Although Kia may be a little late to the EV party with its electrified 2014 Kia Soul, the brand has taken an early lead in the mainstream range battle for the next calendar year: The new Soul EV is targeting an all-electric, zero-emissions driving capability of more than 120 miles on a single charge, backed by a 27-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that can be juiced up in as little as 25 minutes with a 100-kW “fast” charger. Of course, the 2014 Kia Soul EV offers a nice charging advantage even with a traditional 240-volt outlet, which can top off a fully depleted Soul battery in about five hours.
In terms of output, the 2014 Kia Soul EV will leverage the instant-on nature of electric torque for some 210 lb.-ft. of twist—58 more than offered by the Soul’s biggest gas engine—while also harnessing 109 hp from its electric motor. Those marks are expected to translate into a 0-60 time of noticeably under 12 seconds, complemented by the ability to reach about 90 mph on the open road. Further distinguishing the 2014 Kia Soul EV will be:
- Kia’s Virtual Engine Sound System, which provides audible alerts so pedestrians can take note of the quiet-running car at low speeds and in reverse
- Premium illumination, with projector-type headlamps and LED exterior accent lights
- The SuperVision display system, encompassing the car’s instrument cluster, center stack, and 8-inch screen
- Plenty of interior components and trim made from recycled materials
Kia will continue to come clean in other ways, too, as explained by Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning for Kia Motors America: “The new Soul EV will be at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program, which aims to provide environmentally-friendly vehicles to our customers around the world, when it goes on sale globally next year. Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea.”