We might already be familiar with the funky-looking Kia Soul, a compact crossover, but what about in an all-electric version?
Regarding electric vehicles, Kia hasn’t been sitting on its haunches, like some other companies, and the results were just shown at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Now, the 2015 Kia Soul EV isn’t being set up as competition for the Tesla Model X, but might it compete with the Nissan Leaf? Of course, the Nissan Leaf is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, but what if someone is looking for something that’s a little bit different than an electric hatchback.
The 2015 Kia Soul EV could be the answer to that question. Different styling in a crossover package, as well as pure electric drive, what could be finer? The specifications are pretty encouraging, pairing a 27 kWh battery with an 81 kW electric motor, giving a maximum range of up to 100 miles. According to Kia, the lithium-polymer battery they’re using is the best in the business, packing 200 Wh/kg.
What might prove to be disappointing, at least to some, would be it’s less-than-stellar top speed and acceleration. Additionally, slow charging times, between 5 and 24 hours (LI or LII), is particularly restrictive, unless you can access a 50 kW CHAdeMO fast-charger, which can give about 80% charge in thirty minutes. On the other hand, as basic electric vehicle transportation in a crossover SUV package, which doesn’t exist outside of the $50,000 Toyota RAV4 EV, the 2015 Kia Soul looks promising.
Speaking of money, probably the one impressive thing about the 2015 Kia Soul will be price, which won’t be announced until much further to official launching. Still, the package, non-EV versions starting at just under $15,000, and powertrain specifications are telling me that it might cost even less than the Nissan Leaf!
Image © Kia