Kia’s first all -electric 2015 Soul EV : review

Kia has launched 2015 Soul EV, the company’s first all-electric model in the United States.

It made a global debut at this week’s Chicago auto show, flaunting preliminary operating features including 80 to 100 miles of range and 24 hours recharging time on ordinary household current, and five hours on a 240-volt charger.

The Soul EV offers three kinds of dual-color schemes in addition to a unique grille design, 16-inch wheels and LED lighting to distinguish it from the regular model.

Kia covering zero to 62 mph in 11.2 seconds will be faster than the Nissan Leaf, one of the Soul EV’s electric rivals.

The Soul EV will be available in base and Soul+ trim levels. Base models will come equipped with standard Bluetooth, navigation and a rearview camera. A five-year subscription to Uvo eServices and Sirius/XM traffic and data services is also included at no cost.

The Soul will provide two operating presets, Eco On, and Eco Off, with “Drive” and “Brakes” modes for each. Brakes mode in the Eco On setting can trap 12 percent of the car’s lost kinetic energy which is stored in the battery pack.


An app for finding out recharging stations is also provided and Kia dealers will offer free recharging to their customers.

The interior bright white accent trim and plastic is made from bio materials like sugar cane and corn reinforce confirming their environmental statement.

Using a 240-volt outlet, the EV’s battery will recharge in less than five hours. The car can also charge on a 120-volt outlet or at a DC fast-charge station.

The 2015 Kia Soul EV will use an electric motor powered by a 27-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery. The motor will produce 109 horsepower.

Kia also offers an 80 percent charge in as little as 33 minutes using a 50-kW system, and the Soul EV is fitted with three charging ports. Two of the ports are for conventional AC charging, per SAE standard J1772, and the third for CHAdeMo public stations.

CHAdeMo is a 480-volt direct current system established and promoted by a Japanese consortium that can replenish a battery’s juice in less than 30 minutes.

The 2015 Kia Soul is scheduled to go on sale this summer, initially in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.

The pricing has not yet been revealed, but starting price of $20,000 _ $30,000 range is expected excluding federal tax and incentives.

Rajani Baburajan