Car News

Kia has an electric Soul

The all-electric Kia Soul EV – with a potential range of 200km on one overnight charge – is slated to go on sale during the second half of next year, and will be the first electrically-driven, zero-emissions family car Kia has sold outside its homeland.

And in keeping with its environmental credentials, the Kia Soul EV’s interior components and trim will use a range of recycled materials including bio plastic, bio foam, bio fabric and bio PET felt, together with low volatile organic compounds and newly developed antibacterial materials and paint.

“The new Soul EV will be at the forefront of Kia’s new Clean Mobility program to provide environmentally-friendly transport to our customers around the world when it goes on sale globally next year,” says Thomas Oh, Executive Vice President and COO, Kia Motors Corporation.

“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 our in-depth experience gained from development of the Ray EV and proven daily operations of the Ray EV fleet for the past three years,” said Mr Oh.

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Equipped with a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Soul EV will be able to drive more than 200 km on a single charge, say its makers.

The front-wheel drive Soul EV is built on a modified version of the 2014 Kia Soul and powered by an 81.4 kW electric motor, producing 285Nm of torque to the front wheels through a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit.

Because of the almost instant torque – a feature of all electric vehicles – the Soul EV is claimed to get to 100kph in around 12 seconds, which doesn’t sound too impressive to be honest. Top speed is 145 kph.

Regenerative braking captures and recycles into the battery the energy generated while the car is coasting and braking.

The Soul EV can be plugged into a standard household electricity supply.  Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 240v household outlet, or 25 minutes on fast charge with a special 100kW output.

Kia says the Soul EV is so quiet they have fitted what they call VESS (Virtual Engine Sound System) that makes a sound (an audio alert, as they call it)mat speeds below 20 kph and whenever the car is reversing.

The Soul EV will come as standard with projection type headlamps, LED driving lights and rear combination lamps, plus what Kia calls aerodynamically shaped 16” inch alloy wheels, whatever that means…

No details yet on when – or even if – the Kia Soul EV will be on sale in Australia, but when we find out we will let you know.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.