Kia Soul EV Creates Electric Storm in the Windy City

Electric Car

Boasts a range of up to 100 miles.

Kia has blown into the windy city this week with the 2015 Soul EV it hopes will grab the attention of environmentally-aware drivers. A two-tone exterior is combined with a unique front fascia that houses an integrated charging port in the grille. Projector beam headlights, LED DRLs, “Eco Electric” badging and 16-inch alloys with Super Low Rolling Resistance tires round off the EV's distinctive exterior features. A 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery powers an electric motor rated at 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque.

0-60 mph is clocked in under 12 seconds, top speed is limited to 90 mph and a single charge offers a range of between 80-100 miles. A fully depleted battery takes 24 hours to recharge using a 120-volt outlet, and less than five hours with 240 volts. The latest version of Kia's regenerative braking system captures up to 12 percent of the car's kinetic energy that's fed back to the battery during coasting and braking. A Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) emits an auditory alert at speeds less than 12 mph and when the car is in reverse.

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What buyers gain in a clear conscience is lost in rear leg room, which has been reduced by 3.1 inches as a result of converting the car to an EV. Cargo space has also been reduced to 541 liters. The interior is, however, nicely finished with cloth seats, blue accent stitching, and comes with a sat-nav, rearview camera, EV-specific climate control system, power driver's seat and a 3.5-inch OLED screen that relays info about the car's energy flow and charging time. The cabin also boasts plenty of green materials such as bio-based plastics derived from sugar cane and cellulose, as well as antibacterial materials to keep it clean.