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Kia Details the 120-Mile Electric Soul

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On: Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 1:04PM | By: Chris Weiss

Kia Details the 120-Mile Electric Soul

When it first announced plans to develop a Soul EV, Kia provided little information about the model's build or performance. It's rectified that dearth of information this week, providing some key specs on its first all-electric US model. 

The new electric, which Kia refers to simply as the Soul EV, will come powered by a 109-hp/210 lb-ft motor wired up to a 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer pack. With the help of brake/coast energy regeneration, Kia plans to give the front-wheel-drive Soul a range of more than 120 miles, one of the more robust ranges on the EV market. The Soul EV will offer an acceleration of around 12 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 90 mph.

When it's time to recharge the battery pack, it'll take about five hours from a 240-volt source. A fast 100-kW charger will be able to slice that time down to around 25 minutes.

Thanks to the fact that it's based on the second-generation Soul, the Soul EV will have a very familiar look, which could be interpreted as good or bad depending on your thoughts on the boxy Soul itself. It will be dressed withprojection-type headlamps, LED positioning lamps, LED rear combination lamps, and aerodynamic 16-inch alloy wheels. To keep pedestrians safe, the car will use aVirtual Engine Sound System (VESS), sounding an alert at speeds below 12 mph and when the car is in reverse.

Kia doesn't say whether or not the electric powertrain and its big battery will affect interior space, but it does say that the interior will include a uniqueSupervision instrument cluster and an 8-inch infotainment display in the center stack. To highlight the green design of the car, Kia will trim the interior with a variety of recycled materials, includingBio Plastic, Bio Foam, Bio Fabric and Bio PET Felt.

"The new Soul EV will be at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program, which aims to provide environmentally-friendly vehicles to our customers around the world, when it goes on sale globally next year," said Kia Motors America’s executive director of product planning, Orth Hedrick. "Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea."

Kia doesn't mention when the Soul EV will make its official debut, but given the timing of its announcement, we'll be looking for it at next week’s LA Auto Show. Kia previously said it would provide more details at a major US auto show.


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