The Soul EV has an electric motor that moves the front axle, and a Li-Ion 27 kWh battery pack with a density of 200 Wh/kg. The 81.4 kW/109 hp electric motor produces a generous torque of 285 Nm. The vehicle promises a range of 200 km (124 miles) with a single battery charge thanks to the many amenities and energy saving technologies.
The Kia Soul EV will go on sale in Europe in late 2014 with a typical warranty of 7 years/100.000 km. Kia will present in Geneva a new hybrid propulsion system ready for production. This drive was developed at the European center in Germany. The system consists of a 48 V battery connected to a small electric motor that helps to increase the power of the internal combustion engine.
The battery provides power and a super-power charger, which increases torque and power at low revs. In the right conditions, the hybrid system can set in motion its 100 percent electric mode at low speeds or cruising speeds, while the battery is charged on deceleration. When the car is stationary, the technology acts as a stop-start system, performing this function almost without noise or vibration, as systems with strap start often do. The new Kia hybrid system enables engineers to reduce the size and weight of existing 12 V battery pack.
A full charge is done in less than five hours through a 240 V outlet, or up to 80 percent charge in 30 minutes at a fast charger.
The car has a speed forward and one reverse gear, so acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) is continuous and lasts about 12 seconds. Top speed stands at 145 km / h (90 mph). At higher speeds the wind and tire noise are more noticeable in the Soul EV, since there is no engine noise. Therefore, sound isolation material was installed on the Soul EV. At speeds below 20 km/h (12 mph), because of how quiet the operation of the EV is, the Soul delivers a “virtual engine sound” to alert anyone nearby that is a car coming.
The interior is much like the one in the standard Soul, too, but less roomy. The Soul EV ditches some rear legroom and cargo room to accommodate the battery pack and other components.
Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning at Kia Motors America, stated that “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.”