVO EV Services telematics system. Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services utilizes an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app to provide Soul EV owners with an in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and a number of convenience features.

Offered in two trims, Base and + (Plus), the 2016 Soul EV MSRP4 is $33,950 (not including federal tax rebate of $7,500) for the Base and $35,950 (not including federal tax rebate of $7,500) for the Plus. A lease price of $249/month for the Soul EV Base is also available.

The Soul EV also has an EPA estimated range rating of 93 miles with an MPGe of 92 miles highway and 120 miles city for a combined fuel economy of 105 miles.

The Soul EV plugs into any standard 120V outlet or a conventional 240V EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480V). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120V outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240v outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved from empty in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output DC fast charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers—Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment.

The front-wheel-drive Soul EV is powered by a 109-hp (81 kW) electric motor, producing 210 lb-ft (285 N·m) of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine common to most electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit.

The battery pack’s location beneath the floor results in a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9% improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul and offers protection to the battery.

In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12% of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four drive mode combinations: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” or “B” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration).


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This is the problem with the short-range BEVs that the old auto-industry are making. They can only be sold to a limited pool of die hard environmentalist because the cars are otherwise inferior to their equally priced gassers. Tesla is not selling cars to that limited pool of die-hard environmentalist. They are selling cars because their cars are the best cars that money can buy. There are no other cars around at 100k USD with the same level of power, elegance and utility as Tesla's cars. The non-polluting thing is just a nice benefit but not necessary for selling Tesla's cars. So wake me up when we get more attractive long-range BEVs. This is not it and it is going no ware. They might as well not sell it.

Dr. Strange Love

Henrik. The Soul EV wouild be a top seller if it changed colors according to the owners mood, just like the Mood Rings of the 70's.

Kia Soul EV is a grear car that could oursell rhe Nissan Leaf if Kia got behind it. Like everyone, Kia needs cheaper batteries so their margin will be comparable to their ICE Soul. That will happen soon. When it does, and the Soul gets the new higher energy cells, it will get 125 miles on a charge and they'll sell briskly.

You dont have to be a die hard environmentalist to want to drive a car whose fuel is practically free. With solar on the roof and a TOU utility rate, your EV fuel is nearly free.

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Ya and strap on a solar cell roof too. If this is all the old auto industry got for BEVs they are doomed but BEVs are not. They will come and Tesla, Apple and Google and others perhaps will definitely make it happen. I must admit although that GM's 2016 Volt looks promising. We will see. Could change my current view about GM and their ability to invent and excite.

Dr. Strange Love

It's Ok city car, short bursts, charge once a week.

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Sorry I meant GM's 2016/2017 Bolt.

I just drive the VW GTE yesterday. Great little car. I can see that selling well in the US after VW gets out of the sack cloth and ashes.

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E.C.I. but you do have to be a die hard environmentalist to buy a short-range economy BEV for 30k USD. The proof is that they do not sell. Remember Nissan invested in production capacity to produce 250,000 Leafs per year globally but they have never sold more than 60k units as they did last year. This year Nissan will be lucky if they sell 55k Leafs globally. If what you say about the Bolt comes true then the Leaf will be finished even with a 30kwh battery. That Bolt starts to make sense I admit but it is not here yet and I will see it before I believe it. Those who are thinking about making BEVs need to make them better than similar priced gassers (say plus 5k USD to account for saved gas in a small car) or they should not make them as they will not sell to anybody else than this small group of environmentalist. Do as Tesla start with luxury BEVs and then work down towards economy cars as the price of batteries drops.

However, as I have said repeatedly all these problems with costly batteries will be gone when the self-driving BEV taxis arrives as they can spread the capital cost over a large number of customers. Problem solved.

The main reason EVs are not selling well is because they are not marketed and sold well. Take a look at the total ad dollars spent on marketing EVs (minuscule). Look at the Consumer Reports study on the EV sales process at dealers (very poor).

Automakers aren't promoting EVs because they don't have the margin that they do with ICEs. It's really that simple. Some, like the Leaf, have had other issues that have inhibited sales, but even Nissan has not spent big on advertising the Leaf yet.

Most people who drive 80 mile BEVs love them. Not everyone needs to drive more than 100 miles a day. For those that don't, today's EV can work fine. Extra range and better charge infrastructure will certainly help. But just look at how few states most EVs are sold in. If manufacturers wanted to sell more, selling in at least 49 states would be a good start.

Battery price and supply will change everything.

Btw, in most CARB states where EVs are actually sold, tax incentives take about $10,000 off the price. So a $30k MSRP EV is actually only $20k. Nine EVs are on lease for less than $200 per month. That's an affordable car by any standard, especially when you consider fuel cost savings. Gas in California is $3.50 gallon.


Ads are sales, marketing is finding out what the customer wants. In this case, the car makers have not discovered what the customer wants nor provided it.

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E.C.I Tesla gave people a choice between versions of Model S with different range. They tried selling the Model S40, 160 miles range. People didn't buy it. They tried selling the Model S60 with 208 miles range but it did less than 10% of total Model S sales so Musk had to discontinue that version also. The Model S70 with a 230 miles range seems to be doing fine (I think with about 20% of all sales). So apparently what Tesla has learned is that people need minimum 230 miles range in order to desire their BEV. I expect the Model III and Model Y (the crossover version of Model III with falcon doors) to also start at 230 miles and also have a 300 miles version. They will have performance trims nearly similar to Model S and Model X. Also I think the starter version will probably cost 50k USD. If you deduct a 7500 USD tax incentive and another 7500 USD for saved fuel in 5 years you get the promised 35k USD. The fully loaded ludicrous speed version of Model III will be about 90k USD before incentives and gas savings. The Model III will diminish the sales of similar priced small gassers as Tesla will make sure they have more power, elegance and utility than those gassers.

I am certain that Tesla's entry into mass market transportation for people with ordinary income will not be a BEV that Tesla sells but instead a self-driving taxi service with fares per mile that are less than the cost per mile by owning a 20k USD gasser. So about 20 cents per mile. It will not be based on the Model III it will be a new model possibly a tandem two seas car that can do 300 miles on lust 40kwh because of very low air drag and weight. It will be practically maintenance free for the first 1 million miles.


Henrik: Tesla sells a luxury priced vehicle. For those that can afford it getting more batteries is not a financial issue. However, in the more moderately priced EVs, if real volumes are ever really sold, a variable battery size would allow the purchaser to pay for only what they need/want. Also, Tesla will have to do better than $50K for the 3.

ECI: the margins will always be small on the EVs. Those makers who install their own battery production will profit additionally from those and eventually that will be the general business model. They will sell to other markets too. You see, the parts for EVs will eventual become commodity type products and so EV manufacturing will largely be a simple assembly job that nearly anyone can do (the complexity of the ICE is a shield against competition because the development of engines is very involved and complicated). Fortunately, the EV industry is inevitable, unfortunately there is still relatively little capital going into battery manufacturing.

Amen, Brotherkenny. Agree on all points.

SJC, I don't know where you went to school, but your teachers did you a disservice. Ads are not sales. A transaction is a sale. Ads are part of the classic marketing mix. In a company of any significant size, advertising is the responsibility of the marketing department.

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BK4 in the opinion of many Tesla probably should do better than 50k USD for the Model III. However, from a business point of view the question is do Tesla >need< to do better than 50k USD for the Model III in order to meet their projected sales of 380k units per year of that model and Model Y in 2020. Here I do not think they need to do better if that 50k USD vehicle comes with rear wheel drive, zero to 60 mph in 5.5 sec, Tesla's interior elegance, super advanced autopilot, free OTA software updates and internet for life, free long-distance charging, 230 miles EPA range and a top speed of 155mph. Fully packed you also get nicer interiors, nicer wheels, panorama roof, ludicrous speed 0 to 60 in 2.8 sec and 4 wheel drive for 90k USD. Tesla needs to make a healthy gross profit or it will slow their growth because they need to finance most of that growth themselves. So the higher the gross profit the faster Tesla will grow.

The high end versions of BMW's series 3 start at 50k USD and it is the same size as Model III so 50k USD for Model III will do just fine by comparison.

No doubt many if not most of the Model 3 orders will be optioned up. But Musk has been adamant that the base price will be $35k. Even if they sell very few at that price, and impose longer wait times, I'll be surprised if that's not the base sticker.

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I am not sure he did not mean 35k USD after gas savings and tax incentives. Personally I think it is impossible for Tesla to make a profitable luxury small BEV for 35k USD when BMW needs 50k USD for a comparable gasser. Tesla needs to grow as fast as possible and they need all the money they can make from selling their cars as expensive as the market will permit it. Musk is not legally bound to sell for 35k USD regardless of his public speculations about it that is mostly a PR stunt in my opinion.


The EVs, even under 100 mile range US, are making sales, data, and infrastructure.

Not many walking around didn't crawl first.

BMW 3 series MSRP is $34,145. Truecar price is $31,472.

Model 3 base price has been pegged - by Musk on Twitter, his preferred direct announce channel - at $35,000 before incentives

Whatever the price, if they sell 500,000 per year profitably, the rubicon will have been crossed and the EV era will have begun.

At the end of that first year of production, there won't be many people in the country who don't know what a Tesla is and that the lucky owners pay next to nothing for fuel.

With the GM Bolt arriving a year earlier, and the longer range Nissan Leaf 2.0 presumably on the market at about the same timeframe, that message will be amplified.

Whatever a customers' affection for lower priced ICE economy cars, the lower monthly Total Cost of Ownership of EVs - without significant range limitations - will be an incredibly compelling value proposition.

2019. That's just about the time that the first Mirais will come off the 3 year free fuel plan and owners start paying $13.99 per kg for fuel. That will make for interesting discussion between the two camps in the green car forums.


Fuels should be taxed on GHG and pollution they create. Clean electricity and clean H2 could have much lower fuel tax than diesel, gasoline, ethanol, butanol and NG. A high percentage of fuel taxes should be used to subsidize the transition to zero pollution vehicles and clean energy generation.

However, a normalized national road tax, based on distance x weight of vehicle, would be required to build and maintain roads and bridges.

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E.C.I. True that BMW's 3 series starts at 33k USD for the 320i with only 150 hp and 0 to 60 in 9 sec. I was comparing with 335i that has 300hp and does 0 to 60 in 5 sec and starts at 49k USD. I believe the Model III will be close to 300 hp as well for its least powerful model. Maybe 250 hp in order to do 0 to 60 in 5.2 sec as is about what the 335i does and the Model S70 does with 320 hp in a larger heavier car. The 320i will be less of a car when compared to Model III least powerful model. We need to compare with the 335i that starts at 49k USD.

Bob Wallace

"I am not sure he did not mean 35k USD after gas savings and tax incentives."

Musk has clearly said $35k. $27,500 after the federal subsidy is applied. No fuel savings math involved.

"I think it is impossible for Tesla to make a profitable luxury small BEV for 35k USD "

With the Gigafactory cranking out batteries it is expected that battery pack prices will be $160/kWh, possibly lower. $35,000 - 8,000 (50 kWh) = 27,000 to build the rest of the car and profit.

The MSRP for a Toyota Camry is $23k. The Camry is a decent sized car, perhaps the size of the Tesla Mod3. Pull out the engine, fuel/cooling/exhaust systems and transmission. I've read that about 40% of the cost of a ICEV is the propulsion system. $14k for the car without engine.

Put in $10k (?) of batteries and electric motor. Spend a few thousand on "nicer" upholstery, etc. - the luxury stuff.

Build it for $30k, sell it for $35. That would be a smaller gross profit margin than Tesla is making on the Mod3s (~15% vs. ~25%) but the sales volume would be greatly larger.

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The Camry uses parts that are produced for 2 million Toyota's per year. Model III and Y will be 350k per year combined. Toyota has cost advantages from much higher production of cause. Also the Camry is a steel car (inexpensive material) whereas the Model III and Model Y will be aluminium just like Model S and Model X. Aluminium is more expensive but needed to reach Tesla's goal of low weigh, better handling, better acceleration, longer range and higher durability (1 million miles is what Tesla aims for. Not possible with steel that will rust severely at 200,000 miles). 50kwh is not going to be enough. Tesla can at most get 3.8 miles per kwh so 60kwh is needed for a 228 miles EPA rating which is needed for BEVs to quit range anxiety. You need to add gross profit to the battery cost as well. I would say Tesla needs 200 USD per kwh or 12,000 USD for that 60kwh pack including gross profit in 2018. Fast forward to 2020 if Tesla is at full production at 50Gwh at their Nevada factory they probably only need 170 USD per kwh including gross profit at the pack level or 10k USD for that 60kwh pack. That Model III will need 250 hp for the rear wheel drive version to do 0 to 60 in about 5 sec and compete on price with the 49k USD BMW 335i and about 500 hp for the duel motor all wheel drive ludicrous version that also comes with 80kwh battery pack and could sell for about 90k USD fully loaded.

Also you need to add about 2k USD to the selling price of Model III that Tesla needs to offer free long-distance access for their supercharger network and 700 USD for free internet for the life of the car. Tesla needs that internet access for OTA software updates and maintenance data and to provide convenience features that suits a luxury car like navigation and autopilot.

Model III will not start serious production until 2018 and for that year it will only be premium versions and signature versions that Tesla will offer. For 2019 we will see the sales of the entry level Model III begin with full production in 2020. If Tesla can price it profitable at 45k USD before incentives and gas savings I will be thrilled. Tesla could take 30% to 40% of the global market for luxury cars over 45k USD with such a line-up of models Model S, X, III and Y in various battery, performance and trim versions.


I don't understand why someone doesn't develop an extended battery concept for EVs in the form of a trailer you would hook-up and tow behind you. In that case all range-anxiety for long range trips would be gone. Something that would extend the range to 250 miles of 60mph travel would be more than adequate. No need to haul that big a battery for everyday around-town driving, just for the few times a year I'd need a long-distance road trip.

I could rent such a trailer from a dealership or other independent operator for the few times a year that I'd need to go inter-state distances. Need to go further than one trailer allows? Drive to a place where they'd swap the discharged trailer for a fully charged one, or plug it in at a hotel overnight or elsewhere and be good for another 250 miles. I know people travel further in a single day, but it would be good to stop every 3-4 hours and stretch your legs.

Even if you aren't on a trip, if you run down the EV internal battery by mistake, there's a market for a roadside assistance service that would deliver an EV battery trailer that could be hooked up in two minutes to get you home. No towing needed.

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