Kia’s quirky Soul SUV just got a little quirkier, no make that a lot quirkier with the release of an electric version.
Unveiled in the United States where the Soul is a much bigger deal than here, the new Soul EV has a state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery which is expected to mean much less need for daily charging, and with Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge as standard equipment, battery refills should be brief so road trip fun can happily continue after only a short break.
The new battery is currently being tested to ascertain precise EPA-estimated range.
Results are expected early in 2019 and will be announced at a later date.
Kia engineers and designers have thought of everything.
Every Soul EV includes a suite of “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, and a long list of standard and optional equipment, highlights of which are listed below.
New for Soul EV is a revamped UVO telematics system that allows owners to monitor and control a long list of vehicle operations, including:
- Notifications of battery and charging status
- Real-time charging station update
- Scheduled charging
- Panic notifications – the vehicle will send a notification to the server if the panic alarm is triggered and the system dials 911 emergency services, provides the car position via GPS, and opens a live microphone so that emergency workers can communicate with the vehicle occupants
- “Send2Car” points of interest (POI) and waypoints — owners will be able to plan a road trip with waypoints and send it to the vehicles’ navigation system
Built at the Gwangju plant in Korea, the Soul EV is expected to go on sale next year.
Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
Buyers can choose from two trims, the Soul EV and the Soul EV Designer Collection.
Supporting its super-fancy sounding name, the Designer Collection model gets all the Soul EV goodies, plus a whole lot more, including:
- Two-tone paint: Gravity Grey with a Platinum Gold roof; Cherry Black with an Inferno Red roof; and Neptune Blue with a Cherry Black roof
- Power-folding gloss-black heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors with signal repeater
- 10-speaker Harman-Kardon premium audio with external amplifier
- Wireless phone charger
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Heated front seats with Sofino premium non-animal seating upholstery
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror
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