Kia throws its name into the electric car hat

At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia stared down the smart Electric line, and tried to raise the bar. Enter the 2015 Kia Soul EV – Kia’s first foray into the world of the fully electric vehicle.

Kia made a very smart decision in introducing an electric version of the Soul, rather than starting with – and trying to market – an entirely new line of electric vehicles. Instead, they’re simply adding to the already positive reputation of their very popular subcompact car, keeping the key features of the standard Soul, while implementing new and efficient technologies.

Kia put a strong emphasis on range with the Soul EV, wanting to make sure that drivers can get from Point A to Point B with little to no stress.  As a result, the car has a range of 80-100 miles on a full charge; plenty enough to get you to work and back, or to the airport, or basically any place you have to go that’s not vacation.

The battery on the Soul EV is an air-cooled 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer, and it sits beneath the floor of the vehicle (though the design team emphasized not letting the battery compromise cargo or passenger space). The battery is connected to an 81.4 kW electric motor that puts out 109 hp, and a rather impressive 210 lb-ft of torque. The charging is remarkably easy as well, as the front grille slides open to reveal dual charger ports: one for a standard 120 volt outlet, or the standard 240 volt EV outlet, and one for the fast-charging 480 volt outlets.

Kia also paid attention to the details, so as to innovate with their first electric car. Most notable that the motor has a liquid-cooled AC unit, and also employs synchronous permanent magnets, which allows the vehicle to greatly reduce the infamous electric motor whine. Details like this (and lack of intrusion from the battery), make the Soul EV a very successful entry into the electric car competition for Kia.


Photo Credit: Kia

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