Kia Motors has begun volume production of its new all-electric Kia Soul EV for export sales. A landmark in Kia’s history, the zero-emissions Soul EV is Kia’s first electric vehicle to be marketed by the company outside Korea.
The first vehicles off the production line are destined for select European countries and are scheduled to go on sale across the continent during the second half of the year. The Soul EV is manufactured at Kia’s Gwangju facility in Korea, where annual output of the electric car is initially planned to reach 5,000 units.
Embodying the iconic design language of the second-generation Kia Soul, the Soul EV is a uniquely designed battery electric vehicle perfectly suited for city commuters. Featuring a high-capacity 192-cell 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 212 km of the Soul EV’s drive range is now certified for Europe. Power comes from an 81.4 kW (110 ps) electric motor, producing instantly available 285 Nm (29 kgm) of torque, driving the front wheels via a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. Ensuring that the Soul EV retains all the ‘fun-to-drive’ character of the regular Soul, rapid acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) is predicted to take 11.2 seconds, while top speed is in the region of 145 kph (90 mph). The battery pack is mounted beneath the cabin, ensuring a low center of gravity and contributing to the car’s accomplished ride, handling and refinement.
Charging is accomplished by plugging the Soul EV into any standard household electricity supply. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a 6.6 kW AC slow charger. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in as little as 25 minutes with a 100 kW charger (if available) or 33 minutes using a 50 kW DC charger.