Kia has jumped onto the eco-bandwagon with a good little car in the form of the 2015 Kia Soul EV. It’s just different enough visually to distinguish it from its gasoline powered counterpart, and its considerable range makes it an attractive option for those with a slightly longer commute.
The Soul EV is powered by an electric motor, knocking out a tame 109 hp but a whopping 210 lb/ft of torque. Power goes to the front wheels via a 1-speed automatic transmission. EPA driving range is 93 miles per charge and it gets 120mpg-e in the city, 92 mpg-e on the highway, and 105 mpg-e combined.
The Soul EV can reach an 80% charge in just over half hour using a Level 3 charger. A 240-volt Level 2 home charger will produce a full charge in 4-5 hours. Those who don’t readily have access to either of these options, like this reviewer, will wait up to 24 hours for a full charge using a regular household outlet.
The Soul EV differs just enough from the gas powered Soul, and those buyers looking to wear their environmentalism on their sleeve should be satisfied. The little toaster hatch gets some more aerodynamic lines and since a grill isn’t really necessary in an EV, it’s replaced by the charging port. The wheels are flat, and the front fascia is unique to the EV.
I had the Soul EV for a very short time, and was only able to drive it in the city. City driving often requires darting in and out of short stopping taxi cabs, lumbering trucks, and careless pedestrians. Fortunately the Soul EV’s 210 lb/ft of torque make these tasks a breeze. The regenerative brakes still bite down a little too quickly, but it’s not as bad as in other EVs and is to be expected.
Of course, just because you have a range of 93 miles doesn’t mean you’ll actually be able to drive 93 miles on a single charge. During my day in the Soul EV I drove less than 30 mph and did not floor it off the line or participate in any other shenanigans. Still I saw a range decrease of 29 miles after driving only 19.9 miles.
Currently the Kia Soul EV is only available in California. Starting at $33,700, with federal and state credits ($7,500 and $2,500 respectively) the 2015 Kia Soul EV can be yours for $23,700.
I hope to get this little guy for longer so I can give it a full review, but in the meantime, check out TFLcar’s More Than Everything You Wanted to Know video of the 2015 Kia Soul EV.