The Kia Soul EV was introduced back in 2014 at the Chicago Motor Show and went on sale in September, but the South Korean manufacturer took its time to test the vehicle and show that the homologated range of 132 miles is something real.
According to the manufacturer, the Kia Soul EV was tested on Bristol’s bumper to bumper traffic, huge descents and ascents of sweeping countryside road network as well as high-speeds demands of the M4 highway in the UK. In addition, the vehicle was tested during light and heavy rain, an average temperature of 8 degrees, using on board heating, screen wipers and headlights.
Despite this heavy duty testing, the Kia Soul EV showed a full range of 125.3 miles and the big surprise was that a remaining range of 9 miles was show on the vehicle’s display. This means that the total range exceeded the official 132 miles.
According to Kia, after the diagnostics report, they found out that the battery still had 13% battery remaining, which equates to 15 miles, meaning that the electric car has a realistic potential range of 140.3 miles.
For those who still don’t know, the Kia Soul EV carries a 81.4 kW, 109 hp electric motor that produces 210 lb-ft of torque.
Bolted to a single-speed constant-ration gear reduction unit which delivers the power to the front wheels, the electric motor pushes the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in less than 12 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 90 mph.
The bold exterior design of the Soul has also been adopted by the Soul EV, evident on the iconic square-shouldered broad stance that was derived from the original model. The overall appearance of the new Soul EV takes inspiration from the 2012 Kia Track'ster concept, as expressed through elements like the "floating" roof to the passenger compartment that makes the car seemingly wearing wraparound sunglasses.
At launch, Kia will offer the Soul EV in three color schemes: Bright Silver lower body with Clear White roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof and Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof. This signature two-tone paint theme also takes inspiration from the Track'ster.
The new Soul EV also features an exclusive front fascia with a larger grille that accommodates the charging ports, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED rear lights as well as color accent trim in its front and rear ends. The "Soul" fender garnish on the conventionally powered car has been replaced with the "Eco Electric" fender badge on the Soul EV. The Soul EV rides on exclusive 16-inch alloy wheels shod in specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires offering 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires.
Kia launched the original Soul in 2014, and the car earned praises for its premium interior and its lower levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). These qualities have been inherited by the Soul EV, which also features a circular theme inside the cabin to contrast the angular exterior appearance. However, the Soul EV is distinguished from its conventionally power counterpart through the bright white accent trim on the center console, door panels, and instrument panel.
In addition, the Soul EV has earned UL's first-ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic, thanks to the extensive use of bio-based materials in the car. For instance, the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console are finished in BTX-free paint, while the headliner, door panels, seat trim, headliner, carpeting and roof pillars are made from bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane. Overall, 19 different interior parts use bio-based materials, allowing the Soul EV to lead the EV segment in terms of eco-friendly material application.
Moreover, the new Soul EV extensively employs antibacterial materials, like on the instrument panel switchgear, gear selector, the floor-mounted center console and audio and HVAC controls. Overall, 23 different interior parts are made from eco-friendly materials, allowing the Soul EV to lead its segment terms of eco-friendly material application.