Videos From Kia Soul EV Tests in Extreme Winter
For the past couple of months, Kia has been testing Soul EV pre-production vehicles in Swedish Lapland at temperatures as low as -35°C.
Now, we have found some videos from these extreme winter tests and can report on some of the tests:
Frozen: How the Test Starts
The Arctic development programme starts every day with a full evaluation of the car after a night spent sitting in perilous sub-zero temperatures. The vehicle test team first ensures that all of the car’s moving parts, inside and out – including doors, bonnet and tailgate, as well as interior switches and handles, continue to operate as normal. Engineers also test all the major electrical systems, such as the electric windows and door mirrors, before moving on to the main driving systems – power steering, brakes and traction control in particular.”
Sub-zero temperatures mean that snow stays on the ground for months at a time, giving engineers the chance to test the car’s powertrain, brakes, steering and suspension in conditions with very little grip.
“Similar tests are carried out on snow and ice, with full-bore acceleration runs, high-speed braking maneuvers and even a handling test, thoroughly testing the vehicle’s on-the-limit ride and handling. It is an ideal place to test latest electronic stability control (ESC) and traction control systems.”
Because heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system can cut range even in half in extreme cold weather, Kia is mainly testing this system.
“Four new HVAC technologies are designed also to reduce load on the car’s battery. Chief among these is a new heat pump, which draws on heat from the air-conditioning and electrical systems to more efficiently warm up the cabin.”
Interesting is the “world-first driver-only ventilation system“, which cuts off all heating and ventilation to the foot-well and dashboard vents on the passenger side. There is a pre-heating option if car is plugged into the grid, too.
Fourth, a range-saving solution is described as follow:
“Finally, a new smart air intake control system monitors and controls the amount of air entering the cabin, cooling or heating the car more efficiently and minimising the use of heating or air-conditioning during a journey.”
Here are videos from the Kia Soul EV’s winter test in Swedish Lapland and an interview with Kia Engineer, Tae Han Kim.