Kia Promises 124 Miles Range from Soul EV

Recharging times of five hours or less.

by on Nov.12, 2013

Kia plans to introduce its new Soul EV in the middle of the 2014 model year. It can travel as far as 124 miles on a single charge.

Kia is about to get into the battery-car game with a new electric version of its quirky Soul crossover, and the maker claims the Soul EV will deliver “class-leading range” of more than 120 miles per charge.

The battery version will be based on the newly redesigned gas-powered Kia Soul which just came to market in time for the 2014 model-year.  Though the Korean carmaker won’t have a production version to show for some time, it is giving a hint of what’s to come with an image of a thinly disguised Soul EV – while also providing some initial technical details.

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According to Kia, the 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.”

Skeptics likely will argue that the Soul EV will also be – like so many competing battery cars – central to Kia’s efforts to meet California’s strict zero-emission vehicle mandate. Without such vehicles, the Golden State plans to bar manufacturers from selling into its huge market, leading critics to dub such vehicles “compliance cars.”

But Kia seems determined to overcome at least one of the issues that has made the battery-car such a hard sell: limited range. It says the new Soul EV will be able to deliver about 124 miles per charge, about 30% to 40% more than other mainstream offerings such as the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Ford Focus EV – though substantially less than what the more costly Tesla Model S can deliver.

The boxy, front-drive Soul EV will produce 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque, Kia notes, adding that it should be able to push the battery-car to 60 in about 12 seconds. That would compare with 7.6 seconds for the Chevrolet Spark EV.

Recharging times for the 27 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, meanwhile, will be around five hours using a 240-volt charger. Meanwhile, using a Level III, “supercharger,” the Kia Soul EV would get an 80% charge on an otherwise dead battery in about 25 minutes.

Currently, only a handful of such high-speed chargers are available but the numbers are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

(Kia introduces five concepts during SEMA show. For more, Click Here.)

Kia isn’t saying much about pricing, though the competition would likely force something near or under $30,000 after taking into account the $7,500 federal tax credits the Soul EV should qualify for.

As for timing, a statement suggests sometime during the “second half of 2014,” which would, in turn, indicate the likelihood of the Kia Soul EV being designated a 2015 model.

(Click Here for a first look Kia’s new K900 premium sedan.)

Incidentally, sibling brand Hyundai has been putting its focus on hydrogen power to meet zero-emissions requirements, announcing that a new fuel-cell vehicle is in the works. But Hyundai officials recently told that they are now also working up a battery-car, though they’ve yet to provide any details on that program. But it would come as a surprise if the two Korea makers didn’t wind up sharing the same electric drive system.

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One Response to “Kia Promises 124 Miles Range from Soul EV”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    I’ll bet that range isn’t in 100 F Arizona/Florida weather or -20 F New England weather.

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