The 2015 Kia Soul kicked off the new selling season with an all-new model and a strong reputation for funkiness, but its environmental history—up to this point—has left much to be desired. After all, the first-gen model was one of the hardest hit when Kia had to recalculate fuel-economy ratings a few years back, and it also had been called out for high levels of potentially dangerous chemicals in its cockpit. Even the current model, although some 85 percent of its materials are recyclable, tops out at a highway mark of 31 mpg that's well off the 40-mpg pace set by similarly sized cars.
But all that's expected to change with the premiere of the 2015 Kia Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. And it turns out that not only will the newest Soul address fuel-economy concerns with an all-electric, zero-emissions driving range that's expected to reach 120 miles, it also will up the ante with green benchmarks that have been validated by UL, the independent, internationally based science company that was formerly known as Underwriter Laboratories.
According to Stephen Hwang, President of UL Korea: “Receiving UL Environment’s claim validation for the Kia Soul EV shows the company’s strenuous efforts in developing cars with the environment in mind. UL Korea will continue to support Kia as it builds its environmental leadership in the marketplace.”
More specifically, the automaker has secured UL's seal of approval on its claims that:
- Each 2015 Kia Soul EV contains more than 50 lbs. of "bio-based" plastic
- 10 percent of the materials used in the electric Soul's cabin rely on "bio-based organic carbon"
- Environmentally friendly materials used in the 2015 Kia Soul EV include cellulose-based plastic, thermoplastic elastomer fibers and advanced bio foam
Added Jong-Dae Lim, Vice President of Material Development Center of Hyundai-Kia R&D Center: "We are proud that our Kia Soul EV has achieved the auto industry’s and the world’s first UL Environmental claim validation for its bio-based organic carbon content for 10% of its interior materials. We will continue our efforts to develop cutting-edge products that satisfy not only the evolving market, but also customer needs.”