There has been much speculation among those in automotive marketing centering on when Kia would offer the 2014 Electric Soul in the United States. For a long time, it has not been a question of “if” but “when,” and now we have much more clarity. This week, Kia Motors confirmed that an all-electric version of the 2014 Soul (known as the Soul EV) will go on sale in US showrooms sometime next year. From all accounts, it appears Kia is poised to unveil a Soul that takes each objection to an electric car head-on.
2014 Electric Kia Soul: Is it just a gimmick?
This will be a very functional car, and will be an integral part of an overall “Clean Mobility” movement for Kia. The 2014 electric Kia Soul EV is expected to have a target range of more than 120 miles, more than enough for the Average Joe to tool around town or get back-and-forth from work.
2014 Electric Kia Soul: What about the battery?
The Soul EV features a 27kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Charging it is simple, because it plugs into any standard outlet, and recharging a fully depleted battery takes just five hours on a standard 240v outlet (or an incredible 25 minutes using a 100kW output).
2014 Electric Kia Soul: Will it have enough power?
The electric motor produces a more-than-ample 210 lbs.-ft. of torque, allowing the driver to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 12 seconds – with a top speed of around 90 mph.Kia Electric Soul
2014 Electric Kia Soul: What will it look like?
The Soul EV will look a lot like the exciting new redesigned “regular” Soul, with a few elements of the Kia Track’ster concept vehicle thrown in. (If you don’t know what the Track’ster looks like, Google it. It’s cool.) Rest assured you’ll know it’s a Soul by its trademark square-shouldered shape. Here’s another great benefit: Along with no engine comes no engine noise! When you add in the special soundproofing materials added to the Soul EV, you have an extraordinarily quiet ride. To offset that, Kia has added pedestrian safety features to ensure they hear it as it comes their way. The Soul EV will emit an audio alert anytime the car is in reverse, or is slowing down to speeds 12 mph and under; this will be known as the Virtual Engine Sound System, or VESS. While the electric Soul EV will be the first all-electric car to come to the states, it is not the first electric Kia production car (the Kia Ray was the initial model, being sold in Korea).