Kia Soul EV Overview
There are two ways to build an electric vehicle: Do a clean sheet design or retrofit an electric powertrain into a current vehicle. Kia chose the latter option with their first electric car, the Soul EV.
The Soul EV looks for the most part like a standard Kia Soul with its funky boxy shape. But there are clear indications of the Soul EV's true identity with distinctive wheels, EV badging and a closed grille opening hiding the charge port. Inside the Soul EV also features the same modern look as the standard model. Kia has added some special touches such as white trim around the 8-inch touch screen and shifter, and a special gauge cluster.
Power comes from an 81 kW (about 109 horsepower) electric motor that's paired with a 27 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Kia says the Soul EV has a range of 93 miles on a full charge. As for charge times, Kia says the 2015 model will take about 4 to 5 hours on a 240-volt charger and 24 hours on a 120-volt charger.
There are two trim levels available for the Soul EV. The base model includes 16-inch wheels, automatic headlights, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, heated front seats, a six-speaker audio system, navigation, Aux and USB jacks and Bluetooth. The Soul EV+ (Plus) adds front and rear parking sensors, power-folding side mirrors, leather seats, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.
When it first went on sale, the Kia Soul EV was only available in California. However, Kia has made the Soul EV available in a growing number of states, including Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas and Washington.
Competitors to the Kia Soul EV include the Ford Focus EV and Volkswagen e-Golf.