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5000th Kia Soul EV sold worldwide

Over the summer, Kia sold its 5000th Soul Electric Vehicle, and by the end of August 2015, sales were at 5,399 worldwide!

Kia Soul EV looks similar to standard kia soul

The Soul EV has been in production for about 1 year, and is sold mainly in a few countries.

Through the end of August 2015, here are the numbers for the different countries:

  • South Korea had 1,777 sold
  • Germany had 1099 registered in 2015
  • 981 were sold in the USA
  • Some estimate another 1000 or so were sold to Norway

August 2015 was a record breaking sales month with 676 Kia Soul Electric Vehicles sold worldwide.

The Kia Soul EV is currently on sale in 5 states, and Kia Motors USA has said that by the end of the 4th quarter of 2015, the Soul electric vehicle will be available in these 10 US states:

California
Georgia
Texas
Oregon
Washington
Hawaii
New Jersey
New York
Connecticut
Maryland

With a 26 kWh lithium ion battery pack and class-leading energy density, the Soul EV has received rave reviews and looks like it will continue to sell well into 2016.

Kia accelerates roll-out plan for Soul EV

Originally, the Kia Soul EV went on sale in California in October 2014 with Oregon and some East Coast markets to follow. However, stronger than expected demand has caused Kia to want to scale up production faster than their factories can handle.

“For the next stage, we were originally planning on hitting the east coast, but we are changing that around a little bit. You’ll see more availability,” is what Orth Hedrick, VP or product planning told AutoblogGreen in February. Continue reading

Kia starts installing 100 kW CHAdeMO chargers in Europe

kia soul ev 100kw fast charger

Ahead of the fall launch of the Kia Soul EV in 14 European countries, Kia recently installed two 100 kW DC fast chargers at its European headquarters in Frankfurt.

With a 100 kW charger, the 27 kWh Soul electric vehicle’s battery pack can be charger from empty to 80% in as little as 25 minutes.

“Following the installation of the new 100 kW DC chargers at the brand’s European headquarters, Kia plans to roll out a network of 233 charging stations across its Soul EV retailers and national sales organisations’ headquarters in Europe. This is in addition to the existing network of 140 EV charging stations already installed at various Kia distributors and dealers, giving consumers access to a total of 373 Kia charging stations. This is part of a wider plan from Kia to install a robust charging network around the world, as the Soul EV is to be sold globally.”

Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, Michael Cole, said these are the first chargers in the region to offer so much power, and will “help make the Soul EV a viable option for consumers when it goes on sale.” He went on to say that Kia sees battery electric vehicles as a key solution for future mobility and Kia will continue to invest in the technology.

WIth class leading battery pack energy density of 200 Wh/kd, the Kia Soul EV has a 27 kWh battery pack that is good for a range of up to 212 km (still waiting for official test ratings from the EPA in the USA, but Kia has said all along it is targeting the 80-100 mile range).

2015 Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV gets EPA rating

The Kia Soul EV has received its official EPA ratings. The all-electric range is 93 miles – putting it higher than the Nissan LEAF’s 84 miles, the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive’s 87 miles, and the BMW i3’s 81 miles.

Interestingly, in the city, the Soul electric vehicle’s city range is 103.6 miles, which puts is on par with the Rav 4 EV that is rated at 107 miles in the city.

Overall efficiency is rated at 105 MPGe, with 120 MPGe in the city and 92 MPGe on the highway.

Soul EV EPA Ratings

kia soul ev black and red

Kia Soul EV sells 121 electric vehicles in South Korea so far this year

According to recent reports around the internet, the Kia Soul EV went on sale in May 2014. To no one’s surprise, the Soul EV is already selling more than the 2 year old Kia Ray EV.

In May 2014, Kia sold 38 Soul electric vehicles. Compare that to the 83 Ray electric vehicles sold during the first 4 months of the year.

On June 12, Kia started producing the Soul electric vehicle for export to select European countries where sales are scheduled to begin in the second half of 2014. US sales are slated for the third quarter of 2014 as a 2015 model year.

Kia Soul EV battery details released

As we near the 3rd quarter release of the 2014 Kia Soul EV, Kia is released more details on its first electric vehicle.

Today, Kia issued a press release describing the ‘advanced battery pack’ that is supplied by SK Innovation. The lithium-ion polymer battery pack has a total energy capacity of 27 kWh, and a class leading energy density of 200 Wh/kw.

2014 kia soul ev advanced battery pack

The 192 lithium-ion polymer battery cells are divided into 8 modules, and with state of the art thermal control technology, the pack maintains individual cells at optimum temperatures.

The cathode material Kia is using is nickel-rich nickel-cobalt-manganese.

Recharge time is around 25 minutes with a 100 kW DC quick charger, with a full recharge taking up to 5 hours.

Using a special electrolyte additive, the Soul EV will be able to prevent degradation of battery performance in both high and low temperatures. An on-board battery heater can pre-warm the pack in cold temperatures to help maintain optimum battery performance regardless of outside temperatures.

Kia claims the Soul EV will have a driving range of around 200km. Range is given in kilometers likely because the Kia Soul EV will receive it’s European reveal at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show on March 4th. Sales to the UK and European markets are scheduled for Fall 2014.

The Soul EV will initially be sold in Oregon, California, and several eastern stats. Kia plans to offer the vehicle in other markets “in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow.”

Still no pricing for the Soul EV, with Kia saying it will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.

Is the Kia Soul EV another compliance electric vehicle?

At the Chicago Auto Show last week, GreenCarReports.com had a chance to sit down with 3 Kia executives and discuss, and have their questions answered about, the 2015 Kia Soul EV.

2015 KIA Soul Electric Vehicle

Orth Hedrick, Kia’s vice president of product planning, Stephen Kosowski, manager of long-range strategy and planning as well as product lead for the Soul EV, and James Hope, who is Kia’s national manager for product communications were all part of the interview.

We will support it, it will be part of the Kia Soul family, and we think it’ll be a success if our dealers can reach the buyers–if we can get them engaged–in key markets.

Kia has been watching the electric vehicle marketplace for a while, and when lease prices suddenly came down in California last year, Kia decided it was time to provide it’s own electric vehicle offering. Since the Kia Executives mentioned the California market specifically, we can’t help but think they were keeping their eye on that state specifically. Due to CARB requirements, and taking into account the volume of vehicles Kia sells worldwide, the automaker won’t become subject to California’s zero-emissions mandate until 2018.

When GreenCarReports specifically asked if the Soul Electric Vehicle was a compliance car, Orth Hendrick simply responded “We’re very interested in the car succeeding,” and declined to comment on sales volume targets for Kia’s first EV.

For the full interview, visit Green Car Reports

2015 kia soul ev chicago

Kia Soul EV world premiere at Chicago Auto Show

Today Kia unveiled the production-ready Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Along with some updated and confirmed specs, we also get a good look at the production version of the Soul electric vehicle (even though the spyshots from earlier this week were pretty good too).

The Soul EV is powered by an 81 Kw electric motor that produces 109 horsepower and 210 lb-feet of torque. Kia says the 0-60 mph time is less than 12 seconds – not very awe inspiring, but should end up to be quite frugal on the electrons. The top speed is electronically limited to 90 mph.

Kia has chosen to partner with 3 EVSE providers – Bosch, Leviton, and AeroVironment to offer a wide range of options for customers. A 240-volt Level 2 EV charger will recharge the 27 kWh lithium ion battery pack in under 5 hours. Using the CHAdeMO enabled on-board charger and a high current CHAdeMO station, an 80% re-charge can be achieved in around 33 minutes.

The electric Soul looks very similar to the gasoline Soul, except for the closed off front grill and the more aerodynamic front bumper design.

kia soul ev spy photo angry dude

Kia Soul EV production model spy photos

kia soul ev spy photo angry dudePhotographer Chris Doane caught a Soul EV out and about just days before a scheduled on-stage reveal at the Chicago Auto Show. From the pictures, we can see the EV version of Kia’s popular model will have a closed off nose that is larger than the grille on the standard model. In addition to special badges on the side of the vehicle (which may be an option on the final production run), the Kia Soul EV also has slightly modified tail lights and a new wheel design.

Photos are from Autoblog.com, credit of Chris Doane Automotive. From the look of it, the guys in the Kia Soul EV weren’t too happy about pictures of it getting out before the auto show!