2018 Kia Soul EV Gets 30-kWh Battery, Range Jumps To 111 Miles


For 2018, the Kia Soul EV gets more battery capacity and much improved electric range.

Out is the old 27-kWh pack and in is the new 30-kWh version. It’s likely there’s been no change in dimensions to the pack, but higher energy density cells net the 3-kWh improvement.

Electric range jumps from 93 miles combined for 2017 all the way up to 111 miles for the 2018 version. That’s quite a healthy increase for the Soul in its fourth year on the market now.

Some other figures have changed too (see the EPA comparison below):

2018 Kia Soul Compared To 2017 Version

So, not only did range increase dramatically, but efficiency is up too. The new Soul EV is quite a bit more efficient in the city than the 2017 version and a hair more efficient in highway driving. That bumps up its combined MPGe figure from 105 to 108. The EPA says the new Soul consumes 31 kWh per 100 miles, versus the 32 per 100 rating of the 2017 version.

Sales of the Kia Soul EV have never been strong (ranging from around 50 to 200 units per month), but now with the range boost the monthly figures might go up a bit. It’s still too little too late, but we welcome the improvement nevertheless.

Pricing for the 2018 Model Year Soul EV appears mostly unchanged. The base version can be had for $33,950, while the top-of-the-line version, the EV+ starts at $35,950.

Category: Kia

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46 responses to "2018 Kia Soul EV Gets 30-kWh Battery, Range Jumps To 111 Miles"
  1. Spoonman. says:

    Are they going to sell this thing nationwide, or wallow in compliance car-land?

    1. Ozz says:

      There’s quite a few eSouls putting around here in Hilo Hi but this car just isn’t a very good choice in the open market so maybe it’s best for now. It’s a good little car for those that were around when Kia was offering the lease deals and 10,000 cash on the hood.

    2. JyChevyVolt says:

      Why should they sell it national wide, your not gonna buy it. If you wanted it badly then you would have bought it already.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Per InsideEVs Monthly Plug-in Sales Scorecard, U.S. sales last year totaled 2157 units, with the average monthly sales being a bit less than 200.

      Obviously that’s no more than compliance car numbers. Even with the range increase I wouldn’t expect much more this year, or perhaps even less since the number of better choices is increasing. However, I have no idea if the low sales numbers here are due to low demand or low production, or both.

      Perhaps Kia sells this car in far greater numbers in Asia, since it’s based in S. Korea, but at least here in the USA it’s just not a big seller.

  2. u_serious? says:

    This thing is DOA with just 111 mile range.

    1. protomech says:

      111 miles and $34k. It’s not a bad product, but it is a bad price.

      That’s well behind most other electrics, never mind the 150 mile $30k LEAF 2.

      My guess is the average transaction price for these is low to mid $20k.

    2. JOHN says:

      what ev do u drive BIGSHOT

      1. Goaterguy says:

        Why does this matters?

    3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      No, it’ll be fine. They’ll just lay on subsidies in order to get the credits they need.

      Current generation HyunKia EVs are placeholders.

      1. wavelet says:

        The Soul EV might be called that, as it’s a conversion; however, the Ioniq is a from-scratch electric.

    4. DJ says:

      And yet Nissan has the best selling EV in the world with a car that doesn’t even have 111 miles of range.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Only because it’s the lowest priced 4-door sedan that’s widely available worldwide.

        And by far the majority of “buyers” are just leasing the Leaf, because they can see how rapidly BEVs with no battery thermal management are becoming obsolete.

        Looks like even the Leaf will finally get an active battery cooling system in the longer range version available in MY 2019.

        1. wavelet says:

          The Leaf is a compact hatchback, not a sedan (yes, I know the EPA calls is mid-size. That’s wrong) — one of the most successful car categories outside the US, but the least successful inside it.

      2. Asak says:

        The Leaf came out years ago, and the new version is going to have 150 miles of range. At this point a BEV coming out with less than 125 miles of range is a disappointment. I don’t think these low range EVs are useless, owning two myself, but they’re not going to generate a lot of hype/praise at this point.

        We need to keep things moving so that 150 miles is the bottom tier of range, and 300 miles is the upper tier. I think Nissan is right that 150 miles is sufficient–for now.

  3. Assaf says:

    @Eric, you probably meant,

    “quite a bit more efficient” in the *city*, and “a hair” more efficient” on the *highway*, not the way you wrote it.

    I know, it always confuses me too, but the first (and for EVs typically the larger) number is the city MPGe.

    This means unfortunately, that EPA highway range is an underwhelming 95 miles. It is actually less than the 30 kWh Leaf’s highway range (96 miles) despite overall range being 4 miles longer, b/c the Leaf’s efficiency has a smaller city:highway gap.

    Overall, certainly a bit little and late, but in those countries that import Kias, and where EV demand is booming it’ll still likely help.

    Maybe in the US as well. There are ~10-30 million “second cars” in American households that could have been replaced with BEVs even when range was 70 miles, but haven’t been replaced due to unawareness/suspicion/inertia/finickiness/etc.

    A 3-digit figure for the range may get over some of these hurdles. If Kia is interested in increasing US volumes; at the moment we are a secondary market for the Soul EV.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Yep, I sure did. Fixed it. Thanks.

  4. ElectricJeff says:

    I leased the 2017 version in NJ in the end of November (in the snazzy blue color, of course). It’s my first electric and I’m loving it as a commuter (we also have a no-plug prius for longer trips). I was looking to buy a used Leaf but the Kia lease deal was too good to pass up – I put $4200 down (including all the taxes/fees) with ZERO payments for 36 months, which works out to $117/month effective price.

    1. JOHN says:

      got 1 also $ 188 a month bad credit, 15,000 miles a year. i drive this car hard. NO ISSUE WITH RANGE. there is something wrong with range fanatics. THIS CAR IS *SAFE* thats what matters !!!!!

    2. Harold T says:

      NJ has no sales tax on EV. So yes, I can see why you got a good deal.

  5. jim stack says:

    CAUTION- Here in the HOT greater Phoenix area we have had 10 SOUL EV battery packs fail out of 10 vehicles.
    Many all over the world have had the OBC On Board Charger fail.
    KIA/Hyundai does seem to cover the warranty very good but it’s a pain waiting 2 weeks to 2 months for the repair. It’s also not good for the environment.

    1. G2 says:

      Got any links/refs?

    2. Nick says:

      Why isn’t it good for the environment? Does the dealership give out gas burning loaners or something?

  6. David Murray says:

    Much like Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric, they will not stock enough to meet demand regardless.

    111 Miles is an acceptable EV range, but is the thing still as slow as molasses?

    1. JOHN says:

      yes, but its faster than u can walk

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        A fugly Prius goes faster than you can walk.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        So does a bicycle or a motor scooter, at a far lower price. But I rather doubt either is going to replace most gasmobiles.

    2. mxs says:

      I have 2018 up here in Canada …. the car is actually quite good, considering the cost.

      As I always say … it’s not 0-100km/h fast, but it’s very good 0-50 and 80-110ish, which is important, because that’s exacytly what you need for city, always in traffic car with occasional hwy use.

      Of course people who buy it and then complain about 0-100 are fools who didn’t do their homework.

      Just FYI, I am a car guy, who likes to drive and traded-in Mini Cooper S … I thought I will be bored to death, until I tried it. Rest is just blablabla history … 🙂

      1. mxs says:

        Forgot to say … what really helps Kia is that they are pretty much the only company with new EV’s on the floor ready for sale as soon as you sign.

        Bolt – no
        new Leaf – no
        e-Golf – no
        Ioniq – no

        It’s mind boggling what the others are or rather not doing with their supply chains.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Not even the Nissan Leaf?

          Not suggesting the Leaf is better than the Kia Soul EV; just asking!

          1. mxs says:

            Nope. The sad part is, you guys have EV factory in the states, yet our batches are coming from Japan. Nissan Japan clearly knows where the EV adoption is in Canada, so they just told them wait till Mar 2018 earliest. They would need my commitment a month ago without telling me the lease terms … no demo vehicle either. Sad way to sell most sold EV on the market, eh?

            The new 40kWh Leaf will be a better car, but not that much better, in my case. plus the Soul is slightly shorter which is good for my smallish and always full garage.

          2. john says:

            its better than any other because its the safest in crash tests.

  7. Terawatt says:

    Ouch, that really sucks.

  8. F150 Brian says:

    What’s up with the range increase?

    93 * 32/31 * 30/27 =~ 106.67

    (old range * improvement in efficiency * pack capacity increase)

    So where did the extra 4.33 miles of range come from?

    1. F150 Brian says:

      And what’s up with basing fuel cost savings on 15K miles per year?

      That’s not common mileage, especially for a compact vehicle.

      1. Nick says:

        I think that’s the average distance traveled per year in the USA.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “So where did the extra 4.33 miles of range come from?”

      It could be any of several factors, but possibly it reflects the fact that smaller battery packs tend to hold a greater percentage of their total capacity as a reserve. A larger battery pack is likely to have a greater percentage of total capacity available as usable capacity.

  9. JoeInTheUK says:

    This doesn’t seem like news to me, it’s been available in Europe since last August or so. I test drove in Sep and took delivery in December.

    So far its a very nice car to drive. In cold weather (around zero) mileage down to about 90 but above 7 or so Deg C I am getting an indicated 110 on a 50 mile trip that was a mixture of roads from 30mph up to 70mph with half the trip at 70.

    It’s also quite speedy on starts from zero, like most EVs its got very nice acceleration from a standing start, but it’s also fine for overtaking at say 50 or 60.

    Of course it has looks that are shall we say divisive, the aerodynamics of a house brick, but it also has lmore room than most other EVs in the back for adults including very good good headroom, and one main reason I got it is that on a lease it’s the cheapest EV in the U.K. Cheapest ba long way, despite its somewhat high looking list price. And when I say by a long way that’s anywhere from 30% to 50% cheaper per month for EVs that have very similar specs.

    1. mxs says:

      Yep, I call mine fridge on wheels … LOL

      Well priced, with MSRP negotiable (in comparison to others with no cars available). Surprisingly well finished and equipped inside and you said. Zero lost usable space due to the battery.

  10. Evfan says:

    This is a very lackluster upgrade. I’m not sure why you are making this increase sound impressive. A 30kwh battery is depressing in 2018. Kia gets no kudos from me.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:


      Way to take almost last place in the 2018 EV’s…….lol

    2. Harold T says:

      I agree, 18 miles more is not much given vehicles coming down the road. In the bigger picture it points to energy density more than anything else. 2018 KKkkia Soul is identical to 2014-2017 and they packed in a bigger battery. GG. This car seems to be going away soon in favor of the NIRO and other products so it’s an end of model improvement. My Soul, 2016, is a great car. Love it. at 4F I’m getting only 67 miles out of it. In summer 114 miles. It begs to point out that if you want consistent usage, you need a car that in cold weather covers 110-150-200 miles for what you need it for. EPA rating fall in the middle with a 50% swing form hot to cold range. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the EPA should public max min temp related range.
      Kia does get Kudos from me. They had, in 2014, very high quality and energy dense batteries in the Soul. They also rank high on energy efficiency. 2017 Soul is 9th most energy efficient EV sold in the country, even though it’s a brick! A very functional brick!

    3. mxs says:

      Really?? .. point me to a 30kWh EV sold with the same trim and format (useful hatch) at the same price. Can you find one?

      All you guys complaining about x kWh in 2018 non-sense is not understanding that there’s people who buy city cars and 30kWh battery is all they need. I refuse to pay another 10k$ just to drag around another 30kWh worth of electrons I would never use. I have another car for comfort and long distance driving, as many people do …..

      1. silversod says:

        Absolutely right, I wish this site had a thumbs up icon.

        1. silversod says:

          That was @ mxs.

  11. mzs.112000 says:

    Should have been 60kWh at the same price. Then it would be able to compete, of course it would need 120kW fast charge support as well.

    1. mxs says:

      360kW wi-fi you meant, right?

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