Clean Transport 2015 Kia Soul EV

Published on September 2nd, 2014 | by Tina Casey


2015 Kia Soul EV Gets Ready To Rumble, Fast-Charging Style

September 2nd, 2014 by  

You’ve seen the dancing sexified hamsters, now check out the new fast-charging network Kia Motors has in the works for its eagerly anticipated 2015 Kia Soul electric vehicle. The Soul EV will be the auto company’s first EV offering in the US and it’s tapping into the as-yet untapped market for an affordable commuter EV.

The new charging stations won’t exactly turn your hamster into a ladyfriend who can bust moves while encumbered by a full hamster mask, but they do include a fast-charge option that takes your 2015 Kia Soul EV battery from 0 to 80 percent charged in about 33 minutes.

2015 Kia Soul EV

2015 Kia Soul (screenshot) via Kia Motors.

How Much Is The 2015 Kia Soul EV?

In terms of pricing, our friends over at Tesla Motors don’t have to worry about competition from the new hamster in town. Kia hasn’t officially announced prices for the 2015 Kia Soul EV but over at Edmunds they’re thinking in the range of high 20’s to low 30’s before tax incentives. The federal incentive alone is $7,500 so when you add in the savings on gas you’re looking at a pretty good deal, but then again, you’re not getting that Tesla magic or, for that matter, its 250+ miles battery range.

What you are getting is a battery range of about 80-100 miles. According to the latest available EPA stats, that’s well within the average comfort zone for passenger vehicles, which comes out around 30 miles daily (11,318 miles yearly).

With the help of the fast-charge option, that also gives you plenty of juice for daytripping.

Dude, Where’s My 2015 Kia Soul EV?

Here’s where it gets nasty for some of you Kia Soul fans out there. The 2015 Kia Soul EV does go on sale this fall as planned, but only in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. The rest of you guys will have to wait.

In case you’re wondering about the select few, the California angle is a no-brainer because it always gets first dibs on all the cool stuff when it comes to zero and low-emission vehicles.

For the EV market, that all trickles up into Oregon, which is already part of the West Coast Electric Highway EV charging network.

The three East Coast states belong to the ZEV Action Plan designed to spur on the EV market in that region, although one of them has been dragging its heels. If you’re guessing New Jersey is that guy, you’re right. Last we heard, the state’s governor (yep, that guy) wasn’t too enthusiastic about the plan (surprise!) so stay tuned.

Fast-Charging Stations For The 2015 Kia Soul EV

Where were we? Oh right, the fast-charging stations for the 2015 Kia Soul EV. In a press release earlier this morning Kia Motors America reminded eager buyers that it is adding 17 new DC fast chargers to California, on top of the 198 fast chargers already available in the state.


The locations include selected dealerships at both ends of the state, which will get this:

…Level 2 240v chargers and ABB’s 50kW Terra 53 CJ DC fast charger, which can charge the Soul EV’s battery from empty to 80 percent in about 33 minutes…

A partnership with Greenlots EZ Charge program lets Soul owners locate charging stations through the Greenlots’ SKY™ network system.

Kia is also eyeballing existing fuel stations and short-term parking for more DC fast chargers.

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • Wayne Williamson

    Saw this advertised on tv(usa) last night. Can’t remember ever seeing another electric car advertised…..

    • danwat1234

      Leaf is advertised somewhat, Volt isn’t at all, neither the Focus EV

      Smart EV is advertised a tiny bit

    • Which state? CA gets a bit of advertising, but not sure how much. Most other states… not so much.

  • Ronald Brakels

    I wish I hadn’t seen the “sexified” hamsters. They are probably a symptom of the underlying reasons why South Korea has one of the lowest percentages of women studying science and engineering in the developed world. It’s only fair to point out that other countries generally had a big head start on Korea in this area, but it’s still not good.

    • TinaCasey

      I’m glad you brought that up. I too have a problem with the dancing sexified hamsters. But, I’m gonna put this one down to a joke within a joke, having something to do with Furries (btw you can buy stripped-down Furry footie PJs for grownups at Target in the ladies nightwear section, I was just there and I saw them for realz). Being somewhat short myself, in the future I do hope that Kia features a short dancing hamster in one of its commercials for the Soul EV. No wait hamsters are all short…in real life…

      • You’re a trip. So funny. 😀

        I just took the hamsters as PG imitation of just about any music video out there these days. you know, trying to make the car seem hip. not to say i condone it, but also hard to tackle multiple unhelpful cultural norms at once and be successful.

  • Adam Devereaux

    It’s great to see car makers coming out with EV versions of existing car designs. I think the early phase, for example with the Leaf, is to make a distinctive car, I think the car companies believe (possibly correctly so) that early adopters want a car that stands out and lets people know they are green.

    Once people can start comparison shopping the EV version of a car they are already looking at we really are in the next stage of EV adoption in my opinion.

    • GCO

      Agreed, as long as the electrified version isn’t an after-thought ending up compromised by the original ICE-only design.
      One such case IMHO is the Focus Electric, with the battery invading its trunk.

      A plug-in hybrid or EV variant is better anticipated from the get-go, as is supposedly the case with the e-Golf and maybe Smart ED… and probably this Soul EV, which has the same interior volume as the gas version.

  • tibi stibi

    33 minutes for 80% of 100 mile car is 80 mile for halve an hour charging.

    good for every day use, but not good enough for travelling long distance. then you need to have a 30 minute break ever 80 mile drive. buttttt we are getting close 🙂

    • Tom Capon

      If this the Kia has any sort of battery cooling system, it will be that much closer. I actually managed to get my Leaf from DC to Boston and back on CHAdeMO stations, but I had to stay overnight in New Jersey to wait for the battery to cool off. Not having a battery cooling system during quick charging limits the Leaf to about 300 miles a day.

    • Steve Grinwis

      So, perhaps you don’t drive clear across the country with it. But you could do a few hundred miles in a day. Remember that you leave home with 100% charge, and you can plan to charge at your destination, so you get your first 80 miles for free.

      Try and plan your trip so you charge during meals.

      It’s not as bad as you think.

      • tibi stibi

        yes sure.

        i do not own a car. i only rent it for going on holiday’s. than i travel around 1400 km in one or two day’s.

        thats only my case, for most people this car is all they need.

        • Kyle Field

          I think this is completely realistic for most city dwellers. In the US, things are more spread out so not having a car isn’t as easy. Still possible for sure, but not without some effort. I personally go hiking a lot so having a vehicle of some sort helps with that. I have a scooter…but am moving away from that for safety reasons (a motorcyclist died in traffic less than 2 mi from my house yesterday 🙁 ).

    • GCO

      Not a big difference I know, but earlier specs mentioned the Soul accepting up to 100 kW on its CHAdeMO inlet, quick-charging in “less than 25 minutes” (charging current tapers off quickly, so most of the charge is done at less than max power). Pretty cool.

      Never seen a 100 kW QC though, only 50 or 60 kW max, so yes, about 3 more miles per minute of charging. You don’t have to stay for the entire half hour if destination (or next QC) is less than say 70 miles away.

  • Kyle Field

    To be competitive (IMO), this needs to come in at mid 20s. If it’s priced higher than the incumbent, non-budget branded Leaf, this will not fly.

    • Agreed.

    • TinaCasey

      But then you would end up with a Leaf and not a Soul. Just sayin’.

    • Marley

      Why do you say that? The Kia has as standard the 3 DC Fast-Charge whereas that is optional on the Leaf, and the Kia has 27 kWh battery vs. a 24 kWh battery in the Leaf.

      • Kyle Field

        A) It’s a Kia. Kia is a budget brand. Nissan is a mainstream brand which carries higher quality expectations, higher value perception from consumers and as such, demands a higher price point.
        B) The Leaf is the incumbent. They have an established reputation and track record in the EV space. Consumers know who they are and have more confidence in their product (approaching it’s 5th model year). Nissan paid (in R&D, advertising, slow sales) to be first to the EV space and that, historically, results in higher market share / dominant position.

        The points you mention are nice and may be differentiating factors but they will also become standard in all EVs in the next round (options for range, charging standardization) and will likely be additions to the Leaf line in 2016.

        • danwat1234

          Kia Soul is less aerodynamic, needs more battery for the same range. Has similar tech as the Leaf, so probably near the same price if not more.

          The key to buying electric cars and plug in hybrids is to buy used

          • Kyle Field

            I agree that it likely costs more to produce as it’s newer and will be at less production volume vs leaf…just saying that it needs a lower price point to be competitive in the current market.

            About the used market…it looks amazing right now (in the US) because of all of the federal / state rebates but it’s kinda tricky. For instance, why would I buy a used Leaf for $20k when I can get a new one for the same price (30k new – 10k rebates)? That’s one market that has yet to stabilize and really to be defined.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Would you buy a low mileage Leaf for $12K?

            Might want to get on one of the large used car sites and check prices.

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