Kia Shows Soul EV in Chicago

Today at the Chicago Auto Show Kia unveiled its 2015 Soul EV that’s due to begin selling in the third quarter of this year.

Contrary to previous reports that it would get 120 miles range from its 27-kwh battery, the automaker is saying a more conservative 80-100 miles range may be had in “real world” operation.

Top speed is 90 mph, and 0-60 is estimated at around 12 seconds.

This will be Kia’s first mass-market EV although it does have an EV in Korea, and the new EV makes use of Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking which captures up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy.

The front-wheel drive Soul EV offers a relatively modest 109 horsepower and 201 pound-feet of torque.

“The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles,” said Kia.

Charging options range from level 1 to level 3 via CHAdeMo. Onboard is a 6.6-kw charger and the Soul EV uses a unique HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw.

Kia positioned the flat battery low to minimize intrusio ninto cargo space and leg room. Specifically, 5 cubic feet of cargo room are sacrificed, leaving 19.1 remaining, and 3.1 inches of leg room is sacrificed from (39.1 to 36 inches).

The vehicle will be festooned inside and out with funky styling cues, and available with a high degree of connectivity and other technologies.

“The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.”

Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.