The all-new Kia Soul EV will have a fully-electric driving range of up to 280 miles from a single charge. The third globally-sold electric vehicle from Kia Motors will make its European debut at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.
The Kia Soul will be powered in Europe exclusively by electric energy, with a choice of two long-range, zero-emissions powertrains. The new-generation battery packs powering the Soul EV are up to 30 per cent more energy efficient than Europe’s current best-selling electric vehicle.
The Soul EV goes on sale across Europe towards the end of the first quarter of 2019. UK specification, on-sale date and pricing will be announced in due course.
The Kia Soul EV will be sold in Europe exclusively as an electric vehicle, with a choice of two fully-electric, zero-emission powertrains to meet the needs and budgets of different customers.
Drivers have a choice of long-range (64 kWh) and standard-range (39.2 kWh) powertrains. Significantly more powerful electric motors provide 395 Nm of torque – 39 per cent more than before.
Kia’s new-generation lithium-ion polymer battery packs offer greater energy capacity than those of many other electric vehicles, regardless of price. Cell energy density of 250 Wh/kg, achieved through new cell chemistry, enable the cells to store 25 per cent more energy within a defined volume than those of the 200 Wh/kg battery pack in the outgoing Soul EV. This has enabled Kia to keep the battery pack as compact and lightweight as possible, while taking a huge leap in the car’s zero-emissions driving range compared to its predecessor and other electric vehicles on the market.
The long-range 64 kWh battery pack is paired with a 150 kW (204 ps) electric motor, enabling the Soul EV to travel up to 280 miles on a single charge (on the WLTP combined cycle). Energy consumption for the 64 kWh battery pack is just 157 Wh/km on the WLTP combined cycle – 24 per cent more efficient than Europe’s current best-selling electric vehicle. Energy consumption for the long-range Soul EV is as low as 109 Wh/km in urban environments (WLTP urban cycle).
With the powertrain’s maximum 395 Nm torque available from a standstill, and 84 per cent more power than the car it replaces, the long-range 64 kWh Soul EV will accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in just 7.6 seconds.
The standard-range 39.2 kWh battery pack powers an efficient 100 kW (136 ps) electric motor. With peak torque of 395 Nm, and 23 per cent more power than the outgoing Soul EV, the significantly improved efficiency of the battery enables the standard-range Soul EV to travel up to 172 miles on a single charge. Energy efficiency is rated at 145 Wh/km (WLTP combined), 30 per cent more efficient than the best-selling electric car in Europe – making it one of the most energy-efficient electric vehicles in the world.
A Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charger is fitted as standard to both models, enabling 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 Soul EV is fitted with a range of energy-recuperation technologies to maximise driving range. This includes Kia’s energy efficient heat pump system, which scavenges waste heat from the car’s coolant system. It also features Kia’s innovative individual ventilation and air conditioning system, which shuts off cabin ventilation at the source to all seats except the driver’s – unlike other systems, which merely divert air to open passenger cabin vents.
The Soul EV is also equipped as standard with Kia’s innovative regenerative braking system, operated by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. The system provides drivers with the ability to slow the car and recuperate kinetic energy to maximise its driving range and efficiency. Drivers can choose from five regenerative braking levels (none, one to three, or ‘single pedal’ mode), depending on the level of energy recuperation they desire from the brakes. The system’s ‘single pedal’ driving mode also allows the car to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes, and even enables the driver to bring the car to a gentle halt without necessarily needing to push the brake pedal. The regenerative braking system can also automatically adjust the braking level if it detects the car in front slowing down, creating smoother coast-down driving – especially on a steep downhill road. A Smart Eco Pedal Guide display on the driver’s instrument cluster also keeps the driver aware of real-time battery usage based on accelerator pedal input.
In addition, the Soul EV’s Drive Mode Select system lets drivers adapt the car to their preferred style or the road conditions. Drivers can choose from ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’, Eco+’ and ‘Sport’ mode. The two Eco modes are tuned to maximise vehicle range with certain power-saving measures, while Sport mode increases responses from the steering and electric motor to maximise the dynamic driving feel of the car. Normal mode provides a careful balance between each.
The Soul EV is the first generation of the Soul to feature fully-independent multi-link rear suspension, replacing the torsion beam rear axle on first- and second-generation models.
The new Soul EV goes on sale in selected European markets from the end of Q1 2019. UK specification, on-sale date and pricing will be announced in due course.