Kia recently confirmed that they are slated to build and bring an all Electric Kia Soul to the US market in 2014. It will be named the ‘Kia Soul EV’ and will be the Korean automaker’s first all-electric vehicle outside of Korea.
“Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea.” said Orth Hedrick, Kia’s executive director of product planning.
The Electric Kia Soul is going to take design cues from the recently-launched second-generation Kia Soul. The estimated range Kia claims at this point is 120 miles, which should make it competitive with other electric cars on the market. The Kia Soul EV will come fitted with a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The Soul EV will be able to plug into any standard outlet. Estimated recharging times are up to 5 hours if the battery is fully depleted if an owner uses a standard 240v outlet, or 25 minutes on ‘fast’ charge with 100 kW output.
The front-wheel drive Kia Soul EV will be powered by a 109-hp electric motor, producing a reasonable 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. Accelerating from 0-62 mph (1oo kmph) in about 12 seconds and the top speed will be 90 mph or so. It won’t be fast but electric vehicle owners are not looking to go fast.
Since the Kia Soul Electric will not come with traditional gasoline engine and special sound-proofing materials, it’s extremely quiet like most electric cars. For the benefit of pedestrians, the Kia Soul EV will be equipped with what is known as a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an audio alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. This will let anyone around know that the Kia Soul EV is there. Whether this will be useful or annoying is yet to be seen.
The cabin of the Kia Soul Electric will keep with the eco-friendly ethos. The interior components and trim will use an increased range of recycled materials including Bio Plastic, Bio Foam, Bio Fabric and Bio PET Felt, together with low volatility organic compounds (VOC) and newly developed antibacterial materials and paint Kia has developed.
What marketing the Kia plans to use is not known. I just hope the Electric Kia Soul gets a better marketing campaign than the Kia Soul Hamster commercials. Hopefully they will use my good title from this article “Giving new meaning to Electric Soul!” Yeah, what do you think? I should be hired for Kia’s marketing. 🙂