The Kia Soul EV recently made its European debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Embodying the iconic design of the recently-launched second-generation Kia Soul, the Soul EV will become the brand’s first globally-sold electric vehicle when production starts in the second half of 2014.
The Soul EV differs itself from the rest of the 2014 Soul range with a two-tone colour scheme with contrasting ‘floating roof’, unique 16-inch alloy wheel design and LED taillights, as well as a new ‘eco electric’ badge on the wing at the base of the A-pillar. The car receives unique front and rear fascias, incorporating a larger front grille and charging ports.
The Soul EV also features a new interior such as the brand’s new organic LED instrument cluster, while the interior’s light two-tone colour scheme gives the cabin an airy, open atmosphere. A double-injection moulded fascia further improves the high quality feel of the soft-touch dashboard.
The Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW electric motor, producing 285 Nm of torque, and a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack located beneath the cabin. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single speed reduction gear set, allowing the Soul EV to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in under 12 seconds, going on to a top speed of 145 km/h.
The 6.6 kW AC on-board charger enables the Soul EV to be fully charged within five hours depending on the local electricity supply. An 80% charge can be achieved in as little as 25 minutes with a 100 kW DC charger (33 minutes at 50 kW).
One of the key aims of Kia’s engineers in the development of the vehicle was to ensure that the addition of the battery pack under the cabin had a minimal effect on the Soul’s generous interior space. As a result, rear passenger legroom is reduced by just 80 mm, though this reduction is countered by changes to the rear seat cushion, which raises passengers’ knees and gives them more space. The undertray storage in the boot of the standard car now holds the vehicle’s charging cable. Like the standard car, drivers can find the car’s tyre mobility kit stored beneath the undertray.
Overall, the Soul EV suffers minimal battery intrusion compared to its competitors. The exterior dimensions of the Soul EV are almost similar to those of the petrol and diesel-powered versions of the car.