Kia’s new electric Soul has gone on sale in the UK, priced from £24,995 after a government grant of £5,000.
That places it £3,445 above the price of the range-topping model of the existing combustion Soul range, with the Soul 1.6 CRDi Maxx priced at £21,550.
Despite being one of the least aerodynamic electric cars we’ve yet seen, Kia says its new battery-powered crossover can deliver a range of 132 miles per charge – 8 miles more than the official range of rival model, the Nissan LEAF.
Developed in co-operation with SK Innovations, the Soul EV’s 27kWh lithium-ion polymer batteries are a high energy density solution, delivering 200 watt-hours per kilogram of weight, helping it to deliver that outstanding range.
The Soul EV is also spritely for its vehicle class, with its electric motor developing 81.4 kilowatts – the equivalent of 109bhp in a combustion-engined model – with 285 Nm of torque available immediately upon drive-away.
That gives the car a 0-60mph time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 90mph, comparable with the rest of the Soul range.
Recharging takes 10-13 hours for a full charge from a standard UK domestic supply although this can be reduced using a branded wallbox which comes with the Soul EV as standard.
The Soul EV can also be rapid charged in 30 minutes to 80 per cent battery capacity.
To fit in a new battery drivetrain beneath the floor, Kia has slightly compromised the rear-seat legroom by 80mm and lost 31 litres of boot space, bringing its total luggage capacity to 281 litres.
The Soul EV is well equipped though with standard equipment including eight-inch touch-screen with European mapping, reversing camera and charging point locator, automatic air conditioning with the driver-only function, heated front seats, a smart key with a motor start-stop button, projection headlights with LED daytime running lamps, privacy glass on the rear windows and tailgate and 16-inch lightweight alloy wheels.
In-car entertainment includes a DAB RDS radio with MP3 compatibility, steering wheel-mounted controls, USB and AUX ports and Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming. Safety is taken care of by Anti-lock Brakes with Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Hill-start Assist, Emergency Stop Signalling, a Tyre Pressure Monitoring system and six airbags.
Kia is likely to supply no more than 200 Soul EVs in the UK, already reporting that supply from its factory in Korea will be ‘extremely limited’.
A network of 13 specially trained UK dealers will sell the Soul EV.
Source: Green Car Website