Just over three weeks since it confirmed that it would be bringing market expansion plans for its Kia Soul EV forward due to sales success in the state of California, South Korean automaker Kia Motors has officially announced the five-seat compact plug-in wagon will soon be available in Georgia, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Hawaii.
Based on the same chassis as the gasoline-powered 2015 Kia Soul, the 2015 Kia Soul EV features seating for five, an 81.4 kilowatt motor driving the wheels through a single-ratio reduction gearbox, and an EPA-approved range of 93 miles per charge.
The latter is thanks to a 27 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack located beneath the vehicle’s floor, which gives the Kia Soul EV the longest range on paper of any non-Tesla plug-in vehicle on sale today.
Due to the Kia Soul EV’s square front end and relatively boxy design however, there’s a big difference between the Kia Soul EV’s range capabilities around town versus its capabilities on the road.
On the Urban cycle test of the EPA test cycle, the Kia Soul EV manages 103.6 miles per charge, but head out on the open road at highway speeds, and that range drops to nearer 70 real-world miles.
Yet thanks to its upright design and good overall visibility, the Kia Soul EV is a great choice for anyone looking for a friendly city runabout, meaning it should get plenty of attention when it launches in the five new markets in the coming months.
In terms of charging, the Kia Soul comes with a 6.6-kilowatt on-board charger as standard, as well as CHAdeMO quick charge capability, making it easy to recharge its battery pack from empty to around 80 percent full in just over half an hour.
First to get the 2015 Kia Soul EV outside of California will be the state of Georgia, where generous incentives for plug-in vehicles and a vibrant plug-in community in and around the Greater Atlanta area should help it sell well. While Kia hasn’t set a firm date for the market launch, it has said Georgians should be able to pick up a new Kia Soul EV from ‘Q2, 2015,’ a date range which could be as early as next week.
Oregon, Washington State, Texas and Hawaii will follow after Georgia, with Hawaii due to begin sales of the Kia Soul EV by the end of June.
In all five new states, the Kia Soul EV will be available in both ‘Base’ and ‘+’ trim options, with the base model starting at $33,700 before incentives and without handling and shipping fees. The higher-end Kia Soul EV + will be available from $35,700 before incentives and fees.
Over the Kia Soul EV Base model — which comes with remote telematics, dual-zone smart climate control, full satellite navigation and alloy wheels as standard, the Kia Soul EV + adds three-stage heated leather seats front and back, fog lights, and power folding rear view mirrors.
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