Kia Soul EV’s 25 Minute Charge At 100 kW Is a Misleading Marketing Tool
We applaud Kia for bringing to market its first mass-produced electric vehicle, but we can’t overlook some misleading advertising that Kia is putting with its Soul EV.
We’re referring to Kia’s usage of 25-minute fast charge at 100 kW power.
We believe this is technically possible and it reaffirms the full capabilities of the CHAdeMO standard, but we know that the average consumer could be misled by this statement.
“Together, the low electrical resistance battery cell, proper battery system thermal control and accurate state-of-charge calculation improve the charging performance, thereby enabling an outstanding ‘fast charge’ time of 25 minutes (100 kW DC) or 33 minutes (50 kW DC). Full recharge time, depending on power source, takes up to five hours (6.6 kW AC).”
The lithium-ion polymer battery indeed can be charged quickly. 33 minutes at 50 kW for 27 kWh is possible. Around the world we see 44-62.5 kW and CHAdeMO plugs.
We know that permissible charging power varies depending on many factors like state of charge, temperature, etc. and peak power can be used only for a while. This is why doubling the power does not shorten the time to charge to 16.5 minutes, just by 25% to 25 minutes.
The main objection is that Kia illustrates the possibility of charging in 25 minutes, when there is no real possibility of doing that in the real world, because there’s no public CHAdeMO chargers with 100 kW of power.
What’s making things worse is that in the promotional videos attached below, Kia is showing the lowest possible charging time of 25 minutes combined with plugging into a single-phase AC plug, which together with the Soul EV’s 6.6 kW on-board charger, offers 5-hours charging, not 25 minutes. At least Kia does occasionally mention 100 kW.
But still this may mislead unknowing buyers who see the AC plug and 25 minutes presented by Kia. Out in the real world nobody will be able to fully charge the Soul EV in that time from AC, not even from existing CHadeMO.