The 2015 Kia Soul EV debuted at the Chicago Auto Show today, and besides the funky looks and Millennial appeal, the Soul EV is pretty standard fare. With between 80 and 100 miles of driving range, and acceleration on par with a Prius, the Soul EV is set up to neither impress nor disappoint.
The 81-kilowatt motor is good for 109 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs of torque, pushing the boxy Soul EV to a top speed of 90 MPH. Acceleration is quoted as “less than 12 seconds”, which could be the least-inspiring words ever uttered at a press conference. Power comes from a 27-Kwh air-cooled lithium polymer battery, which Kia claims has both the highest energy density and usable power of any comparable EVs.
While they may mean a few extra miles of driving range on the typical Sunday drive, the 2015 Kia Soul EV is about par for course as far as “affordable” electric cars go. Charging takes between 24 and 5 hours depending on your connection, and a 50 kWh CHAdeMo charger can deliver an 80% charge in just 30 minutes. Kia is working with Bosch, Aerovironment, and Leviton to provide home chargers to buyers. I’d also like to add that I enjoy the front-mounted charging port a great deal consider how most charging stations are set up.
The only place the Kia Soul EV can really differentiate itself is pricing, which will be announced closer to launch. Initial availability will also be limited to the EV-friendly California and Oregon, as well as a select metro areas on the eastern seaboard. It’s a cautious first step into the EV market for Kia, but at least they chose their funkiest carry to carry the zero emissions flag.