The 2015 Kia Soul EV made its debut today at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Set to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the new Kia Soul EV will be initially sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states such as New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced later this year and closer to its launch.
The Soul EV uses a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery, which is located beneath the floor. The 27kWh battery is air-cooled and is expected to offer a range of approximately 80-100 miles. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight.
Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. Kia says that the Soul EV uses its third-generation of regenerative braking system and can capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy. Four different regeneration models are offered: “Drive” or “Brakes” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brakes” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brakes” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). Charging the vehicle is easy and it is made by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v).
The front-wheel drive Kia Soul EV carries a 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor that produces a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The motor is bolted to a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit and can hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in less than 12 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 90 mph or 145 km/h. Regarding its design, the 2015 Soul EV features the well-known floating roof and it is inspired by the Track’ster Concept.
Initially, the Soul EV will be available in three colors: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. Moreover, the vehicle features an EV-exclusive front fascia consisting of a large front grille that accommodates the charging points, LED positioning lamps and color accent trim.
Distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires are also available. Inside, the Soul EV features bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. [source: Kia]