Kia just unveiled its first electric vehicle, the 2015 Kia Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. The EV looks nearly identical to the standard Soul, but under the hood lies a fully-electric powertrain with a range of up to 100 miles between charges.
The 2015 Kia Soul EV is powered by a 109 horsepower electric motor and a 27 kWH lithium-ion polymer battery. To keep the Soul EV’s interior space as close to the standard Soul as possible, Kia’s engineers placed the battery underneath the floor at the cost of only a few inches of rear seat legroom. The battery gives the Soul EV a range of 80-100 miles, but Kia says that its own internal testing results exceeded 100 miles in some instances.
The Soul EV has two charging points that are located behind a sliding door in the front grille. The standard charging outlet includes a port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging, while the second is a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port. Kia estimates that it can take up to 24 hours to recharge the Soul EV on a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger.
Kia hasn’t announced the pricing for the 2015 Soul EV, but it says that it will go on sale in the third quarter of 2014. The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon as well as several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland.