Clean Transport

Published on June 13th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Kia Soul EV Export Production Begins In South Korea

June 13th, 2014 by  


Production of the Kia Soul EV has begun, with 5,000 units of the blocky electric vehicle slated for export. first to Europe, and eventually to America. And while this is the first Kia EV meant for export, it’s actually the South Korean automaker’s second generation of electric vehicles.

The Soul EV will benefit from Kia’s experience with the limited EV market in South Korea, which includes an energy-dense lithium-ion battery good for 132 miles of driving on the European cycle. For comparison, the Nissan Leaf is rated at 124 miles on the European testing cycle, so obviously these ratings are…optimistic, for lack of a better word, though the Kia still holds the advantage. Kia gained that small range advantage by using new, low-energy designs for energy-intensive features like the heat pump and air conditioning systems.

Forward motivation comes from a 109 horsepower electric motor with 210 ft-lbs of torque, though it takes 11.2 seconds for the Soul EV to accelerate from 0 to 62 MPH. That’s…slower than the Prius, and most other EVs on the market right now, to be frank, so Soul EV buyers better not be in much rush. What the Soul EV lacks in speed though, it makes up for in fast charging.

Using a 240 volt Level 2 charger, a fully-depleted Soul EV can be recharged in just 5 hours. When hooked up to a Level 3 fast charger, you can get an 80% charge in as little as 25 minutes, rivaling even the Tesla Model S in terms of recharge speed. Kia also included 10% organic carbon content and about 24 kg of bio-based plastic in the Soul EV, improving its green credentials.  ANd for those who want to leave four wheels behind for some time on the bike trails, Kia also built an electric bike to debut alongside the Soul EV.

The first Kia Soul EV will arrive in Europe later this summer, while America will get it next summer.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Kris Trader

    everyone has missed the boat just look at website for POWER JAPAN PLUS ryden dual carbon battery technology teaming up with TAiSAN racing team for development of battery pack for racing then mass production market

  • Chris_in_Raleigh

    aren’t you comparing apples to oranges when comparing L3 charging speed since the Tesla has a much larger capacity battery?

    also, the 2013 Leaf can L2 charge in 4hrs.

    nice to see the Soul EV is coming though – a sharp-looking vehicle.

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