Design & Technology / Product

Facts you didn’t know about Kia Soul EV November 17th, 2014

In 2014, Kia introduced the Soul EV, the brand’s first-ever electric vehicle for overseas markets based on the second-generation iconic Soul urban crossover. With its fresher appearance and ultra-low operating costs, the Soul EV boasts an 81.4 kW electric motor, producing 285 Nm of torque, and a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. On a single charge, Kia Soul EV can travel up to 212 km (131 miles), and it comes with industry-leading warranties in its major sales markets (a comprehensive 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty in Europe and 10 year/100,000 mile warranty in US). With sales now getting underway in overseas markets, here are some fun facts about Soul EV you may not have known.

Soul EV is different from its gasoline/diesel-powered counterpart

The Soul EV’s platform is fundamentally the same as the combustion engine-powered Soul model but the ride and handling characteristics are further improved in the Soul EV. The addition of five cross members underneath the vehicle, along with the battery, contributes to less body roll and greater stability.

On the interior of the car, Kia used an increased range of bio-based materials in order to stay true to the car’s green image. These components include low volatility organic compounds and newly-developed antibacterial materials and parts. This effort to produce a more eco-friendly model has resulted in the achievement of UL Environment validation for its use of bio-based material comprising of 10 percent of the interior. This is the first-ever UL Environmental validation recognized in the automotive sector.

On the exterior, the Soul EV has a slightly more modern, ‘cleaner’ look with a unique two-tone paint scheme. It also features updated LED taillights and a unique front and rear fascia, incorporating a charging port at the front.

Key markets & primary customers for Soul EV

Although the car will be marketed throughout Kia’s global network, Kia expects the key markets for the Soul EV to be the US and Europe, where most EV owners live.

The target customers for the Soul EV are young-at-heart and highly educated individuals. A blend of contemporary design, practicality, ultra-low operating costs, and the innovative powertrain will appeal to buyers looking for a cutting-edge, eco-friendly vehicle.

Recharging time and charging standard for Soul EV

The Soul EV can be recharged by plugging the car into a standard household electric supply (240 V/120V or a 240 EV charging station), on-road charging points and DC fast-chargers. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery (depending on the power source) and 24 minutes (100 kW DC charger) or 33 minutes (50 kW DC) using ‘fast’ charge mode.

New technologies make Soul EV’s HVAC system special

Kia’s HVAC system features four new technologies to reduce energy usage and maximize vehicle range. The first new technology is the heat pump. The heat pump is designed to draw waste heat from as many sources within the car as possible. It operates with a combination of air and liquid, and also uses outside air as heat source. This allows the Soul EV to utilize waste heat from the air-conditioning and electrical systems to improve the energy efficiency of the heating and ventilation systems.

The second new technology is individual ventilation. By pressing a button on the dashboard marked ‘driver only’, the driver can simply switch off dashboard and footwell ventilation to other passenger areas. This function helps the driver minimize energy consumption when driving alone. The Soul EV is the first car ever manufactured to feature a true ‘driver-only’ ventilation system, since other systems merely divert this ventilation to other fans within the car and use the same amount of energy.

The third technology is scheduled ventilation. Scheduled ventilation allows drivers to preheat or precool the Soul EV prior to entering the vehicle. Drivers can simply set a time for the vehicle to start cooling down or heating up using an in-car touchscreen control. For scheduled ventilation, the Soul EV must be plugged in and charging in order to reduce energy load during operation.

The last new technology is air intake control which manages the flow of air into and out of the vehicle to minimize the use of the air-conditioning or heating. These four technologies make Soul EV’s systems much more successful at reducing energy consumption by utilizing the available air, heat and energy more efficiently.

So there you go with some fun facts about Kia Soul EV! You may fall in love with Soul EV’s ultra-stylish design at first sight, but the more you find out about Soul EV’s benefits, with its blend of ultra-low operating costs and cutting-edge innovations, the more you will love it.