- Eco-friendly Soul EV positions brand as a true stakeholder in the growing green segment
- The impressive 27kWh lithium battery delivers EPA estimated 93 miles of range1
- Soul EV achieves EPA MPGe1 of 92 miles highway and 120 miles city for a combined mileage rating of 105 miles
As the centerpiece of the Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ efforts, the Soul EV is the embodiment of the brand’s environmentally focused mission, transforming the hip urban crossover into Kia’s first mass-market, all-electric zero emissions vehicle to be sold in the U.S. Combining the iconic design of the Soul with advanced eco-friendly technology has landed the Soul EV in a class all its own. Honored with an industry-first automotive environmental validation by Underwriters Laboratory (UL)2 for its innovative use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV also earned an EPA estimated range rating of 93 miles with an MPGe of 92 miles highway and 120 miles city for a combined mileage of 105 miles.
“This is a momentous time for Kia as we venture further into the eco-friendly space with our first globally available all-electric urban crossover vehicle,“ said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, Kia Motors America. “The one-of-a-kind design of the Soul has proven to be a favorite with customers and when coupled with the state-of-the-art battery, providing top efficiency in range and regenerative energy, it becomes a winning combination of individualistic style, user-friendly functionality and eco-friendly capability.”
The Soul EV conveniently features two standard charging ports, a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). It can be charged to 80 percent in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 Kw–output fast charger (five hours using a 240v outlet). Set to launch initially in the ultra-EV-friendly state of California, the lively crossover will go on sale in additional select markets in 2015.
High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power
A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue with a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery enables an EPA estimated range of 93 miles, which is better than all other EVs on the market except the Tesla Model S luxury EV.
The 360-volt, 192-cell, lithium-ion polymer, gel-electrolyte battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a carbon graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight.
In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent 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).
The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging 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 and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. 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™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs.
Additionally, the 17 Kia retailers participating in the first wave of the Soul EV launch each will be equipped with multiple Level 2 chargers and a DC fast charger, bringing California’s DC fast charging network total to 215, a nearly nine percent increase statewide. KMA’s EV charging infrastructure plan provides Soul EV buyers with broad coverage, flexibility and excellent support, and Kia’s networking partnership with Greenlots will connect customers to DC fast chargers in convenient locations throughout California.
The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by a 109-hp (81.4kW) electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of instantaneous 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. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’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 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul and offers protection to the battery.
Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Pedestrian Warning System (PWS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse.