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Kia Soul EV revealed at the Chicago Motor Show

Thu, 06 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800

The new Kia Soul EV (pictured) has been revealed in Chicago

The Kia Soul EV is Kia’s first effort at a proper mass production EV, and if you’re looking for an electric car it does look promising. Due to go on sale later in 2014 in the US – initially in California, New York and Oregan because of their charging infrastructure – and, Kia promised, the UK and Europe later in 2014 or early 2015, the Soul EV offers a real world driving range of 80-100 miles from a recharge taking half an hour for 80 per cent on a rapid 50kW charger or up to 5 hours for a full recharge from a UK 240 volt supply.

The range is helped by Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system which manages to capture 12 per cent of the car’s kinetic energy, feeding it back in to the battery as electricity during braking and coasting, with four different regeneration modes.

Power comes from a 109bhp electric motor delivering 210lb/ft of torque – and gets multi-layer magnets to reduce motor whine – which is enough to get the SOul EV to 62mph in 12 seconds and on to 90mph.

Thanks to Kia puttying the Soul EV’s batteries under the floor, there is very little compromising of the luggage capacity, but the weight penalty obviously dents performance although the lower centre of gravity might help stability and dynamics.

Looking very much like the Soul we’re used to – boxy shape and all – the Soul EV gets a covered front grill (which hides the charging sockets), 16″ alloys with Aero optimisation, ‘ECO Electric’ badges, projector headlights, ‘floating’ roof, big greenhouse area and LED taillights.

The Soul EV will also get a tow-tone paint job exclusive to the EV model with a choice of Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof.

If you must have an EV, the new Kia Soul EV looks a promising offering. When it does arrive in the UK we’d expect it to cost from under £20k (after the taxpayer bribe).



By Cars UK