The Kia Soul is a pretty funky looking vehicle and a lot easier on the eyes than the Nissan Cube. In terms of sales, the vehicle has done pretty well. Then came along the Kia Soul Track’ster concept which certainly had soul and a whole lot of power but unfortunately it was just a concept vehicle and nothing has come of it so far besides the water downed Soul Red Zone. And now Kia is bringing the Soul that has some heart and cares for the environment with the Kia Soul EV.
The 2015 Kia Soul EV will be making its debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show and expected to hit the showroom floors by late summer of 2014. Initially, it will be released in states where there is a better infrastructure for electric vehicles such as California, Oregon, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. The Soul EV is still based on the current model but makes some minor changes to distinguish that it’s an electric vehicle such as a larger front grille which accommodates charging ports, different color accent trims in the front/rear, LED positioning lamps, projector headlights, as well as LED tail lights.
The 2015 Kia Soul Electric will be powered by a 109 horsepower (81.4kW) electric motor producing 210 lb-ft of torque and mated to a single-speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. The vehicle will be a front-wheel drive and capable of reaching the 0 to 60 mph in just under 12 seconds while the top speed will be limited to only 90 mph.
The vehicle will feature a 27kWh lithium-ion polymer battery which is located underneath the car’s floor giving the Kia an estimated driving range of approximately 80-100 miles on a full charge. Of course the driving range is heavily dependent on how the driver’s style of driving. All of the Kia Soul EV’s will feature a two-tone paint scheme, with three color combinations being offered initially. The first choice is the Pear White body with an Electronic Blue roof, the second is a Caribbean Blue body with a “Clear White” roof, and the third is Bright Silver body with “Clear White” roof.
The crazy color schemes and making the vehicle look different is the one thing I don’t really understand about car manufacturers these days. Why does the hybrid or electric vehicle have to look different than the normal model? The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the perfect example because the hybrid version is terrible, just terrible looking.
Back to the Soul, the vehicle will also be riding on 16-inch alloy wheels and feature special engineered SLRR tires (Super Low Rolling Resistance). The battery can be charged via a standard 120v outlet as well as a 240v EV charger. With a completely depleted battery, a standard 120v outlet will bring it to a 100% charge in 24 hours while a 240v outlet can do the same in just under five hours. And if you’re in a rush, a 50kW output charger can bring the battery from zero to 80 percent capacity in just over half an hour.
The prices for the Kia Soul Electric are not yet available but it’s got potential since this vehicle can be even more practical than the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus EV. Prices will be announced once the vehicle is closer to its launch date this summer. More info at Kia’s website.