2017 Kia Soul EV Expected To Get Range Boost

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 50

2015 Kia Soul EV

2015 Kia Soul EV

2015 Kia Soul EV

2015 Kia Soul EV

Like other 2017 models, including the BMW i3, the refreshed 2017 Kia Soul EV is expected to benefit from advancements in electronic technology.

No specifics have been disclosed, but Autocar suggests that range for the 2017 Soul EV could jump beyond its current 93-mile EPA (132 mile NEDC) rating for the 2016 Soul EV.

Update: Article adjustment – the estimated range improvement is now for an unspecified increase over the current edition

Autocar acquired some spy shots of the 2017 Soul EV (which one can find at the source link below) and describes the changes as follows:

“Although the car pictured is largely under cover, new headlights, redesigned air intakes and new tail-lights are just about visible.”

“The model’s overall shape remains unchanged, but a heavily disguised cabin suggests more significant updates are being applied inside.”

Speculation has also surrounded the possibility that the Soul EV will ultimately not live on past this first generational model, what with Hyundai/Kia coming online with other BEV projects (and in saleable/profitable volumes).

Source: Autocar

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50 responses to "2017 Kia Soul EV Expected To Get Range Boost"

  1. Dave R says:

    The EV range wars are on! Consumers will be the ultimate winners.

    1. Brian says:

      Indeed. These are exciting times!

    2. RexxSee says:

      Not enough!

    3. Sting777 says:

      Someone tell FORD.

  2. Steve says:

    Great news. To me, a little more than 100 miles is a LOT better than a little less than 100 miles.

    1. Brian says:

      To you and many others, I’m sure.

      On the flip side, a little more than 100 miles provides almost NO benefit to me. Most of my days are either less than 30 miles or more than 200. So for me, I’m really looking for 250+ miles with decent QC available. Tesla is there but pricy. The Model III will be there. The Bolt is almost there, but someone needs to install CCS QCs, and GM isn’t going to be the one to do it. Same thing for the Leaf 2.0. But 140 miles still would be rough since it would require many more QC stops (and hence locations).

      But I think if priced correctly (i.e. lower range for lower price – remember the Bolt starts at ~$37,500 and the Soul EV today starts at ~$32,000) that there could be room for both. Although Kia may have to drop the price by a few thousand more.

      1. Cerio says:

        Oooooor someone needs to by a cheap car with up to 30 electric miles and look for a nearbey train station.

  3. David Murray says:

    Everyone seems to be upgrading their range except for Ford’s Energi cars.

    I wonder when/if Kia will ever supply enough of these cars to the USA to actually sell more than 100 per month?

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      Good point. I can’t buy one in Pennsylvania, so I can’t really care about this ‘improvement’.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      David Murray said:

      “I wonder when/if Kia will ever supply enough of these cars to the USA to actually sell more than 100 per month?”

      That’s my question, too. I certainly don’t mean to belittle Kia substantially increasing the range on the Soul EV, but what has limited its sales in North America isn’t the 93-mile EPA rated range, it’s the lack of availability.

      Here’s hoping that Kia provides a higher volume of their EVs to the NA market, at the same time they increase the car’s range.

      1. vdiv says:

        Just like Mitsubishi with the Outlander PHEV KIA’s revenue per unit on the Soul EV may be much better by selling the car abroad.

      2. Samwise says:

        That’s a problem with the US not a problem with the manufacturers. To put it simply they produce a certain number of cars and for a variety of reasons the US is not the most friendly market for EV’s so Asia and Europe get them first and you guys get whats left.

      3. chuchog says:

        “That’s my question, too. I certainly don’t mean to belittle Kia substantially increasing the range on the Soul EV, but what has limited its sales in North America isn’t the 93-mile EPA rated range, it’s the lack of availability”.
        Agreed completely, the current Soul EV is perfect for my needs; however, when I tried to buy one last December in PA, found that is not available (and according to several delares, not expected to be available any time soon). If Kia, and for that matter other EV manufacturers, marketed their vehicles more aggressively (including giving dealers more incentives to sell them) sales would take off.

    3. RexxSee says:

      They are all upgrading for the killing of the Model 3, but the funny thing is that all of the petro-auto cartel’s member take good care to NEVER surpass the specs of Tesla cars, even for the 2020 upcoming ones dubiously called Tesla killers that don’t even match the 2013 Tesla specs.

      1. Sting777 says:

        So, you’re saying Tesla is delivering the best performance and the best VALUE EV out there.

        Shocking.

  4. J says:

    Did GM truly surprise the other manufacturers with the Bolt?
    Jumping to 100-140 miles is great and I am glad everyone seems to be doing it this year, but it kinda pales to 200+. Granted GM isn’t shipping anything yet and the 2016 Volt roll out bungle shows not a great track record.

    1. KUD says:

      GM pays attention to Tesla as the previous leader admitted. Everybody else is looking at me too.

    2. przemo_li says:

      That is common mistake people make.

      GM Bolt will be “2018” model. Crazy? Yes. But for a while now car OEMs add +1 to production year to get model year.

      So GM Bolt will compete with KIA Soul 2018! About which we know nothing at all.

      While Soul 2017 will be sold in 2016 without any competition from not yet available for sale Bolt.

      However some may skip it for next year Bolt due to better range.

      1. protomech says:

        GM claims the Bolt will be available in late 2016 as the 2017 Chevy Bolt (expect late = 12/31). That’s from the main vehicle page.

        http://www.chevrolet.com/bolt-ev-electric-vehicle.html

        They also claim it will be available in all 50 states. We will see.

        http://cleantechnica.com/2015/11/05/chevy-bolt-to-hit-all-50-states-at-launch-gm-says/

    3. 3laine says:

      The Bolt will likely be available several months AFTER the upgraded i3 and Soul, for instance, and it’s a completely new model. When an all-new Soul and i3 are released, they’ll more closely match the numbers of the Bolt, probably, but there’s only so much that can be done to modify an existing platform. New platforms have a big advantage over even just 2-3 year old platforms even with slow-progressing ICE vehicles, so that gap is even greater with fast-progressing EVs.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “J” asked:

      “Did GM truly surprise the other manufacturers with the Bolt?”

      Good question.

      I’m pretty sure there were many who were quite surprised to learn that GM is paying LG Chem only $145/kWh for battery cells for the Bolt! The biggest obstacle to longer-range plug-in EVs has been high battery prices, and GM clearly pulled off a coup here. LG complained that he price was made public, admitting that other customers were paying substantially more.

      Let’s look at a bit of recent EV history: Nissan touted the Leaf as a “100 mile car”; the original EPA rated range was 73 miles. Tesla touted the Model S as a “300 mile car”; the original EPA range rating was 265 miles.

      Until GM actually over-delivered on the Volt 2.0’s range, you could pretty well count on this rule of thumb being true: As plug-in EVs approach production, their price increases and their all-electric range decreases.

      Were any of GM’s competitors surprised that the Bolt will, apparently, have an actual EPA rated range slightly in excess of 200 miles?

      I dunno. But -I- was very surprised indeed to find out that the Bolt will have a 60 kWh battery pack, which does indicate an EPA range of 200+ miles!

      1. Alan says:

        Stop it ! Your’e making me laugh again !

      2. RexxSee says:

        I’m pretty sure GM pays less than $145. This is only to justify the high price tag of the Bolt. $37,500 for such a small car.
        Now consider that a BEV is much simpler than an ICE car, and also that the only component that a company can really compete with, is the battery. Electric motors and support electronics are trivials.

        If it was for real, GM would have committed a competitive suicide unveiling the real cost of the batteries.

        It is a P.R. stunt.

        Easy to imagine the juicy deal LG Chem got in contracting for all those parts in the Bolt 9and maybe other models)… In counterpart GM could have negociated a better deal for the batteries, having LG Chem play the offended Virgin to make even more credible the $145/kWh “leaked” cost.

        1. Alan says:

          If $145 kWh is a top end price we are all in for a very pleasant surprise !

          1. RexxSee says:

            Tesla was already paying less than 150 $ two years ago.. so..

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              “Tesla was already paying less than 150 $ two years ago.. so”

              I like to see some real evidence to back up that claim.

          2. RexxSee says:

            Not necessarily if GM do not really want to sell many. We shall see soon enough.

  5. pjwood1 says:

    I think we’re ahead, on getting market feedback for how much REx battery range is needed. However, I still wonder if 132 EPA miles of battery range will be greeted as “enough”.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      …specifically, 132mi of battery-only, no back-up, good luck in cold weather, range.

      1. Lou says:

        The winter “hit” might be less than you fear, if Kia uses their hybrid heater in the 2017 model Soul. My sense is that 132 would equate to over 110 miles in winter if they do have that heater. If not, then probably under 100 miles. However, 100 miles is not insignificant, and many families would be quite happy to use the Soul EV as their main car. Too bad it is still just a compliance car. We don’t have them here in PA, and likely we will not get them.

        Lou

        1. Alan says:

          Speaking purely from my own perspective and possibly many others, I think the sweet spot is 200 miles psychologically, allowing for winter that is closer to 150 miles and will most likely be enough for the masses to take to electric cars also.

          These are my requirements as I say but am I that much different to the 99% who currently don’t drive EV’s ?

          I have an Outlander PHEV currently but would love all battery !

  6. DurkleGT says:

    Autocar’s statement: “However, advances in electric technology should help to extend the all-electric Soul EV’s claimed 132-mile range.”

    I don’t read this as advancing to 132 miles, I read it as the range should be higher than the current claimed 132 miles, which could be an estimate of the 131 mi NEDC approximation…

    1. Pedro says:

      That’s also what I understood.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        There has been a few updates to the original story. As the range is now an unspecified amount above the current NEDC rating the story as been updated.

        …so perhaps not as significant as originally hoped

  7. David S. says:

    Eric, you should re-read Autocar’s publication. What they suggest is that range for the 2017 Soul EV could jump FROM 132 miles (NEDC)

    1. kosee says:

      That would be awesome. I already thought there might be some dark horses out there. The zoe also should still get a range boost for instance.

      About he soul EV. It has 100kw charging going for it. Nobody except tesla has claimed that on a production car yet. You might reach a 300 mile or plus destination faster in a soul EV then in a bolt. Just saying..

  8. Texas FFE says:

    My FFE with it’s rated 76 range works very well as a city commuter. I’ve put 10,000 miles on the car in the last ten months. I plan my trips carefully and I can’t say L2 charging really ever causes me any delays.

    But my FFE usefulness is very limited. I still feel I need a second car (SUV) for long distance and heavy loads. I would like to have just one zero emission vehicle that met all my needs. The Kia Sol EV looks like it could carry a pretty big load and maybe it could do some trailering so maybe it would be a pretty good all around zero emission vehicle.

    But the problem remains that in Texas there are no DCFC outside of the major cities. You non-Texans might be surprised to hear that the famous big Texas city of San Antonio does not have a single DCFC facility of any kind. Given the state of DCFC infrastructure in Texas I feel fortunate that my FFE is as useful as it is.

    All these new EVs coming out with longer range are very exciting but, without a well developed DCFC infrastructure in Texas, I doubt any of these EVs would be more useful to me than my FFE. As much as I would like to pull the trigger and buy a longer range EV I think I’m just going to have to make due with my FFE until the Texas charging infrastructure dramatically improves.

    1. kosee says:

      Perhaps a bmw i3 rex is more for you? It’s a bit expensive though.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        I have a Fusion Energi that my wife drives. When we first bought it we use to fight over who got to drive it. Then I decided I needed more electric range and I bought the FFE.

        I like the I3 but I don’t really like the I3 rex. I don’t really see the I3 rex as very practical in Texas. Between Fort Worth, TX and Colorado Springs, CO, a distance of about 700 miles, there is not a single CCS facility that could be used to charge the I3.

        Much of Texas is like this. With very few CCS facilities you would have to fill up the 2 gallon tank on the I3 continuously on long trips. No, a I3 rex is not for me.

        I’ll stick with my FFE and drive my SUV or my wife’s Energi if I need more range or cargo capacity until Texas gets a decent DCFC infrastructure.

        1. ffbj says:

          Nobody wants to install any in the wide open spaces since red-neck yahoos will come by in their trucks and use them for target practice with their 30.06’s, while pullin on a lonestar long-necks.(I kid).
          I feel your pain.

    2. Vexar says:

      @TexasFFE I’d love it if that were the next problem solved. 10,000 pound towing long distance would be great to have. The closest in this space is the Model X, of course, but it maxes out at 5,000 pounds and very unsure of the range when towing. Will the Tesla X with 90kwh be enough to get between superchargers? Physics and the cost of battery proportionate to the vehicle are the difference here. If you have a drag coefficient of 0.22 and you’re hauling a cargo trailer, that trailer eats up the slickness of your vehicle. I think when you can get 100kwh battery packs for $20,000-$15,000, it may start to happen.

  9. Alex says:

    I think for all carmakers using LG (GM, Renault, Nissan for next Leaf, Hyundai, Kia, Ford…) there will be no surprise. Sure LG tells “competitors use 288 cells…other 192 cells!”

    1. Kia doesn’t use LG batteries. The Soul EV has batteries from SK Innovation.

  10. bro1999 says:

    Kia is probably updating the Soul EV so it at least cracks the 100 mile barrier….the ’16 Leaf and future already-dead-in-the-water Focus Electric have 100+ mile ranges. i3 is also expected to get boosted over 100 EV miles.

    Still pale in comparison to the Bolt…all these other manufacturers are battling for the runner up spot at the moment.

  11. ffbj says:

    “As plug-in EVs approach production, their price increases and their all-electric range decreases.”
    I am going to call that the P-P effect.

  12. evnow says:

    Probably last model year for Soul EV. They will have Kia Niro BEV next year ?

  13. Johnmb says:

    Fantastic now.. I just have to get to the closest KIA dealer to buy one…oh wait
    PALM SPRINGS KIA (263.83 mi away)

  14. ampzilla says:

    waiting for my soul ev in ny for over 2 yrs now. probably will take back my deposit. my 2013 coda is holding up fine. 24, 000 miles and only 1 problem with the j1772 harness. 1,000 dollars to fix that but drives fine and even though range drops in the cold my daily trips aren’t a hassle to stop at a free ev charge station for a few hrs and go somewhere else. its actually energectic to have range anxiety. was down below 0 % and made it to a level 2 charger. WOW