After months of waiting, Kia has finally unveiled its production-spec Soul EV at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, which is says will debut in the U.S. later this year as a 2015 model.
Performance-wise, the Kia Soul EV won’t be the quickest production electric car we’ve ever seen, taking an expected 12 seconds to sprint from 0-60 mph. Top speed, meanwhile, will be limited to around 90 mph, although like the 0-60 mph time, Kia isn’t keen to give exact figures yet.
Likewise, range remains a vague figure at this time. Kia says the car’s 27-kilowatt-hour battery pack — located beneath the car’s floor — should give between 80 and 100 miles of real world range. At the time of writing however, official EPA ratings haven’t been released, but Kia says it has seen 100-mile ranges under its own in-house testing.
Fitted with both an on-board charger capable of charging at 110-volt Level 1 and 220-volt Level 2, as well as having CHAdeMO quick charge capabilities, the Kia Soul EV looks to feature the same charging capabilities as a Nissan LEAF. As standard the Soul EV will have a 3.3kW onboard charger although this can be upgraded to a 6.6kW charger if desired.
That equates to the capability to charge an empty battery pack from an emergency 110-volt outlet from empty to full in around 24 hours; charging at 240 volts from empty to full in around 5 hours; and charging from empty to 80 percent full in 33 minutes using a compatible CHAdeMO rapid charge unit.
The similarities to the LEAF don’t stop there, either. Like the LEAF, the Soul EV features a front-wheel drivetrain and sub-floor battery pack installation and it’s powered by an 81.2kW electric motor which generates around 210 pound-feet of torque.
Initially the Soul EV will go on sale in selected states only, including California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Kia say they will look into expanding sales into other states as the infrastructure and demand grows.
From a technological standpoint, the Kia Soul EV will come with the standard EV set. Along with the remote car App for smartphones to check on charging status, start charging sessions and remotely activate the heating/cooling system, the car itself will report battery status, distance to empty, CO2 saved and provide the ability to search for nearby charging stations.
An optional heat-pump heating system will improve the car’s range in colder weather while the option to set the heating to various internal settings such as ‘driver only’ should help minimise battery drain.
As we reported earlier this month, the Kia Soul EV will come with a interior made from an eco-friendly cloth. This cloth is made from 10 percent bio-based organic carbon materials, which include bio-based plastic, bio-fabric and thermoplastic elastomer fabric. However, for those who want it, the interior can be upgraded to leather.
What do you think of the Kia Soul EV? Would you consider it as your daily drive? Let us know below.
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