With the new Soul EV, Korean car maker Kia officially enters the electric car market and puts up a fight against the likes Nissan LEAF, Fiat 500e, and Ford Focus Electric. The Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S., and it plays a major in the company’s quest to put on a greener face along with cars like the Optima Hybrid.
Featuring a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery, Kia Soul EV offers a good range considering it’s a city car and should never be driven out of town. Kia says the Soul EV should deliver a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances.
Kia’s electric car has the third-generation regenerative braking to help topping up the battery on the move, and offers “Drive” or “Brakes” modes in Eco on or off driving conditions. No idea what any of that means, but apparently it’s good.
What we do understand is the fact that charging up a Kia soul EV from a normal 240-volt outlet takes five hours. Surprisingly, the power output is on the par with that of the petrol-powered Souls with 109-hp, while the torque of 210 lb.-ft. is considerably more than what you get from the fossil-fuel version. Don’t expect brisk performance though, as 0 to 60 takes 12 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 90 mph.
Boasting a decidedly electric design and an interior made mostly from environmentally materials, the Kia Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, with other major cities to follow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.