Kia Soul EV to Launch in US in 2014 With 27-kWh Battery Pack, Range of More Than 120 Miles and Quick-Charge Capability

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 56

2012 Kia Track'ster Concept

2012 Kia Track’ster Concept

Kia has officially spilled the beans on the Soul EV, which is US-bound in 2014.

Kia Track'ster Concept Supposedly Closely Resembles to 2014 Kia Soul EV

Kia Track’ster Concept Supposedly Closely Resembles a 2014 Kia Soul EV

As this information is just now coming in, we’ll highlight the material we feel of utmost importance below:

  • 109 HP
  • 210 Pound-feet of torque
  • 27 kWh lithium polymer battery pack
  • Target range of more than 120 miles (expect 90 or so for an official EPA rating)
  • Recharge in under 5 hours on 240 volt or in 25 minutes via quick charge (likely CHAdeMO, though Kia doesn’t specifically mention this)
  • 0 to 62 MPH in less than 12 seconds
  • Top speed of 90 MPH
Totally Redesigned 2014 Kia Soul -This One is Not Electric

Totally Redesigned 2014 Kia Soul -This One is Not Electric

You’ll find some additional details in the Kia press release posted below.  Absent is an official launch date for the US and pricing information.

All-Electric Kia Soul Under Development For U.S. Market

– New Kia Soul EV targets a range of more than 120 miles

– 109-hp motor produces 210 lb.-ft. of torque for an electrifying driving experience

– Ideal for city commuters, the Soul EV will go on sale in 2014

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 11, 2013 – Kia Motors has confirmed the development of an all-electric version of the Kia Soul, scheduled to go on sale in 2014. The ‘Kia Soul EV’ will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle marketed outside of Korea.

Track'ster Concept

Track’ster Concept

“The new Soul EV will be at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program, which aims to provide environmentally-friendly vehicles to our customers around the world, when it goes on sale globally next year,” said Kia Motors America’s executive director of product planning, Orth Hedrick. “Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea.”

The Soul EV takes its design cues from the recently-launched second-generation Kia Soul. With a target range of more than 120 miles, this uniquely designed battery electric vehicle is practical for everyday use and perfectly suited for city commuters.

Equipped with a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Soul EV is expected to offer a driving range of more than 120 miles on a single charge. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the vehicle recycles back into the battery the energy generated while the car is coasting and braking.

The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard outlet. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 240v outlet, or 25 minutes on ‘fast’ charge with 100 kW output.

This Redesign Has Soul Written All Over It - And a Tailpipe...Images of the Pure Electric Version Aren't Yet Available

This Redesign Has Soul Written All Over It – And a Tailpipe…Images of the Pure Electric Version Aren’t Yet Available

The front-wheel drive Soul EV prototype test cars currently under development are built on modified versions of the 2014 Kia Soul and are powered by a 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. Accelerating from 0-62 mph in less than 12 seconds with a top speed in the region of 90 mph, the Soul EV promises to remain true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation.

The absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials offers drivers an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV will be equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an audio alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse.

Like the 2014 Kia Soul, the Soul EV will have head-turning styling and exterior features that project a cutting-edge image. The smooth new look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul.

When it goes on sale in 2014, the Soul EV will offer projection type headlamps, LED positioning lamps, LED rear combination lamps, plus aerodynamically shaped 16-inch alloy wheels.

Inside the cabin, the vehicle is fitted with a unique Supervision instrument cluster and center stack with an eight-inch display screen. In keeping with its eco-friendly ethos, the interior components and trim will use an increased range of recycled materials including Bio Plastic, Bio Foam, Bio Fabric and Bio PET Felt, together with low volatility organic compounds and newly developed antibacterial materials and paint.

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56 responses to "Kia Soul EV to Launch in US in 2014 With 27-kWh Battery Pack, Range of More Than 120 Miles and Quick-Charge Capability"

  1. DanCar says:

    It will be expensive. Then when sales don’t meet expectations, they will lower it, like most other EV makers.

  2. Bloggin says:

    Great. Coming in 2014 as a 2015 model.

    It will look very much like the new 2014 Kia Soul, and not the aerodynamically ineffecient 2012 concept. It will also come with the Combo Charger as an option. There are really no NEW full electric vehicles coming to NA with the Japanese standard in 2014.

    1. David says:

      Source? Hard to imagine a Korean car using CCS when no other car does yet and there’s no charging infrastructure, vs. CHAdeMO which continues to roll out quickly.

      1. Brian says:

        Bloggin’s source is his imagination. He likes to make broad claims proclaiming the abandonment of CHAdeMO, with everyone rushing to CCS.

        Soul EV mules have been spotted in the wild, using CHAdeMO, so Kia already spent time/money to develop that. No way would they switch to a standard which is hardly available in the US. At least not yet.

        1. Turbofroggy says:

          Here is the article with a picture of the Kia EV plugged into a Chademo station:

          http://www.plugincars.com/quick-chargers-new-kia-dealership-proves-kia-soul-ev-its-way-127786.html

          Here is another one that states that Kia dealers will be installing Chademo stations, and I bet you $1 that they will be Sumitomo stations, the same ones that Nissan uses:
          http://www.plugincars.com/quick-chargers-new-kia-dealership-proves-kia-soul-ev-its-way-127786.html

    2. David says:

      To the contrary, a google search turns up reports of an EV Kia Soul using CHAdeMO quick charger station.

      1. Eric Loveday says:

        Kia dealerships in the US are in the process of installing CHAdeMO stations. Hard to imagine they’d switch over to CCS.

  3. Francis L says:

    This is impressive. This might be the first “mass market” EV with more than 100 miles of range (Tesla is too expensive for most customers). I’m will wait for the price, but I guess it won’t be too high, as the battery isn’t much bigger than in the Leaf.

    1. Brian says:

      In the article, Eric surmises that the soul will have a real range of 90 miles, and I tend to agree. No way would they get 60% more range than a Leaf with only 12% more battery capacity. Don’t forget that the Leaf still gets over 100 miles on the gentle Japanese test cycle.

      1. Exactly. Just like Mercedes is saying the B-Class with have a real world 125 mile range. Nonsense. Wait till the EPA rating comes out. It’s not perfect but it does at least give us a measuring stick against other EV’s that have the rating. Manufacturers have notoriously overstated range. I bet the EPA range rating is 87 to 92 MPC, just where Eric guessed and the MB B-Class EV will be right there also.

      2. Still Waiting says:

        The Fit and Spark get an EPA range of 82 from a 20kWh battery. At the same efficiency (4.1 m/kWh), the Kia would be rated 111, the BMW 77, & the Mercedes 115.

        Even at Fiat 500e efficency (3.6 m/kWh), the Kia would be rated at 98, so I think 100+ miles of EPA range is almost a certainty.

        Only the Leaf and Tesla are at 3.1 m/kWh. The Tesla is burdened by the weight of it’s (relatively) huge battery pack, and I suspect the Leaf is crippled by the (lack of) thermal management they are using (plus I think braking regen is more efficient on newer EV’s).

        The Smart ED manages 4.3 m/kWh, but it’s mall size and and lower power/performance likely account for the boost.

        1. Assaf says:

          Nice #s, one quick correction:

          Leaf is not 3.1 m/kWh. The Leaf’s EPA range is premised upon 90% charge (an average of the “range” 100% and “everyday” 80% charge levels recommended by Nissan).

          So 75 miles EPA / (24 *90%) = 3.5 m/KWh. Very similar to the other compact EVs out there.

          Also, I think your Smart #s are only for in-city range, not including highway.

      3. Bill Howland says:

        Its nice to see that KIA has standardized on what I’ve always felt is the best universal charging solution: J1772 (in this case 6.6 kw) , and 100 kw Chademo, following Nissan’s lead of 3 levels of trim, all worldwide compatible.

        1). 3.3 kw J1772 entry level
        2). 6.6 kw upgrade.
        3). 6.6 kw and chademo for the priciest trim, and / or drivers with special needs(salesmen, repairment, etc).

        Chademo at once satisfies the EuroAsian 3-phase requirement, and single phase chademo chargers are a no brainer for North American Residences.

        1. vike says:

          Small clarification – for 2013, CHAdeMO is available on all trim levels of the LEAF, not just the SL.

          As for a 25kW CHAdeMO station being a “no-brainer” for American residences (much less a 50kW), I’m sure there are many power utilities that would beg to differ. Perhaps “single phase CHAdeMO” means something that would mitigate this, but I’m afraid I’m not sufficiently versed in the details to understand the significance of that qualifier.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Sorry I should have clarified. Model S’s (currently 2/3 of the Canadian models at any rate) have been ordered with ‘dual chargers’ giving them the so called “20 kw” charging capability, supposedly from any upper-middle class home.

            A year ago if anyone had suggested a 20kw charger in a home garage the person would be describe as

            1). A Kook
            2). Technologically impossible.
            3). Way too expensive to do.

            Since most Nissan Leafs have the Chademo connector, a 20 kw model for home use operating on single phase could be manufactured for realistically not a lot of money. This is only simple “First Quadrant” Stuff., in other words, the power flow is only to the car , and only of one polarity.

      4. Francis L says:

        Too bad I didn’t notice. I can’t wait an EV that can do 120-150 miles in real life, at an affordable price. With that range, I can see people using that vehicle to make long range travel, with the help of quick charging stations. That day will be able to say that an EV can be your only car, even if the sweet spot is probably more around 200 miles.

        1. The Tesla Gen III will have 200 mile range, I lease EVs until then (LATE 2015)
          My Focus has a good 70+ mile range and seems to keep it even in Phoenix area heat with it’s liquid cooled pack.

  4. David says:

    Big question is will it be sold in all 50 states or just CARB states. That will indicate if its nothing more than a minimally selling, money losing compliance vehicle like they all are except the LEAF and Tesla.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      Yup. Crossing my fingers.

    2. Assaf says:

      Yeah, past experience has unfortunately taught us to hold the applause and wait for the fine print…

      This will be news only if they dare sell it nationwide like the Leaf, Smart ED and of course Tesla – and if the price is competitive with these two.

      1. Assaf says:

        I meant of course, price competitive with Leaf and Smart. btw, anyone knows if this Soul EV is 4-seat or 5-seat?

        1. Aaron says:

          If it’s based on the regular Soul, it’s a 5-seater.

        2. Eric Loveday says:

          5 seat…battery pack does not intrude at all on interior space

          1. Assaf says:

            Thanks to you both!
            That (retaining interior and cargo space) is something that the US Big Three for some reason have a hard time understanding.

            Now just waiting for the price and extent of rollout…

    3. scottf200 says:

      How many LEAFs are sold outside of the CARB states? Not a lot so what business sense and stockholder values is it? Common sense here.

      1. Assaf says:

        Hahaha.

        Atlanta has been in the top 2 Leaf markets since at least June. In fact, it’s been Nissan’s best selling model there. Likewise here in Seattle, we’re not a CARB state here but you might dismiss us for being “Left Coast” or whatever. Hawaii likewise… a veritable hotbed of Leaf sales.

        Guess you’re not following this site to often, are you? Just look up the ‘Leaf’ tag and see how broad and deep the Leaf penetration is becoming.

        1. Ocean Railroader says:

          We even have Leafs and other plug ins driving around Central Virginia like they own place even. The other day I saw a Black Leaf driving around for the first time on some of my home town’s local streets.

        2. Nate says:

          Hahaha.

          Leaf sales are concentrated within their top markets. Lets look at some of the ones you brought up.

          Georgia: They are high in Georgia because they have some of the strongest incentives in the Country making them dirt cheap there.

          Washington: The largest metro area, Seattle, has mild winter temperatures. Gas prices are higher than the national average. EV’s in Washington get exemption from sales tax, does that mean 9.5% for King Co? If Washington is not a CARB state at the moment, it will soon:
          http://www.greenercars.org/guide_standards.htm
          http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/cleancar.html
          http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/fuel-economy/carb4.htm

          Hawaii: It has high gas prices, ample solar, mild winter temps, HOV and free parking benefits for EV’s, and short driving distances.

          There are a bunch of states where sales are slow. Places like North Dakota and others aren’t nearly as strong of EV markets. There is a huge difference in cost of ownership between markets. People expect new EV’s to be 50 state day one, no matter the loss, even if people’s jobs are on the line. Funny thing is, they forget Nissan didn’t start with a nationwide role-out. They started in a select few markets. They had sold 22,000 Leafs before rolling out to the last 21 U.S. states.

          1. Nate, Excellent analysis of sales by biggest incentive mild temps etc. High gas prices make they sell good anyplace but that has been down from all the fracking. Someday we may even stop giving subsidies to OIL companies. Then the truth will shine.

            Georgia has a $5k incentive like California used to. In Arizona we had a $10 incentive back in the EV1 days and people abused it buying $4K golf carts they licensed as NEVs and the state gave them $10K Dumb laws and abuse are are to stop. .

    4. Sevie says:

      This will be interesting to watch. My opinion? Either it will be too expensive and therefore hardly sell or they’ll price it to compete with the Spark, Fit, and 500e to get CARB credits but then only release in a limited rollout (California and maybe another state or three).

      There are now a lot of Plug-in options out there and growing every year, but there are only 1-2 companies genuinely acting like they believe in the profitability of the technology. We have a long way to go yet before true availability and support exists for the mainstream EV buyer to get in line.

      1. Assaf says:

        I don’t see a reason for it to be so expensive. Korean cars are fairly cheap to begin with and they don’t have the brand premium to justify high prices; they are retooling an existing model; and most (possibly all) of the battery cost can be offset by Federal subsidies.

        My guess is they’ll be able to offer a lease on terms not far removed from the Leaf.

        The questions are: 1. Is it a good car? and 2. Will they have the production/export capacity to support demand, if such a demand shows up?

    5. Spec9 says:

      Yeah, I suspect it will be yet another compliance car.

      1. Assaf says:

        Why would Kia worry about CARB compliance? I don’t think they’re big enough in the US to worry about getting penalized.

        1. Aaron says:

          In 2012, Kia sold 557,599 vehicles. That’s plenty big to worry about CARB compliance.

  5. John Hollenberg says:

    According to Battery University:

    “Li-polymer can be built on many systems, such as Li-cobalt, NMC, Li-phosphate and Li-manganese. For this reason, Li-polymer is not considered a unique battery chemistry. Most Li-polymer packs for the consumer market are based on Li-cobalt.”

    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/the_li_polymer_battery_substance_or_hype

    I wonder what chemistry will be used.

  6. Robert says:

    @Eric Loveday – you guys are gonna have your work cut out just with the end of month sales chart in 2014. So many models!

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      I know…Fortunately Jay handles most of the sales chart work…We’re trying to figure out how to re-configure the charts to accommodate all these new models. We’ll get it done, but it’s a ton of work.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        …I think the plan is just to stop around the BMW i3 recap then make some kind of fake “page can’t load” error past that point, (=

        1. Eric Loveday says:

          In your dreams…We could just drop the scorecard off and write only words like all the other sites out there. That would make our job much, much easier. But then we’d be left with just a bunch of words…..Boring

          1. Robert says:

            Nooooo! Don’t drop the scorecard. You just have to make it wider, you would have to drop the side ads though to fit it all on page.

            Or like Jay says error page would save a ton of work 🙂

          2. Jesse Gurr says:

            Wouldn’t it be better to add the cars vertically instead of horizontally? That way as more models are added the list just gets taller instead of wider.

            1. Eric Loveday says:

              Hmm…Jesse might be on to something

              1. Assaf says:

                I suggest separating out the “compliance car” table from the “wider distribution” table. That too will help, as apples will be compared to apples and the teeny numbers in the compliance table can be relegated to a less visible spot.

              2. Jesse Gurr says:

                Should probably make the list alphabetical as well while you’re at it. It was weird to see cars from the same manufacturer not next to each other.

      2. Anthony says:

        You guys could always ditch the fixed-width layout of the website! Then just make the chart wider.

        (I’m a web developer if you didn’t notice)

        1. Jay Cole says:

          We are planning on re-jigging the whole the whole scoreboard layout for 2014…only have to squeeze in one more EV for 2013, (=

          (I’m not a web developer as you probably can notice, heeh)

  7. Ocean Railroader says:

    What is interesting about this EV is that that it’s battery is at 27 kilowatts while the leaf is 24 kilowatts and they say it’s going to break past 90 or a 100 miles of battery range. While at the same time the Chevy Spark has a smaller battery pack at 21 kilowatts then the leaf and is able to go ten more miles then the leaf on a charge. It would be nice if this car is the first mass marketed EV that can break past a 100 miles battery range. It kind of makes me wounder do they have bigger plans then the west coast if this car has a 100 mile battery range and fast charging abilities.

  8. kdawg says:

    “0 to 62 MPH in less than 12 seconds”
    ————
    What? Come on, make this thing fun to drive. Is it powered by Kia hamsters?

    I’d stick w/a the smaller Spark EV, based on what I’ve read so far.

    I wonder what batteries they will use. LG is in Korea, but maybe they will use A123 like the Korean Spark EV.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Indeed, sounds crazy lame :/

    2. Spec9 says:

      Yeah, I think you are right about the hamsters.

  9. Tesla Fan says:

    so my smart ED is faster than this with 75 horsepower Lol would never buy or drive a kia

  10. Jesse Gurr says:

    Wonder what the trunk will look like…

    1. Nate says:

      Yeah good question. I had the current model as a loaner once and the hatch was pretty small.

      1. Aaron says:

        The Soul is a small hatchback made taller. Just think of it that way. There’s enough room for groceries in the back, but if you have more to carry, you’ll have to fold down the rear seats.

        The 2.0 liter gas-powered car with 6-speed transmission gets up and goes. Somewhere around a 7 second 0-60 blast. Even the 1.6 liter does sub 8 second 0-60s. Marketing the electric model with a 12 second 0-60 is gonna be tough.

  11. danwat1234 says:

    120 miles with a 27KWh battery pack is unrealistic. With those stats, the efficiency calculates to 149MPGe, more than a Volt (98MPGe) or leaf (~115MPGe). This is calculated by saying that if the 27KWH battery pack was 25% larger, to 33.7KWH, the amount of energy in a gallon of gas, and then you brought up the mileage claims by 25% as well to keep everything in line, the mileage would be 150 miles.

    I find this quite impossible since the Soul is so un aerodynamic, and with the 27KWh battery pack it’ll probably be a bit heavier than the Leaf. More like 110MPGe, so more like 90 miles range. Also the pack’s capacity probably won’t be fully utilized, to be easy on the battery pack.

    80KW motor? That’s the same as the Leaf. So expect it to be a bit slower than a Leaf.

  12. jstack6 says:

    1234, This is why I can’t wait for this KIA EV to be released. Maybe they made the motor and drive train more efficient? I can’t believe it will break 100 miles on a charge but time will tell for sure.

    So far only Tesla beats 100 and 200 with ease. Others will catch on soon but by then Tesla could be over 300 in real world EPA testing. Tesla is also 4 times faster with their Super Chargers and already have 54 nationwide and 14 in Europe. Who can catch them?