The all electric version of the Kia Soul is set to make its European debut at the upcoming Geneva motor show, and will add more power and a longer range.
The Soul EV is Kia's third production and the battery setup will be the only option offered to European buyers. Kia says it is up to 30 percent more energy efficient than Europe's best-selling electric vehicle.
Take a look at the new Kia Soul
There's a choice of two powertrains, a long-range (64 kWh) and standard-range (39.2 kWh) option. Torque for both setups is 291 lb-ft – 39 percent more than before. The long-range 64 kWh battery pack is paired with a 201 bhp electric motor, allowing up to 280 miles on a single charge, while the standard-range model has a 39.2 kWh battery pack mated to a 134 bhp electric motor which enables it Soul EV to do up to 172 miles on a charge.
A Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charger is fitted as standard to both models, allowing shorter stops for charging. Both battery packs can be recharged from 20 per cent up to 80 per cent capacity in just 42 minutes from a 100 kW DC fast-charger.
The car is also fitted with a number of energy-recuperation technologies to maximise driving range, including Kia’s energy efficient heat pump system, which scavenges waste heat from the car’s coolant system; an individual ventilation and air conditioning system, which shuts off cabin ventilation at the source to all seats except the driver’s; and a steering wheel paddle-operated regenerative braking system. There's also a choice of 'Normal', 'Eco', 'Eco+' and 'Sport' driving modes.
The interior comes with goodies, too. The signature 'tweeter' speakers remain from the outgoing Soul. There's also an optional Sound Mood Lighting system, which emits soft light from panels in the doors to the beat of the music being played in the car.
The car is also available with A wireless phone charger at the base of the dashboard, heated and ventilated front seats, and a premium harman/kardon sound system are also available, as is a Head-Up Display system which projects relevant driving information on to a small glass panel behind the steering whee.
"Since its inception, the Soul has been a true pioneer for Kia, and for the wider market. A decade ago, it established the urban crossover segment, and when we launched the Soul EV it became the first fully-electric crossover," said Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe. "The all-new Soul EV breaks more ground, as we launch it in Europe with an extended-range electric powertrain as standard – without the option of an internal combustion engine."
"The market has changed significantly in recent years, and in 2018 – the outgoing model’s final year on-sale, Kia sold more of the zero-emissions Soul EV in Europe than petrol and diesel versions combined," Herrera added. "Kia is recognised today as a global leader in electrified vehicles, with a growing range of mild-hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. Electrified models accounted for one in eight Kia cars sold in Europe in 2018, up from one in ten in 2017, and the Soul EV will further build on this momentum."
The Soul EV will be available in Europe by the end of the first quarter of this year. The exact date it goes on sale, along with pricing and specification information will be released soon.