Kia revealed the 2015 Kia Soul EV at the 2014 Chicago auto show, the company’s first-ever all-electric vehicle for the U.S. market. The Kia Soul EV will go on sale in the third quarter of this year and promises an electric driving range of 80-100 miles while retaining the funky style of the standard Kia Soul.
The 2015 Kia Soul EV initially will be sold in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, although Kia says it plans to expand into other markets “in the near future.” With power coming from an 81-kWh electric motor making 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, the Soul EV’s acceleration should be on par with EV competitors such as the Nissan Leaf; Kia says the Soul EV will accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 12 seconds and reach a top speed of 90 mph.
A 27-kWh battery pack is mounted below the floor of the Kia Soul EV. Charging is fastest with a 50-kilowatt quick charger, which can bring the Soul EV to an 80-percent charge within 33 minutes. A full charge takes around five hours when using a 240-volt outlet or 24 hours with a standard 120-volt outlet. A 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger is standard, and Kia is partnering with Bosch, Leviton, and AeroVironment to provide buyers with different in-home charger options.
Compared with the standard Kia Soul hatchback, the 2015 Kia Soul EV sports a few changes inside and out to set it apart. An eye-catching two-tone color scheme adorns the exterior in three paint combinations: a white lower body with an Electronic Blue roof, a Caribbean Blue lower body with a white roof, or a Bright Silver lower body with a white roof. The Soul’s front fascia is also revised for the Soul EV, with a new, blocked-out grille to accommodate the charging port and a streamlined lower fascia. There are also color accents throughout the exterior, along with LED taillights, various EV and Eco badging, and special 16-inch alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tires.
On the inside, the Kia Soul EV loses a bit of space in the rear seat and the cargo area due to the floor-mounted battery pack, with a 3.1-inch reduction in rear-seat legroom and a 5.1 cu ft reduction in cargo space. The interior gets white accent trim on the console, instrument panel, and doors. Cloth will be standard with leather as an option, and all Soul EVs will feature contrasting blue stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and center armrest.
The Kia Soul EV includes many features that are optional on the standard Kia Soul, including navigation and a rearview camera, and other items such as the climate control system are modified to use less energy. There also will be multiple driving modes that change the behavior of the regenerative braking system. Like other electric vehicles, the Kia Soul EV will feature a virtual engine sound that produces an alert at speeds below 12 mph or whenever the car is in reverse.
Look for more information about the 2015 Kia Soul EV, such as pricing and official EPA range estimates, to be available closer to the car’s on-sale date this fall.