Kia testing all-electric Soul


Kia Motors confirmed an all-electric version of the Soul is scheduled to go on sale during the second half of 2014.

Boasting a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and a single-charge range of 200 km, the Kia Soul EV will be Kia's first electrically-driven, zero-emissions family car marketed outside Korea.

Canadian reps have said it is too early to discuss things like pricing and availability.

The front-wheel drive Soul EV prototype test cars are built on modified versions of the 2014 Kia Soul and are powered by an 81.4 kW electric motor.

“The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit,” the automaker said in a release. “Thanks to instantly available torque, the electric drivetrain will ensure that the Soul EV is a fun-to-drive vehicle with rapid acceleration (standstill to 100 km/h is predicted to take less than 12 seconds) and a top speed in the region of 145 km/h.”

The plug-in model can be recharged through standard household electricity supply. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 240v or 230v household outlet, or 25 minutes on fast charge with 100 kW output.

A fleet of disguised prototypes of the new Soul EV is currently undertaking an intensive test program at Kia's Namyang R&D facility in Korea, as well as in Europe and North America. Manufacturing of customer cars is set to begin in 2014.