By on February 6, 2014



While sister brand Hyundai has yet to offer an EV, Kia will step up to the plate and offer an electric version of the Soul, with a range between 80-100 miles via a 27 kWh battery pack. The Soul EV puts out 109 hp and  210 lb-ft of torque, relatively tame figures for an EV. Level 1 and Level 2 fast charging is supported, with provisions for DC fast charging and even conventional outlet charging, which can take as much as 24 hours. On the other hand, charging via a 50 kWh charger can provide 80 percent juice in as little as half an hour. Notably, the battery pack lies flat, so you only have to give up 5 cubic feet of cargo room and a 3.1 inches of leg room to attain a zero-emissions Soul.

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16 Comments on “Chicago 2014: Kia Soul EV Debuts...”

  • avatar

    I can picture it now: hamsters bopping to the beat of some late 80’s jam while plugging the car in…

    I myself would rather drive the toaster.

  • avatar

      While I’m not a fan of the Soul, this actually looks like a decent EV. If there’s any company I trust to bring EV to mainstream prices, it’s KIA/Hyundai. They should focus on this INSTEAD OF their $67,000 Lexus wannabes.

    A 100 mile range is acceptable so long as:
    #1 You can charge it in any 110/220 volt outlet
    #2 You can gain back 20 miles of range or so in less than 1 hour.
    #3 pricing starts lower than $30,000.
    #4 There is an easy battery replacement warranty.

    I really want to see a plug-in Sonata and plug in Elantra GT.

    • 0 avatar

      I completely agree.

      This EV compares well with others on the market, and it would be nice to see this type of tech get put into other cars.

      My main issue with EVs is price; everything about EVs will fit 95%+ of my driving needs, the only issues arising when I need to go out of town by car (which is only a few times a year).

      As with any new technology, I’m hoping this comes down in price sooner rather than later.

    • 0 avatar

      Instead? Both KIA and Hyundai want to be global full-spectrum auto manufacturers.

      If you’ve got the resources and aspirations to do both, then why not do both?

    • 0 avatar

      Why can’t do they both?

      After all, Toyota and Nissan are doing it (albeit with separate sales channels).

  • avatar

    Why aren’t EVs allowed to have open grilles? I’ve never understood this, every EV seems to either have no grille at all or the grille of a non-EV but filled in.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      It helps with the aero a bit, versus having a hole or rough surface in there. Same reason Nascar teams tape up the nose on the cars.

    • 0 avatar

      Believe it or not, having a blocked-off grille improves the drag coeffiecient, and every bit helps when you only have the on-board stored energy equivalent of a couple gallons of gasoline.

      Back in the 1980s, the uber-high-mpg Civic HF didn’t come with a passenger-side mirror for the exact same reason.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        EVs like the Leaf, Soul, and 500 have less than a gallon’s worth of energy aboard, since lithium ion batteries have about 1% the energy density of gasoline.

        Improvements in battery technology could really boost the EV market.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You’re looking at an ICE car converted to EV service. The Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf have grilles, but they’re not located in the conventional place.

      My Leaf even has a radiator behind that grill, supposedly for the motor coolant. But even on the hottest days, there doesn’t seem to be any heat generated under the hood.

  • avatar

    The Soul’s a good fit for EVization. Aside from the flat battery pack not cannibalizing too much cargo space, it’s always been one of the most charismatic (and more importantly, successful) efforts to come out of Hyundai/Kia. The “hipest” models Hyundai offers are the Genesis (which still has an identity crisis as it shares its name with a completely different model) and the Veloster (which while funky doesn’t enjoy nearly as broad appeal or sales as the Soul due to its diminished impracticality in the service of style.)

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Interesting battery, but otherwise a poky CARBmobile :/

  • avatar

    Despite being a “box” – makes sense as a city-car or driving mostly in the ‘burbs where the box shape matters less (aerodynamics) and people get greater utility from the box shape.

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