Kia Soul EV’s 25 Minute Charge At 100 kW Is a Misleading Marketing Tool

MAR 11 2014 BY MARK KANE 21

Fast Charge In Less Then 25 minutes @ 100 kW

Fast Charge In Less Then 25 minutes @ 100 kW

Kia Soul EV charging inlets

Kia Soul EV charging inlets

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.

Fast Charge In Less Then 25 minutes @ 100 kW

Fast Charge In Less Then 25 minutes @ 100 kW

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21 Comments on "Kia Soul EV’s 25 Minute Charge At 100 kW Is a Misleading Marketing Tool"

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Oh, C’mon!! While I dislike the games everyone plays here, you guys are playing one yourself. The thing is no faster apparently at 70 kw than it is at 100 kw, but the fact that they give an accurate charging TIME absolves them. I can plug my table lamp into either a 15 or a 20 amp outlet. The table lamp will still work, amazingly. TESLA is always given a pass, saying charging happens at 130 kw or whatever, when it does not happen at that rate all the time. And the standard 10 or 20 kw never happens in the home, especially with the drop through the 14-50 plug and the inline evse. This even happens at the Authorized Tesla Service Centers, where I saw an S charging at 196-197 (the indicator kept dancing) volts @ 40 amps, meaning a charging rate of less than 8kw for a supposedly 10 kw model. I’m one of the rare few who ever mentions this. So I think you guys are being a bit hard on KIA. You’d do your readers a service if you found something that is REALLY WRONG with the car, instead of these manufactured things.

+1, agreed. If you’re going to knock Kia for something, should be knocking them for not putting more battery in the car. 35-40 kWh would be awesome.

Agreed with you guys, and Kia.

Kia very clearly indicates that the time they claim is for charging at 100kW, and furthermore lists charging times at lower power as well.

If the car indeed can take 100kW, then I see absolutely nothing wrong with Kia mentioning this. They deserve recognition.
I actually commend them for doing so… and even more so for making the car capable of accepting such high power in the first place.

Seconded. If the car can do it, they can advertise it. Even if it takes a Chademo that does not presently exist.

This is an informative commercial and not misleading in any way.

Well done Kia!

The 100 kW is a peak power rating can only be reached if starting a charge session from a low state of charge (SOC). At most a 100 kW charger will need to reduce rate within 5-10 min to avoid overheating the battery cell as SOC increases.

A better metric for comparison is “average power over a 20-80% SOC charging session”. This is no different than measuring ICE MPG … a peak MPG reading when coasting down a hill is not the reported, but rather an average of a trip over some distance. In the case of charging, the distance is the length of a charge session.

A note to journalists; take advantage of the opportunity to document a 20-80% DCFC charge session as part of your EV test drive. Charging speed is just as important as 0…60 speed.

I disagree. If the topic is misleading customers, I don’t think this is an issue at all – what customers care about is how long it takes to charge and what equipment is required to go that fast. They don’t care if it doesn’t actually hold 100kW the whole time, and if anything, that wouldn’t make sense given the kWh capacity of the battery. All they’re saying here is that it can charge in 23 minutes provided you have acces to a 100kW charging station

Watching the ad, there are two misleading things. First is showing the dainty little L2 plug with Kia logo while the text mentions the 25 minute charge time (100kW output). Those two things do not go together. However, I’m not at all surprised that they don’t show the huge CHAdeMO plug that the actress would probably require two hands to engage. Second, the speed of the increasing charge state and range on the dash is ridiculous, even for 100kW DC. However, both of these things go by so fast in the ad that most people won’t even notice them.

Oh comon’. I dont care if i have to plug in the left or right one. It is true that i need to plug the right to get to the 25 minute charging time, but that’s not really a problem. And nobody will say: “OMG this plug is to heavy i can’t lift it, i thought it will be smaller for the fast charge…”

ChadeMo will be upgraded to 100kW in 1-3 years (with the 150 miles leaf), so it’s good to have a car that is possible to get this kW handled.

I’ve watched first hand as a petite person struggled with inserting a Chademo connector. She gave up and I had to do it instead. It’s honestly not a joke, and people of certain demographics could very well be turned off by a big and frankly complicated connector.

Sorry, I call bull on this. Anyone who can handle a gas pump will have no problem whatsoever quick-charging once familiar with the thing.

Yes, especially for the 1st-gen Yasaki connector, just like for someone using a gas pump for the first time, it helps to watch someone do it first — or, on the Blink units, follow the instruction video on the huge screen atop the unit.

Newer CHAdeMO connectors seem completely straightforward: line up, push in.

Unlike a gas pump, no wondering about “is it full yet?”, no risk of spills, etc. The thing is safe and foolproof. (Well, at least, QCs have resisted all fools so far).

My wife is one of those featherlight tiny Asian. She has no problem.

Who needs to charge in 25 minutes anyway?! Whats the damn big hurry?

Kia is concerned that the public thinks recharging EVs takes too long. So, they’re spending some money on informing their potential customers that this isn’t a problem with their product. It may not be 100% technically accurate, but the gist is essentially correct. Not a big deal, but it’s nice to see Kia actually trying to market their EV.

only charge at home

screw public chargers

Swearing is not required to participate here…

…and only have sex at home, in bed, in missionary with lights off…

Can both charge ports be used at the same time?

Just like the Leaf: no.

200 km range is mentioned in one of their videos. That’s thr misleading claim the most likely to bite an uneducated consumer in the rear-end.

No more than Kia/Hyundai overstating their MPG ratings… oh wait… that didn’t end well for them either!

I think that the fact that “in the future” the car can utilize 100 kW is great. Truthfully, too, the difference between that and the 50kW is 8 minutes or so…not really a big deal. Maybe they went a little overboard in how they presented this, but it’s not a “mortal sin”(as we Catholics say, just a “venial sin”). I am a little concerned that they are advertising 200KM range, which after adjustment to the US standards will probably be under 100 miles. I still like the cars and its range though, think it’s an upgrade from the LEAF’s 80+(especially an upgrade from the I-MiEV’s 62 miles!). Looks to be a pretty big EV(we have several ICE Souls here at nmy work and they dwarf my Mitsubishi I-MiEV, believe me. I hope they come out with it here in Phila, PA and have a good lease deal for it. This car actually has some real potential.
Lou