By Robert Nichols
The first all-electric Kia to be offered to Canadians has been declared the Motoring TV’s 2015 ‘Best Electric Car’.
“It has more than acceptable range and does not sacrifice flexibility to be green,” said Graeme Fletcher of Motorin TV. “Unlike so many electric cars the Soul EV’s range is real and not something based on theory. I drove a Soul EV for 162 kilometres and it still had 25% left in the battery at the end of the drive.”
The Soul EV offers all of the utility of its gas-powered sibling and has a long list of standard amenities including: an eight-inch touchscreen with voice activated navigation, a 6.6kW on-board charger, a 120V AC charging cable, rear Camera display, power windows and driver’s seat, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, pedestrian warning system, heated steering wheel and dual-zone climate control. The list of standard equipment keeps going, and is impressive.
The interior dimensions remain the same as the gasoline powered version, making the Soul EV one of the roomiest in the class. The only loss is 3.1 inches of rear legroom, due to the battery. Keeping with the “Green Theme”, Kia opted to use various new materials such as 10% of bio-based plastic and anti-bacterial substances. What’s more, they even incorporated five newly developed eco-friendly materials, including cellulose-based plastic and thermoplastic elastomer fabric.
The electric motor produces 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque which is directed to the front wheels through a 1-speed gear reduction.
Recharging times will range anywhere from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery when using a standard 120v outlet to under five hours when plugged into a 240v outlet. When needed, owners can attain an 80-percent charge from empty in 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output DC fast charger.
The base Kia Soul EV has an MSRP of $34,995.