Kia Details Its Massive Charging Station Installation Plans For Europe


 Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

In addition to unveiling the world’s first 100 kW multi-standard (CHAdeMO + CCS) DC fast charger, Kia laid out its plans for charging station deployment in Europe:

Kia Motors Europe to roll-out charging network

Following the installation of the new 100 kW DC chargers at the brand’s European headquarters, Kia plans to roll out a network of 233 charging stations across its Soul EV retailers and national sales organisations’ headquarters in Europe. This is in addition to the existing network of 140 EV charging stations already installed at various Kia distributors and dealers, giving consumers access to a total of 373 Kia charging stations. This is part of a wider plan from Kia to install a robust charging network around the world, as the Soul EV is to be sold globally.

There’s been some chatter that the Kia Soul EV is a compliance vehicle.  This is simply not true.

Kia will strongly support the Soul EV’s launch both in the U.S. and globally.  In fact, it’s rather likely you’ve already seen some Soul EV commercials during NFL football on Sundays.  If Kia didn’t give a hoot, then why spend all that cash to promote the Soul EV?

It’s our belief that the Soul EV will be so hot that securing one will be difficult.  Only about 5,000 can be produced annually at this early stage and that’s for countries around the globe.  If you’re interested in getting a Soul EV, then you’re going to want to try to get on an interest list at your local dealer.

The Kia Soul EV first went on sale in South Korea in April, which was followed by Europe in late August.  The all-electric Kia is anticipated to arrive in the U.S. in late October/early November (full details here).  Kia officially states the following:

“Soul EV expected Fall 2014; initially available in certain California markets only with limited availability.”

Limited production will hamper Kia’s ability to offer the Soul EV in additional U.S. markets, but the company says it will expand quickly into Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and other eastern states.  As far as North America goes, the Soul EV is also available now in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada as well.

Our belief is that Kia will slowly ramp up production and then eventually offer the Soul EV nationwide.  Much like Mitsubishi with its Outlander PHEV, low initial production numbers will limit (or restrict in Mitsubishi’s case) U.S. availability.

Categories: Charging, Kia


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29 Comments on "Kia Details Its Massive Charging Station Installation Plans For Europe"

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to understand Kia soul EV, first understand Kia Ray EV

What’s there to understand?

Korea has 80 public Chademo fast charger stations

Kia supplied 1277 Ray EVs to users in Korea

both EVs and their infrastructure are something Kia has experience in.

A ratio of 16 BEVs per DCFC can only be expected with a demo project and not for real world infrastructure (1277/80).

Ratios of 50-160 BEVs to DCFC are more common. In the US the ratio is over 200:1 for almost all states.

If they are so serious, why are they only going to build 5,000 per year? And honestly, I can’t see the vehicle being profitable with those production numbers.

That will be the SK Innovation battery, the first NMC battery with this energy density, that they have to get mass production right on.

Mitsubishi messed up big time and had to do a major recall, Kia won’t want that to happen.

It is perhaps a little misleading to think of this as 5,000 annually, that will be the rate in the first year.

If everything goes OK I would expect a really major expansion to take place rapidly in battery production, which will be the limiting factor.

After all this is basically a standard ICE production car, produced in serious volume, so the much of the rest of it they can simply switch over, although of course there are some other specialist parts, most notably the motor.

Of course, no doubt the fiendish plan is to install them in thousands of cars, then have them simultaneously ignite, so destroying the electric car industry!

SK Innovation’s primary business is petroleum, as well as chemicals.

Tin helmets on!
Conspiracy alert!

Or could it be that an oil company is forward-thinking enough to realize that EVs will be a part of our future?

At one point, BP was marketing itself as “Beyond Petroleum” in the US. It was trying to get into the Solar and Wind industries in a big way. I don’t see that anymore myself, but the point is that oil companies are beginning to see themselves as energy companies. This could mean we’re seeing the beginning of the end of the Age of Oil.

As a corollary, I want to see gas stations see themselves as “transportation fuel” stations. If they did, they could quickly deploy a worldwide network of quick chargers that would put Nissan’s, Kia’s, and even Tesla’s network to shame! Just imagine a DCQC at every Mobil station!

There is a system of DC fast chargers at five Sheetz Gas Stations in Pennsylvania. The fun thing about these DC fast chargers is it makes it possible to drive from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Pennsylvania in low range electric car. It’s also one of the view systems where it allows EV’s to drive over a bridge of fast chargers between cities.

Very nice!

On a related note, the owner of Stewart’s Shops (a gas station / convenience store in upstate NY) recently bought a Tesla. Now if only he would start rolling out EVSEs at his numerous stations!

One of the reasons I bought a Leaf was to help BP achieve their stated goal of moving Beyond Petroleum 🙂

The Norwegian Oil Company Statoil are now building fast-charging “pumps” at their gas-stations. It har already begun….


South Korea is one of the most densely populated nations in the world. It imports over 95% of its energy and has no oil reserves to speak of. They also have a carbon tax and generous subsidies for renewable energy with a number of state funded R&D labs that do significant amounts of research into just about any form of alternative energy they can think of. The idea of South Korea being coerced by big oil and coal rather than LG Chem is as crazy as thinking a 100 micron sheet of aluminium foil will block any form of radiation that has traveled through many thousands of meters of air – but I think that is your point.

It’s not the “fastest EV chargers in Europe” as the picture caption claimed. Tesla superchargers are faster.

It’s the fastest IEC-Standard charger.

“As far as North America goes, the Soul EV is also available now in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada as well.”

Eric, do you mean the Soul EV is already available, or it will now also be available in those provinces? Thanks!

“… low production numbers … limit availability”

It’s not a compliance car (like 500E), but it’s not really a bona fide production car either, until the production volume picks up.

The entire electrified vehicle industry boils down to one issue: Battery production, in terms of cost and volume. Everything else is trivial in comparison, even vehicle engineering.

The Kia Soul EV. Not a compliance car.
Yet sold only in the LA and SF market.


I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. For now. I won’t label them a Toyota or a Fiat. But I’m not giving them BMW, VW status and certainly not GM/Nissan/Tesla status!

Everyone seems to misquote Kia as saying production will be 5k per year (including this article). This is simply not true. Kia has stated that it will produce 5k in the first year. They have been quiet on how quickly they will or will not ramp up production.

Much less concisely and elegantly, I referred to that above.

I would be disappointed if the second year target were not 20,000+, although perhaps they will prefer an 18 month trial before rapidly expanding.

I had opened this article in a tab, and then didn’t get around to reading it right away. Then I forgot to hit refresh before making my comment. In the meantime, since the comments are not updated automatically as in other forums, numerous comments had been made.

5,000 per year production for Soul EV does seem a bit odd when Kia delivers 10,000+ Soul ICE per month in US. With many common parts, batteries and electric drive train production would be primary limiting constraint.

Since the battery cells are being produce for other OEMs, the ability to scale production volume must be anticipated; but could be the limiting factor.

I if this new battery has the same size as the Mitsubishi i-miev battery it might raise the i-miev’s range to 110 miles on hour. The reasons for this are the i-miev has a 16 kilowatt battery while this pack is 27 kilowatts. Also this pack has 90% more energy density then the i-miev’s.

I think what Kia might be doing is they might build 5000 cars for 2014. And then in 2015 they might build 20,000 or 30,000.

I’m really starting to feel like battery production is the cinder block that weights down electric car sales.

Those Kia hamsters are the most creepiest looking anthropic animals I have ever seen.

So, if I charged my 2014 Leaf on one of these “100 kW” chargers, what charge rate would I expect to see? I thought Chademo was limited to 125A, which at 480V is a maximum 60kW. The DC Fast chargers I use, from eVgo in the Washington DC area, use the Nissan DCQC chargers, and run at about 105A and 390V, which is about 41kW.

Your battery management system will limit it to what the battery can take.
The 4C rate of these chargers for 100kwh would fry the Leaf battery, sure as Arizona, so the most it will take will be 50kw.

CHAdeMO can do 200 A at 500 V. The actual charger output is dictated by the vehicle.

I’ve never seen the Leaf draw more than ~120 A. New 100kW CHAdeMO QCs will work just like existing 50~60kW ones, being maybe ~10% faster at low SoC than the eVgo units which, as you’ve observed, max out at 44kW.

The projected volumes and US launch markets so far put it squarely in compliance vehicle status right now. Maybe you can say it is “transitional” compliance vehicle (as having a chance of being general production, unlike the RAV4 EV and Fit EV which will be killed off).

Huge Kudos to Kia for deploying combo Chademo/CCS DC-fast-chargers.

I hope they do that in the USA too.

At least KIA built the car with the most prominant DCQC interface, and are installing multi- standard fast chargers to both satisfy Europes rules, invite competing EV owners like the i3 to visit their chargers, and maybe to lead the way by showing other OEM Auto Makers to go with the Multi Standard CHAdeMO plus CCS fast chargers, which are now available from a few station manufacturers.