Sales of the Kia Soul EV, Model Year 2015, started in the U.S. in October 2014. Adapted from Kia's well known Soul compact "tall wagon," the Soul EV has turned out to be a very popular USA e-mobility choice. It's fun to drive and its boxy shape provides greater cargo-carrying capacity than many other EVs. 60/40 split-folding rear seats offer up to 49.5 cubic feet of cargo space and storage options. The under-floor battery means plenty of interior space for passengers and all your transportables.
The 2020 Sixth Generation Kia Soul EV, with a total range of 243 miles, will be on sale in the near future. It is expected in the 2019 late summer or fall. You can read about it on the Current EV blog. This review is about the 2019 Kia Soul EV:
The 2019 Kia Soul EV comes in two trim selections: the base EV ($33,950 MSRP), and EV Plus ($35,950 MSRP). Both offer generous standard equipment, though the top trim adds some luxurious extras. Both 4-door, 5-seaters use the same 30-kWh battery pack and an electric motor that produces 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. Both are 1-speed automatic, Front Wheel Drive Vehicles.
DC quick charging (A 440V plug on the Soul EV is standard), replenishes 60 miles of range in 1/2 an hour. The vehicle’s battery recharges in 5 hours using a 220V charger and in 24 hours using a 110V household plug.
A practical electric vehicle with a unique style and a fair number of standard features, Soul EV’s EPA-estimated range of 111 miles puts it near the bottom of the EV range ladder. Which is why Kia has dramatically upgraded the vehicle for 2020, giving it a new, state-of-the-art, liquid-cooled Lithium Ion Polymer 64kWh battery that provides a range of 243 miles.
The 2019 Soul EV is eco-friendly; it's the first ever vehicle to receive UL Environment recognition. (UL Environment is a business unit of the prestigious Underwriters laboratories, which provides certification and publishes information about environmentally sustainable product manufacturers.) Nineteen parts of the EV's total interior mass are composed of bio-based materials, earning the Soul EV the first and only UL environmental claim validation. Interior parts use paint that's free from harmful chemicals like benzene, so that the air passengers breathe stays cleaner. And the car's earth-friendly plastics are made from plant-based materials like sugar cane and corn, all validated by UL Environment. The front dual-density foam seats are comfortable.
Tall drivers like the Soul EV's lower seat cushions, which provide additional headroom. The EV's height and upright stance make it exceptionally easy to get in and out of: an attribute that six footers are keen to find. There's plenty of head room and leg room, but three adults sitting in the back will feel slightly cramped – Kia says it's a 5-person car, but it's really a 4-person car.
Soul EV is packed with lots of Next-Level Tech, including an an Organic LED (OLED) 3.5-inch display to the climate-control technologies that maximize driving range, and a free smartphone UVO eco app which provides battery-status alerts, adjusts in-car climate and schedules charging hours. Soul EV's 8-inch command center provides real-time data, finds charging stations. Via a compatible iPhone it will connect you to Apple Carplay™. Smart active safety systems, such as Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and the Brake Assist System (BAS), work automatically by sensing and adapting to your driving conditions. The Traction Control System (TCS) assists in avoiding wheel spin when you accelerate. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) helps you stay on course with improved stability. Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) offers increased steering control. When you decelerate or go downhill, the regenerative braking system recovers kinetic energy via friction that would be otherwise be lost. This energy goes directly to recharging the battery.
Car and Driver reviewers say: "The funky Soul EV appeals to the eco-friendly, keeps the utility of the gas-powered Soul, and adds a host of tech features to please even the geekiest hamsters."
When the Kia Soul EV was introduced in 2014,100 miles of electric range was new, unique and respectable. Fast-forwarding five years, to today, the Soul EV’s top electric range of 111 miles lags behind most of the competition.
Says Autotrader.com: “In the 2019 Kia Soul EV Opens a New Window. , you'll find a cute, capable small hatchback loaded with all the same great features and fun-to-drive flair of the standard Soul Opens a New Window. , but running solely on electric power and producing zero emissions. With a 110-mile range per charge, the Soul EV makes an ideal commuter car, more versatile and funky than a Nissan Leaf Opens a New Window. or a Volkswagen e-Golf Opens a New Window. , and with a better standard warranty, to boot.”
As a clean alternative fuel vehicle, the Soul EV is eligible for a High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) decal. The car is eligible for a California State Rebate check of $2500 and a Federal Government Tax credit of $7500. A Current EV representative can explain how you can obtain these incentives.
Rewritten July 2019
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.