johnnloki
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:06 am

2016 Soul EV: Do you say a Good Buy? Or a Goodbye?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:29 am

Currently own a 2004 Golf TDI (for 14 years), a 2016 Golf GTI (for 2.5 years) and a 2012 Chevy Volt (for 3.5 years).

TDI has been bulletproof, but it's definitely a 16 year old car. Lots of "Personality". She's now the winter ride.
GTI is great fun, but thirsty.
The Volt is great, if it weren't for the Chevy Quality. Battery doesn't really degrade, but something goes wrong every 9 months or so that stops the car from charging, or the engine from operating properly. A year back the motor mount broke... dealership says "Oh yeah, that's a common failure point on earlier 2010s Chevys".... da hell? The connection of the motor to the car fails.... commonly? Chevy gonna chevy, I guess.

We love owning an EV. The cost per mile driven, if it were a car that actually has the EV reliability as advertised, would be great.

Anyway, we're nearing the end of our Voltec warranty period, and aren't looking forward to owning the volt outside of the warranty, due to the every 9 month "Oh Right, I'm a Chevy.... CLUNK!!!!" pattern. We're loving the EV aspect of the car, but aren't sure what to buy next. We were originally thinking a Soul EV, but all these stories of degradation are pushing me away from KIA. 2020 Kia/Hyundai look great and all, but it's not in the budget, especially if there's issues with degradation.

As I understand it, EV batteries are just like cell phone batteries, in that, if you keep their SOC between 20 and 70% generally, they tend not to degrade. Go ahead and charge it right up to 100 when you know you'll need that extra range, but try to avoid it when you can. So then, the true daily range of an EV is usually 50% of stated range.... and if you live where there's a real winter, and you drive on the Highway (I am a yes to both of those) then true daily range is actually 33% of the stated advertised range.

Is this charging methodology common for these cars with consistently dying batteries? I am starting to lean towards an off lease Prius Prime with all the stories of battery problems that I'm seeing.

notfred
Posts: 403
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: 2016 Soul EV: Do you say a Good Buy? Or a Goodbye?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:13 am

You are always going to see the problem posts, and the owners who are happy busy driving rather than posting about it.

I got my 2016 in September 2015 and I usually charge to 80% rather than 100%. There are a couple of days when I have to go out in the evening across town that I will charge to 100%. Last time I checked, my SOH was registering 96%.

I would be wary of highway commutes - you need to keep the speed down (105kph max) as the Soul is as aerodynamic as a brick and higher speeds use a lot more battery power. Occasional highway use is fine - one of my weekly trips across town is on the highway.

Yes winter causes a range hit - about 1/3 in my case, but the advantage is that the battery is being kept nice and cool.

johnnloki
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:06 am

Re: 2016 Soul EV: Do you say a Good Buy? Or a Goodbye?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:43 pm

I have been around car forums for a while, and in general, the most vocal group online are definitely either going to be the enthusiasts of a brand singing the praises, or those having significant issues.

Of course, highway mileage in an EV is always going to be worse than city mileage, but a drag coefficient of .35 isn't abysmal, and neither is 30 or 31 MPG highway in the petrol powered 2016 Soul. Not great, but not apocalyptic.

The early Leafs all have range anxiety fuelled range issues and problems, many of them are associated with people not understanding how to keep a rechargeable battery healthy (i.e., with many needing say only 30% of KWH capacity for their commute, but still charging it from 70% up to 100% every single night, unplugging it to go to the store, using 4% charge, plugging it back in, etc.) This was the early leafs, and the early EV owners. I had hoped that this common theme would go away.

My cousin owns a 2015 (I think) Soul EV and doesn't recommend ownership, but did not follow my advice on charging maintenance.

I understand that this is commonplace for those who do not research, but it seems that when I look around, very few people say "I have owned my ___________ EV for 5 or 6 years, and it has only lost 5 to 10% of total capacity." That is with the exception of the Volts (where the owner gets access only to charge capacity of between 10-80%) and the Tesla S60s, that are actually software locked 75 kwhs.

The Niro EV is probably what I'd most like, but I really need to see more examples of Korean EV owners who are fully satisfied with their cars. (We almost bought the Niro hybrid instead of the GTI, but it was missing just a bit of oomph to get onto the highway.... I always said that if you could make the Niro drive like the Volt, it'd be a no brainer... but nobody really bought the Niro PHEV and very few were made, unfortunately, and there are none on the used market)

jray3
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:42 pm

Re: 2016 Soul EV: Do you say a Good Buy? Or a Goodbye?

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:02 pm

I will be a good test case for your good buy, as I'm entering my second month of 2016 SOUL EV ownership, purchased off-lease with 24k miles. My first modern EV (I have several antiques and converted EVs) was a 2012 Mitsubishi I-MiEV that didn't exceed 20% degradation until after 100,000 miles (with one onboard charger failure, and zero other problems). As my daily i-MiEV use averaged 48 miles on a 62 mile rated vehicle, or 77% discharge, reaching 20% degradation crimped my style, and I replaced the battery with a low mileage collision-salvage unit at 106,000 miles. That i-MiEV is happily running with full range now in spousal use, as a new job brought me a minimum round trip commute of 150 miles four days per week, which is basically eight 80% discharges per week, plus a few shallower discharges, or at least 30,000 miles per year. I fully recharge at work, at home, and DCFC on occasion. I'm optimistic that the SOUL EV will fulfill this mission at least until 100,000 miles, or to 2022, and am keeping an eye open for 30 kWh salvage batteries. I am experimenting with winter heating techniques and am building 4 kWh supplemental battery modules for range extension. (Salvaged LEAF modules to be sacrificially deep cycled daily, reducing the SOUL depth of discharge.)

The key to EV success is to live within your budget and balance the variables. If your cell phone never runs out of charge, you have the requisite qualities, and neither will your EV.

BTW, I hadn't followed the Volt closely, being untrusting of GM quality in 2011 and unwilling to pay the dealers' $12k second sticker, but had read that the VOLT was GM's most reliable vehicle, ever, bar none. Do you think that your declining reliability is typical?

AnOnyMzB
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: 2016 Soul EV: Do you say a Good Buy? Or a Goodbye?

Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:57 am

The key factor is how you drive and where you drive. I got my 2016 Soul EV, brand new in November 2015. I drove at freeway speeds (65+mph) in the HOV Lanes daily, 70 miles round-trip (no traffic in HOV Lanes). Charged the battery to 100% daily (because I needed the full charge for my daily commute). By the time I was getting home, I was lucky to be in the high 30% battery range. By early 2018, I already had significant enough battery degradation that Kia authorized at warranty battery replacement.
Since then, because of California laws, I've lost HOV access and sit in slow moving stop and go traffic, daily, for 70 miles round-trip. Rarely get to even 65mph. Plus I've learned to better control my acceleration and better use the regenerative braking. My drive is still 70 miles. I still charge to 100% everyday, but I'm coming home to nearly 50% battery range. Since the battery replacement and my commute and style changes, I've not noticed ANY reduction in battery capacity. In fact, it appears to be doing better than ever.

johnnloki
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:06 am

Re: 2016 Soul EV: Do you say a Good Buy? Or a Goodbye?

Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:57 am

Always been a Honda Toyota and VW household. Never domestic, and never again.

Ultimately a 5 year old Chevy Volt is still a 5 year old Chevy. They just aren't built to last. The dealerships around me with Volt cert techs don't speak highly of them, and their voltec techs are generally busy.

I think PHEV is probably the ideal solution for most people, and am sad to see that the best selling phev isn't being improved on, and isn't even being made anymore. 2nd best selling phev option is probably the i3, but their battery/motor interaction management is ridiculous and runs it down and keeps it charging at near empty, really punishing the battery and degrading it, with a relatively low ev range that requires a full charge. Bad long term owned vehicle. Mitsu Outlander PHEV? I dunno....

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