Kia joins the Electric Vehicle party with the arrival of the Soul EV, a full battery powered car in what Kia say is a class leading range of up to 132 miles.
The Soul EV has been 30 years of research and development in the making, with battery technology now up to where Kia believes is at a mature stage the Soul EV finally becomes a viable proposition for the company. In other word’s Kia can make a little money helping to save the world.
Key to the Soul EV is the high density lithium-ion polymer batteries and a heating and cooling system that keeps the batteries operating at optimum temperatures, this helps to extend battery life and therefore the range of the batteries on a single charge. Regenerative braking and coasting also keep the batteries in tip-top shape.
The Soul EV’s batteries have an energy storage capacity of 27 kilowatt-hours which is enough power to keep a house running for a day. The batteries take around 10-12 hours to fully charge using a mains plug, a charging point will do the job in around 45 mins.
As with all EV’s the batteries are mounted beneath the floor of the car, the Soul EV develops 81.4 Kilowatts of power which in old currency is 109bhp and 250Nm of torque and a top speed of 90mph. The 0-60 mph dash is undertaken in 10.3 seconds.
Kia have boosted the noise of the ultra quiet Soul EV by fitting a sound booster which comes into play at low, pedestrian speeds.
Kia have tuned the suspension to ensure the Soul EV can overcome the extra 250kg of weight the battery system adds. The aim was to create an EV that behaved like a normal combustion engine powered car. However the rear boot space is sacrificed and is 31-litres less overall, that’s 281-litres with the seat’s up and 891-litres with the seats down.
The Soul EV is on sale in the UK now and is priced from £24,995 which includes a £5k Government Plug-in Grant.