2015 Kia Soul EV

The Chicago Auto Show has officially arrived and Kia is getting things started off with a few milestone announcements; starting with the all-new 2015 Soul EV.

The Soul EV represents the first ever all-electric , zero-emissions vehicle from the Korean company on U.S. soil. On top of its electric propulsion system, the Kia EV was recognized by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for integrating more than 20 bio-friendly materials in the construction.

Kia is promising up to 100 miles of “real world” range out of its lithium battery and says that interior space is barely impacted by the addition of the addition of the electron storage.

Kia hopes to have the new Soul EV in dealerships by this fall with California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland as the first markets. These regions were chosen for their relatively large EV infrastructures.

Has Kia finally created a stylish and practical EV that buyers are looking for?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Soul EV.

Spy Shots

Kia Soul EV
Kia Soul EV
Kia Soul EV

As for styling, we have seen a few spy shots of the upcoming Kia Soul and we anticipate that the EV model will feature the same styling language, sans a few minor modifications. We know from these shots that the headlights are a little more square than the current generation, the grille is positioned slightly higher, and there is something new going on in the back end, which was covered in heavy camo. The remaining details on the 2014 Soul’s exterior are a mystery.

Exterior

Kia Soul EV
Kia Soul EV
Kia Soul EV

The exterior of the new Soul EV will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with the car. Its same boxy shape and funky features have remained, but the EV gets a few additional extras to spate it from its family members.

The front grille has been replaced with a slightly larger body colored insert that folds down to reveal charging ports, and the rolling stock has been changed to a bespoke set of 16-inch alloys wrapped in low rolling resistance rubber. When the Soul EV first hits showroom floors it will only be available in three two-tone color combinations; Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. An accenting color splash is also included on the front and rear fascias.

Interior

Kia Soul EV

The inside of the new EV is even funkier and tech heavy than the standard Soul. Bright white accents are scattered around the cabin to add contrast to the gray seating. The seats can be had in cloth or leather with blue accent stitching on the cloth models, and blue piping on the leather. Blue contrast stitching can also be found on the steering wheel and center armrest.

The dash of the Soul EV features one of the most advanced screen technologies available in the world, OLED. OLED, Organic Light Emitting Diode technology is perfect for EV usage as it uses a fraction of the electricity of standard LCD screens and it produces virtually no heat. That means less electricity to power your dash, and more power stays in the batteries.

Those batteries are designed to reduce the impact on interior space, but the Soul still loses a few inches of rear legroom and over five cubic feet of cargo space has been sacrificed.

Drivetrain

Kia Soul EV

Powering the Kia Soul EV is a modern lithium-ion polymer battery — the same type of power technology found in your favorite smartphone. This particular battery for the Soul EV has been designed to maximize energy density while increasing stability and safety. The 27 kWh unit is air-cooled and Kia claims should be good for 80 to 100 miles of “real-world driving.” Driving the wheels is a 109-horsepower electric motor that produces 210 pound-feet of torque that is capable of getting the Soul EV up to 90 mph.

2015 Kia Soul EV - Drivetrain Specifications

Engine TypeElectric Motor
Horsepower109 HP
Torque210 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph12 seconds, Est.
Top Speed90 mph

Prices

Kia has announced that pricing will be detailed closer to the launch of the new EV

Competition

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf was the first mass-consumption EV that was wildly available to the U.S. public.Thanks to a relatively large size and smart design, the Nissan Nissan Leaf is a design that favors practicality and comfort. Its 100-mile range is one of the best in the industry right now.

Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e

The Fiat 500e is smaller than the Leaf or the Soul EV, but it maintains the same stylish shape and sporty handling characteristics of the gasoline models. The Fiat is also very likely to be slightly cheaper than either the Leaf or Soul EV.

Conclusion

Kia Soul EV

With the shape our gasoline and oil reserves seems to be in, having more manufacturers go electric is a good sign. The new Soul EV combines all the great features that drew buyers in to original car, but it adds an advanced electric powertrain to help everyone live cleaner and healthier lives.

LOVE IT
  • Stylish exterior
  • OLED interior screen
  • Multiple charging options
LEAVE IT
  • Up to 24 hour charge time on base charger
  • Battery cuts some cargo space

What is your take?

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