Kia Soul EV In Charge at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

The South Korean car brand that starts with a “K” unveiled the electric version of its popular Soul today.

Initially, the car will be sold in the stereotypical electric car markets: California, Oregon as well as several across the east coast including New York New Jersey and Maryland. After that, the company says it might offer the car in more parts of the U.S. as charging infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing isn’t announced, and won’t be until closer to the car’s launch in the third quarter of this uyear. How’s that for non-committal?

But the brand is offering a long list of details on the car, even if the most important aspects are unannounced. For example, the 27kWh batter pack is supposed to deliver between 80 and 100 miles of real-world range. Kia even boasted today that in its internal tests, it managed to beat the 100-mile figure. Like other EVs, it uses regenerative braking with variable modes for more or less aggressive braking and subsequent charging.

2014 Chicago Auto Show Complete Coverage

Speaking on charging: an AC level one and level two charge port are both standard with the provision for DC fast charging as well. The car plugs in via a hidden port in the grille and takes up to 24 hours to charge if fully depleted and plugged in to a standard 120-volt outlet. If you have a 240-volt outlet, that time sinks to as little as five hours. Kia also said the car can recoup up to 80 percent of its charge in 33 minutes if plugged into a robust 50kW-output charger.

The electric powertrain makes 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t particularly potent as these systems go. Lumbering to 60 mph takes less than 12 seconds, but probably not by much because Kia didn’t give exact figures. That probably means it’s something like 11.99 seconds. Top speed is limited to 90 mph.

Kia located the flat battery pack underneath the floor in an effort to minimize cabin intrusion. The rear seats sacrifice 3.1 inches of legroom and you’ll lose roughly five cubic feet of cargo capacity in exchange for “going green.”

Finally, the car comes with a host of cosmetic changes including a larger grille to accommodate the charge ports as well as special paint colors. The cabin also features stylistic changes and offers EV-specific apps for he standard eight-inch touch screen to help drivers locate charging stations.

GALLERY: 2015 Kia Soul EV

Discuss this story at our Kia Soul forum.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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  • Danwat1234 Danwat1234 on Feb 07, 2014

    Should come with a bit more HP, otherwise it may be a bit slower than a Leaf. Great that another EV is entering the market

  • HappySoulOwner HappySoulOwner on Feb 07, 2014

    OMC! (Oh my cat) but this is exciting news. Our next car will be electric - hybird (maybe a combo) & we sure want it to be a SOUL. We are very happy with our 2012 Soul Plus. If it had electric adjustable seats I would be in heaven. The room inside more than makes up for any little aggravations and we get so many "What kind of car is you like it...what about mileage?" Our car is a Moss Green and she's a beauty (not being shy or anything, we just really really like her.)