Kia Adding California Charging Stations For Soul EV

Kia Motors America (KMA) wants to improve the EV charging network in advance of the Soul EV’s California arrival during the third quarter of this year.

Kia is adding of 17 new DC fast chargers to California’s already-existing network of 198, charger.

KMA said its 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.

Select Soul EV dealers in Northern and Southern California will be fitted with multiple Level 2 240 volts chargers and ABB’s 50 kilowatt Terra 53 CJ DC fast charger, which can charge the Soul EV’s battery from empty to 80 percent in about 33 minutes, said Kia, to help build range confidence.

Designed for the “charge and go” segment, the Terra 53 multi-standard DC charging station is said to be ideal for use at car dealerships, fuel stations and high-turnover parking applications.

Kia said it will announce dealership locations with available charging stations closer to the Soul EV’s on-sale date later this year; also, following the California launch of the Soul EV, select additional markets are set to come online in 2015.

“The Soul EV is a key vehicle within Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program, and having access to Level 2 and an increased number of DC fast chargers at select Kia dealerships is an opportunity for us to provide value to Soul EV owners, signaling Kia’s commitment to the growing EV market,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “Our customers are making a sincere effort to be eco-conscious, and Kia is committed to delivering both flexible and convenient charging options to Soul EV owners.”

Through the Greenlots partnership, Kia explained Soul EV owners will be provided a “Kia ChargeUp Card,” giving them access to DC fast chargers via Greenlots’ SKY network system. Soul EV owners will be able to easily locate charging stations via Kia’s free UVO EVServices telematics app through their smartphone or the standard 8-inch touchscreen inside the vehicle.

Partnerships have also been forged with Bosch, Leviton and Aerovironment to serve as Level 2 at-home charging options for owners and also for Kia dealers, added the Korean manufacturer’s American arm.

Recharging times are said to vary from under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet to about 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet.

The 2015 Soul EV is Kia’s first ever all-electric, zero-emissions car to be sold in the U.S. Kia stated this EV gets 80 to 100 miles of real-world range when the 27 kilowatt-hour, 360 volts, 192-cell lithium-ion polymer battery is fully charged, and the regenerative braking system captures up to 12 percent of the Soul EV’s kinetic energy when coasting and braking to also help recharge the battery.

Kia also revealed the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators; Kia said this is done to improve thermal stability and safety.