LOS ANGELES -- Kia is targeting a 120-mile driving range on a single charge for the electric version of its Soul subcompact arriving next year in the United States.
The Soul EV will be Kia’s first electric vehicle sold outside South Korea. For comparison, the Nissan Leaf EV has an EPA-certified driving range of 75 miles. The Soul EV will have a 27 kilowatt-hour lithium ion polymer battery pack powering an electric motor that sends 109 hp and 210 pounds-feet of torque to its front wheels. Kia says the Soul EV’s battery pack can be fully recharged in five hours using a 240-volt outlet.
Kia released some of the Soul EV’s specifications today.
While sibling brand Hyundai is focusing on hydrogen fuel cells as its zero-emission vehicle technology of choice, Kia is betting on battery EVs to help it comply with toughening global emissions standards. That’s despite recent warnings from Kwon Moon-sik, former president of r&d at Hyundai Motor Group, about the high cost and low profitability of battery EVs.
Kwon abruptly resigned amid a string of recent quality problems that have prompted recalls of Hyundai and Kia vehicles around the globe, including the United States, Hyundai Motor Group said today.
Kia says the Soul EV can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in less than 12 seconds and has a top speed of around 90 mph. For pedestrian safety, the Soul EV will emit an artificial engine sound at speeds of less than 12 mph and when the car is in reverse. Other features distinguishing it from its gasoline-powered counterpart will be special 16-inch alloy wheels designed for aerodynamics, the company says, a unique instrument cluster and more eco-friendly interior materials.