Kia Soul EV makes a Trans-European road trip, leaves a mark on history August 23rd, 2016
Not too long ago, we shared the news about Soul EV’s participation in the ECO Drive racing event in Bulgaria. Today, we turn our attention to two journalists in Hungary who reached another milestone with our charming and reliable Kia Soul EV!
In 2015, two Hungarian automotive journalists, Zoltán Sipos and Dávid Máth, of the country’s most popular Internet car magazine totalcar.hu embarked on an exciting road trip that came about on a whim. What started as a joke between two friends soon became a full-blown challenge – the e-tap road trip – when the men partnered up with Kia Motors Hungary to drive the Soul EV from Budapest, Hungary to the Nuremberg Toy Fair held in Germany.
To shake things up even more, this trans-Europe journey was made in the dead of winter, battling snow storms and frigid conditions, with temperatures dropping below -15 degrees Celsius.
Zoltán loading up the Soul EV
The two men started off a bit hesitant, with qualms about unexpected car problems, frozen roads, and a lack of long road trip experience in an electric vehicle. However, by January the journalists were ready to undertake a “real 21st century experience,” with packed bags and a geared-out Kia Soul EV. For a well-documented experience, the Soul EV was fully equipped with GPS data tracking and a digital map that shared the real time location of the travelers in a live online broadcast.
Setting off on the cold Sunday morning of January 24, the duo initially ran into a slight road bump at charging stations that put them slightly behind the projected schedule. However, thanks to strategic planning and a few tech tweaks to the Soul EV, the team made the 750 km journey to Nuremberg safe and sound in approximately 40 hours.
The overall journey was a cold but smooth one. The electric powertrain of the vehicle provided a steady and noiseless drive and quick acceleration. As the Soul EV required extra electricity consumption (for heat) to combat the cold weather, the car provided a driving range of 120 km (as opposed to 200 km in normal conditions). Traveling at 80-90 km/h, the model reached a consumption level of 16 kWh/100 km and reached a peak of 23.1 kWh/100 km when travelling faster.
Car status was displayed on the EV’s touchscreen display
The tech features of the Soul EV made the overall trip more pleasant. The Soul EV’s touchscreen display showed exactly how many kilowatts were being consumed by the car’s systems to better conserve energy during the ride. These details were also broadcasted across various online channels for fans to follow in real time and find out more about the vehicle’s actual position, travelling speed, distance travelled and interim stops. The travelling pair also provided social media postings on Instagram and Facebook as well as blog posts on totalcar.hu numerous times a day.
Arriving at the final destination!
After the eventful and adventurous drive, Zoltán and Dávid made it to Nuremberg later than planned but in time for the event.
The return trip to Budapest was a lot easier, driving on familiar roads and well prepared for issues along the way. All it took for the drive home was three charges in Germany, four charges in Austria and a short quick charge in between. Thanks to the real time broadcast and social postings, the project also gained quite an online following and the journalists also ran into drivers on the road that honked in recognition and encouragement. Many others took pictures of the charming box car as it completed the cross-border trip.
With this adventure, Dávid, Zoltán and the Soul EV were able to make an impressive mark in EV history that will certainly remain as a useful reference for many years to come. Although long-distance trips in electric vehicles are not yet a common occurrence, perhaps this collaboration may serve as motivation for you to start your own. With the Soul EV, the road is your oyster!