Electric vehicles (EVs) are the latest trend in automotive production. EVs are great eco-friendly cars for the modern-minded, environmentally conscious person. The largest category of people who drive an EV are commuters. They use their car to drive to their workplace almost every day and want to minimize their carbon footprint. With the spreading of (fast) charging stations more and more people see the EV as a serious option. Which electric vehicle would we recommend? Among others the Kia Soul EV would be a good choice. Whereas most EVs are sedans, the 2016 Kia Soul EV is more the crossover type and this so happens to be the mostly sold type of vehicle.
The 2016 Kia Soul EV is actually an exact version of the regular Kia Soul in terms of looks. The quirky box-shape is familiar from the earlier Kia Soul. This is an economy car that actually looks like fun to drive! For 2016 the Soul is updated with more glass and larger windows. The front of the car has changed into a larger grille, behind which the electric socket hides on the EV. The lower air vents have disappeared into the front bumper and create a calmer look.
The overall shape of the 2016 Kia Soul EV is equal to that of the regular Kia Soul. Different from the regular Kia Soul are the available colours, which can either be uniform or three options for a contrasting roof and mirrors. Also different from the regular Soul are the wheels, which definitely look a lot more fresh.
The freshness of the exterior seeps through to the inside of the 2016 Kia Soul EV. Unlike the regular Soul, the whole interior is a light shade of taupe with a few lovely touches of white. The 8 centre-console with the 9 inch LCD-screen looks like one found in a concept car, it’s just right.
Leg room in the rear seat is a bit less than that of the regular Kia Soul. The car’s battery has been positioned in the floor of the car, so this doesn’t account for more space loss. The rear seats are possible to lay down completely for more cargo space.
With the Sun & Fun Package the ecocar Soul EV will come with a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting, and speaker lights that pulse to the beats of the six-speaker audio system.
The electric motor in the 2016 Kia Soul EV can make up to 109 horsepower. The battery is a 27 kWh lithium ion polymer one, one of the best in its category. The Kia Soul has accurate statistics regarding the battery percentage. It can drive for about 130 to 145 kilometers (80 to 90 miles) before needing a recharge. The transmission is a single-speed front-wheel driven, which is usual in electric vehicles.
Recharging can be done through a level 1, level 2 or a CHadeMo DC fast-charging port. Charging time is about 24 hours on a 120-volt outlet, 4 to 5 hours with 240 volts, and about 30 minutes to get to 80 percent at a public DC fast-charge station.
The 2016 Kia Soul EV comes equipped standard with navigation, a rear view camera, Bluetooth and UVO EV services. This app monitors the battery percentage, the distance-to-discharged, checks the charging status and can search for nearby charging stations. The air conditioning of the Soul EV can be remotely switched on by the UVO EV Services app.
The braking and air conditioning system has been designed so that as little as possible energy is taken from the battery. It’s also able to return unused energy to the battery to minimize the impact it has on the battery life.
The 2016 Kia Soul EV is very silent, because of this the car makes a sound to alert pedestrians that there is a car close to them. The sound is emitted when the car goes slower than 20 kmh (10 mph).
The price of the 2016 Kia Soul EV starts at $31,000 before tax incentives (a maximum of $7,500 deduction on income tax) and is available for sale in the states of California, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Georgia.
Finally, the European price of the Kia Soul EV starts around €30,000, depending on which country the car will be bought.