New Kia Soul EV To Get 39-kWh Battery From Niro EV

NOV 14 2018 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 43

Not the 64-kWh battery from the Niro EV though.

Regardless, at 39-kWh, the next-gen Kia Soul EV will go a whole heck of a lot further per charge than the electric Soul available today.

Slated to be shown at the LA Auto Show, the next-generation Kia Soul, in electric form, will boast a much bigger battery than it does today.

The current Soul EV features a 30-kWh battery pack and is EPA-rated at 111 miles of range. With its new 39-kWh pack (the smaller of the two packs offered on the Kia Niro EV), the 2020 Soul EV should go some 140 miles per charge. That’s still far short of the top range electric cars, but it’s a solid improvement nonetheless.

Soul LA Auto Show Teaser

In releasing this first teaser (above) of the new Soul, Kia states:

An undeniable automotive icon will make its world debut at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. The instantly recognizable Soul Crossover is all new for 2020 and will come to market with awesome versatility for everyone. Its bold design, uncompromising utility and fun-to-drive personality will be highlighted through the availability of several drivetrains, including turbocharged and “gas-free” electric(1) options. The all-new Soul Crossover is set to go on sale next year.

Unfortunately, like seemingly every other Kia and Hyundai plug-in sold in the U.S., availability will be limited and present a problem for buyers outside of CARB states. Per Kia:

    1. 2020 Soul EV will be available in select retailers in select markets with limited availability.

Kia Soul EV Spy Shots

10 photos

Source: Kia, Autocar

Categories: Kia

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43 Comments on "New Kia Soul EV To Get 39-kWh Battery From Niro EV"

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I like my 2018 Soul EV as a city car. Great format and more than enough “fuel” to get me around without having to charge even every single day.

Having said that … 39kWh to me makes very little sense …. while it’s great city car, it’s not so great for longer distance drives … drag, comfort and limiting room inside. I just don’t see the desire where majority really needs to pay for range ability they don’t need. That should be left for Niro EV … I think Kia is just wasting battery capacity putting 39kWh into a city car. Keep the 30kWh and compete with price. It’s a good car and price can make it a great value in 30kWh trim …. free advise Kia … LOL

I think they can do the 39KWH a year from now for less than the 30Kwh a year ago. Cost competition is already in effect.

Cost-wise to them, perhaps … but why should I pay for 39KWh, if I don’t need it? If it’s true what you say, they should keep offering 30kWh and lower the price adequately.

I hope we are not going the way of a silly camera megapixel race ….

Just using the old battery would *not* lower the costs — if it even fits in the new car. If they actually want to offer a smaller battery variant for a lower price (which I guess they might do), they will have to design a dedicated new battery variant for that purpose. Though that might not be worthwhile either, unless they can share it with other models for better economy of scale…

I was talking of nominal size, not physically the same part. My argument stays, that nobody buying a small city car needs more than 30kWh capacity. Mass adoption is unfortunately about price, massively so, so 30kWh will always be notably less expensive than 39kWh, regardless the chemistry or future developments.

All kinds of people think that 30kWh is not enough, and I would argue they are wrong. it’s not for everyone, but it’s for a pretty sizable chunk of the market.

It probably makes sense to have fewer battery choices, it seems all their cars will have 39 or 64 kWh batteries. I think few will complain about the larger battery especially if price remains the same.

The Soul EV still sells far too few copies for the needed economies of scale. The EV market in general is a few years away from that.
Remember, range anxiety is a very real thing (the anxiety part, not necessary the range problem). Lots if not most ICE drivers expect any car, including the tiny city cars that are too small to be sold in the US, to be able to do 400+ miles on a tank. They will learn that it’s not really necessary, but it’ll take a while yet (5-10 years at least).

My leaf getting 100km Max to a full charge it’s frustrating at least once a week if not more.

I have a 2017 soul EV, so fewer miles tham yours (93 EPA). Even as our “city car” (we also have a Prius for trips), i definitely wish for more range. 140 miles wouldn’t make it a road trip car, but would make it comfortable for most of the day trips I want to make from here in the NJ suburbs, like skiing in the Poconos (that would still probably require a top off quick charge on the way home) or to NYC, especially in the winter or at highway speeds that extra range is needed. I think the 140 mile range would make it great for almost all day trips, even if still wildly frustrating for real road trips.
I hope i can get my hands on an e-Nero when my lease runs out.

There are plenty reasons why a larger battery is desirable even for a city car. It reduces range anxiety. It offers flexibility at times where it needs to drive further than usual — maybe even occasional inter-city trips. And for people who don’t have convenient charging at home, a longer time between chargers is always a *huge* win.

Not worth 5k.

No evidence of bigger battery in next sl ev costing any more…let alone $5k. Eject, Avoid making sh** up

What? The difference is base upon the other cars in the Hyundai Kia line up featuring 39kWh and 64kWh batteries. It isn’t wort the extra money.

?? But on the other cars, the difference is 64-39 = 25kWh. Here the difference is about a _third_ of that (39-30 = 9), so I expect the new Soul to cost $1000-$1500 more than the current one, at most (and maybe no difference in price).

It’s not as simple as you make it look like … there’s more to it, like …. extra weight, packaging and its demand on the car design etc.

It’s a myth that 30kWh is not enough for city car and I am talking about North America. Europe’s driving distances are vastly shorter on average. Not mentioning the reliability of an electrical grids, so all these commuters with plugs at home, can recharge without fail, if they need a full “tank” every morning. I do that, like 2 x month and mostly on weekend …

Exactly … 5K is massive saving on one part of a vehicle.

Bigger battery also means faster charges, less degradation (or at least less noticeable) and improved lifetime.

Not worth 5k.

In non-US markets, this is usually considered a family car, so frequently the only vehicle a middle-class family will have. It’s larger than the actual city cars (European A-Segment which are mostly non-existent in the US — that would be the Kia Picanto/Hyundai i10, VW e-Up, Toyota Aygo etc.); even the Honda Fit is larger than an actual city car. IIRC, the only ones you get are Fiat 500, Smart and the former Spark and i-MiEV.
As such, it’s worth updating the Soul for other markets so it’s useful for regional trip as well, and better for the occasional long-distance ones; the car does have good DCFC capability, after all.
Probably not worth it to provide the US with two battery variants.

The argument above is precisely the reason why I’ve been hoping companies would offer at least 2, preferably 3, battery sizes for every EV they make. mxs would be happy sticking at 30kWh and not paying for unneeded range, and I’m sure many others would agree. For me, moving from my 2013 Leaf to my 2018 Leaf, and going from 24 kWh to 40 kWh was not just a convenience, but it allowed me to make a very frequent mid-range trip in my Leaf instead of my wife’s Rogue. So it was a huge improvement in weekly usability and it (finally) put me in the market for 240 volt outlet installations at both ends of that trip. While I will likely move up to something with a 60 kWh pack in a couple of years, it won’t change our choice of car for our infrequent long-distance drive, which is about 250 miles each way through a very rural part of the US where there’s little chance of public chargers appearing soon, if ever. Generalities like “more battery is better” and “buy the most battery you can afford for future-proofing” and “convince your wife to ditch her ICEV for a BEV”… Read more »

Problem is, batteries are expensive & heavy, and offering multiple choices over a fairly small number of sold cars is hard to justify economically (esp. when people expect to be able to buy and drive a car off the lot). Even Tesla, as quickly as it could, stopped offering 3 choices and cut it down to 2 (I’m sure the mid-range Model 3 will disappear as an offering once Tesla starts selling the short-range).
It might be different if there was a way for the dealer to add modules according to customer needs, but batteries are currently too integrated for that.

Considering how many different power train options combustion cars generally offer, I don’t think three battery sizes will be prohibitive in the long run… Though for now two sizes seem to be the sweet spot.

A regional car. Where you can travel the state and be back home

If it really is only 39kWh only, then that makes makes my next car choice easy , 64kWh Niro, since a 25% increment on what I currentiy have (2018 Soul, 30 kWh) isn’t enough, I don’t want a saloon so no model 3, Kona too limited in the back seats. Unless the next gen leaf is here in time but there seems not even rumours of that yet.

It’s a 30% increase. The Kia Niro should have more back seats space and the it has the 64 kWh battery.

What about the bolt joein??

No Bolt in the U.K., said JoeInTheUK 🙁

Otherwise I’d already be driving one.

I think Kia is hoping to push buyers up to the Niro if they want the bigger battery. I’m not liking it, but would seriously consider the soul again if it was only available with the smaller battery. 6 months ago we weren’t even sure there was going to be a next gen soul EV. I’m on my second soul, an EV, and other than the range, I like the car. I just wonder how much price difference there is between the 39 and the 64? The soul is same size as Kona, so I can’t see why they can’t fit the 64 in the new soul

I doubt there’s room in the Soul to stuff a 64kWh battery (unless they’d kill most of the cargo capacity).
The Niro/Kona make a lot of use of the fact that they’re tall CUVs, so have a high floor the battery can be hidden underneath, and even so, at least of them & maybe both have a floorhigher by an inch than the ICE version.

The soul is also high, and the battery is under the floor like every other kia/Hyundai. We’ve been told the new soul will have the Kona/Niro power train, do why not the same battery?

Sad Face. Love my SOul EV+, lease will be up in 2020 and will see. Niro EV is the front runner. Curious if anything else will factor. 145 miles is decent and and given my 93 mile version works 99% of the time for me, The cost and value debate will start. 39Kwh for what $$$4 vs 64Kwh. if I won’t use the 30 extra KWh regularly, why pay for it?

I’m in the same boat, lease up in 2020. Not a fan of Niro, but like the Kona. Since they will only bring 64 Kona to North America, not sure why they won’t offer the 64 in the soul EV

I recently had an opportunity to drive in a Soul ( Lyft) and was impressed with the spaciousness of the cabin. Love the shape of this car, it stands out, has some character. 140 miles seems just right for city car in So Cal. Something about traveling our freeways. Is it my imagination, or does it seem like every trip takes a hour? And if it comes in close to 33K (less 10 for incentives), i think that they’ll have a winner. I am curious what levels of trim they will offer. I checked local inventory and the + version is not available. Can someone clarify- is the battery water cooled?

Plus version is what you want with its heated AND ventilated seats. That’s a really nice feature most cars let alone evs don’t offer.

We love our Soul EV – the 27kWh 2014 model. It’s been our only car for the last 3.5 years and we have road-tripped it quite a bit, up to about 250 miles. Quite a PITA, but we are happy to be early adopters. The Soul is definitely considered a family car in the UK, we are slightly anxious about the size of the model 3… but mostly just excited…

What a heck… why not offer it with 64-kwh??

I don’t like the Niro (especially its interior) and was hoping to get the next gen Soul EV with large battery pack!

It’s in order to keep the US rebate. You have to increase the capacity over time to keep the rebate active. It is why the Ford Fusion went from 7.6 to 9 kwh only this year. It was done in order to keep the US tax rebate.

So every 4-5 years look for jump of 20-30%.

You sure bout that?? Fiat 500e has been the same for over 5 years. No sign the bolt or current volt will increase in next year or the year after as well.

No change is required to keep federal tax credit. It is based only off kWh, It is prorated between 5 and 16 kWh, and above 16 kWh it is full $7,500. Each state has specific requirements for their own credits and rebates.

Rule of thumb for all bevs is to halve the epa range for potential real world use range. Simply do the math to see my perspective. So MORE range the better for anything under 400 mile epa range…in my book. Let’s say the next gen soul ev gets an epa 150 mile range. Speeding on highway, climate control of cabin in extreme heat or cold, and a high load of people or items can EACH factor reduce range 10 – 20%. Now deduct the 10 – 20% from full capacity of the battery pack if a quick charge is needed. All together anyone who has driven bevs know that some or all of these factors combined can easily drop your range by half…or 75 in this case. And I’m not even including battery degradation over time or if the driver parks for an extended period of time in very hot or cold conditions which again could take off another 10 – 20% of range…at least. So certainly any epa range bump from 111 to near 150 is going to be needed by nearly all future soul ev drivers in the future whether they realize it or not. And likely Kia… Read more »

I agree with your general sentiment but think you exaggerate. My 93-mile rated 2017 Soul EV has never gotten worse than 67 miles of range, in the winter (15-25F), on the freeway, with a full car. That said, 67 miles of usable winter freeway range is definitely not enough for most of the day trips i would take on a Saturday, as many do not have any destination charging or convenient DC charging en route…yet. 5 years from now it could be a different story…I hope so.

Where does it say the soul EV will only get the smaller battery?

30 is still too small, 39 is good. Case in point: Live in Pullman, WA or Moscow, ID… Both college towns 10 miles apart, but if you need to go somewhere larger looking south (costco in Lewiston/Clarkston?), then it’s 75 mile RT through 60-65 mph hilly country with a huge 3.5 mile 6% grade along the way…. EVTRIPPLANNER.COM says you need 19.1kw to make the trip…and that’s assuming a leaf (they don’t have a Soul model yet), which is better aerodynamic efficiency….a little tight on a 27kw soul EV, especially if it’s hot summer (got to run AC), or winter (gets down to the 20’s)… let alone 3 yrs down the road when the battery degrades to 85%…. Now look north….hmm, a quick trip up to west spokane (ignore downtown)….EVTRIPPLANNER.COM now says 80.1 miles 1 way (21.6kw), which is stretching it even for a 90% battery in good weather, and that’s only 1 WAY (now you better be ready to sit and charge for 5 hours to get home, or sit at an L3 for at least an hour (since L3 charge speed is slow outside of 20%-80%, and you will be COOKING that battery….)…. Now with a 30KW battery,… Read more »