Category Archives: Soul EV

Untethered and Tethered Charge Points (Image: POD Point)

Choosing a Charge Point

When buying an electric car it is nearly always worthwhile to get a dedicated charge point installed at home.

It’s more convenient than an ‘occasional use’ or ‘granny’ (13 Amp) charge cable because you don’t need to reel it up and put it away each time.

Home Charging a Renault ZOE with a Dedicated Charge Point (Image: Charging Solutions)
Charging a Renault ZOE with a Home Charge Point (Image: Charging Solutions)

It will also be significantly faster because a dedicated charge point can provide more power without the risk of overheating. Also some electric cars, such as the Renault ZOE, don’t come with such a cable and buying one yourself can be very expensive (£500+).

The good news is that the installation of domestic charge points is subsidised by the UK government.

There are 3 decisions to be made when selecting the type of charge point for your car:

  • Tethered or Untethered
  • Connector Types
  • Power Level

 

Tethered or Untethered

There is usually the choice of a ‘tethered’ cable (it is fixed to the charge point) or an ‘untethered’ cable (it plugs into and can be removed from the charge point).

Untethered and tethered charge points (Image: Chargemaster)
Untethered and Tethered Charge Points (Image: Chargemaster)

Untethered has the advantage of allowing different cables to be connected (for example you can use the same charge point for a Nissan Leaf and a Renault ZOE). However, most people choose tethered because it avoids the inconvenience of connecting a cable whenever you need to charge (usually daily). It also reduces the risk of the cable being stolen.

A charge point with a tethered cable will usually cost more than an untethered one (typically about £50 more) because of the cost of its cable.

Untethered and Tethered Charge Points (Image: POD Point)
Untethered and Tethered Charge Points (Images: POD Point)

If you choose untethered you will need to use your own cable to connect to the car; it is the same cable that would be used to connect to a public charging point. It may come free with the car, for example the Renault ZOE or the Nissan Leaf with the 6.6kW charge option come with one. Otherwise you will need to buy one (we can advise you on suppliers).

 

Connector Types

All untethered domestic charge points supplied in the UK come with a Type 2 socket on the charge point, just as all public charge points now have (or at least officially should have) Type 2 sockets. Similarly all charge cables have a Type 2 plug at the charge point end.

If the cable is tethered then you need to tell the installer the type of plug you want at the car end. This will depend on the car:

  • Type 1 socket: Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Kia Soul EV
  • Type 2 socket: Renault ZOE, BMW i3, VW e-Golf and Hyundai IONIQ

The Type 2 or ‘Mennekes’ connector is the official standard in Europe and should eventually replace the Type 1.

 

Power Level

A dedicated charge point can provide higher powers than a typical occasional use charging cable which will run at 10 Amps, equivalent at 230 Volts to 2.3 kilowatts. The charge will take place at the highest power that both the charge point can provide and the car can use.

There are two common power levels:

  • 16A = 3.5kW: This is the maximum charge level of the Nissan Leaf 3.3kW, the Mitsubishi Outlander and the VW e-Golf.
  • 30A/32A = 7kW: This is the maximum charge level of the Nissan Leaf 6.6kW, BMW i3, Kia Soul EV and Hyundai IONIQ. The standard Renault ZOE can use this level, in fact anything up to 22kW.

The higher power reduces the charge time so a typical EV battery will charge in about 8 hours at 16A but in about 4 hours at 32A.

It may be best to install the highest power charge point you can afford; even if your current car can’t use all the power, the next one almost certainly will be able to.

The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)

UK electric vehicle boom drives new car sales to 12-year high

The number of new cars registered in the UK hit a 12-year high in January, with electric vehicles taking a record share of the market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)
The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)

The industry body had warned of a slowdown in the motor trade in 2017 because of the impact of the weak pound, but there was no sign of deceleration in the first monthly numbers of the year.

Drivers registered 174,564 cars in January, up 2.9% on last year, to reach the highest monthly level since 2005, the trade body said.

Alternative fuel vehicles, mainly electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, increased by a fifth to reach a record 4.2% share of new vehicle registrations, beating a previous high of 3.6% in November last year.

Read more: The Guardian

The Route 57 car at Beaulieu Motor Museum in the New Forest

2,500 mile Electric Car Road Trip through UK & Ireland

On 6th April 2016 Jess Shanahan set out from Plymouth on a 20 day journey across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland – finishing in Galway on 26th April.

The Route 57 car at Beaulieu Motor Museum in the New Forest
The Route 57 car at Beaulieu Motor Museum in the New Forest

The road trip, named Route 57 for its 57 ‘must see’ destinations along the way, included stops in cities, villages, forests, and national parks – documenting the journey with photos and video.

The route was designed by Jurys Inn Hotels, and driven in a Kia Soul EV supplied by DriveElectric, using electric car charging points (mapped out by ZapMap). The electric car saw the capital cities of four countries, was welcomed by 17 town and city mayors, stopped at motor museums, iconic landmarks, and drove through scenic landscapes including Dartmoor, the Brecon Beacons, the Lake District, The Cairngorms, Wicklow Mountains and more.

Source: Agenda21 Digital

Kia Soul EV Now Available on PCP

We can now supply the Kia Soul EV on PCP – further details below

Kia Soul EV
Kia Soul EV

We offer the Soul EV on 3 year PCP; this stands for Personal Contract Purchase and is currently the most popular way to buy a car because of its flexibility. You put down a low deposit, pay a monthly fee, and drive away a new car with fuel included. At the end of the term you can choose to pay an optional lump sum and keep the car, or you can just give the car back and upgrade to the latest model.

It’s like a mobile phone contract, but with miles rather than minutes included.

The current price (from 26 May 2016) for 10,000 miles per year is £495 with a total of 10,000 miles of fuel (electricity) included.

Regarding range, Kia says:

Combined Driving Range: 132 miles (212 km). Please note that the homologated driving range quoted may not be fully representative of real world conditions.

We’d say this is optimistic, however the Soul does typically have a better range and more consistent range readout than most EVs. We suggest it has a range of 80-105 miles depending on ambient temperature and how you drive.

Contact Us

If you want to know more we have collected a number of public reviews here.

006-low-res_Kia_Soul-EV_GCG

The other terms are as follows:

  • There’s an initial customer payment (‘deposit’) of £1000 when you order.
  • Kia make a deposit contribution of £1000.
  • Interest on the finance is 4.9% APR.
  • Fuel included: you get 10000 miles of free electricity over the three years (this is at the Economy 7 rate but you are not required to switch to Economy 7).
  • You get free road tax and congestion charge exemption.
  • You get free telephone and email support.
  • If you were to go over the agreed mileage on your PCP you would pay excess mileage as usual.
Contact Us

 

Coverage: We have bases and electric car suppliers in Milton Keynes, St Albans, London, Northampton, Bedford and Leicester allowing us to supply all around the Midlands (including London, Luton, Oxford, Rugby, Kettering, Coventry, Nottingham and Birmingham). However we can deliver all around the country – just contact us for details.

Kia Soul EV

UK & Ireland’s answer to Route 66 to be driven… in an electric car!

2,500 mile bucket list road trip is being driven for the first time this April.

Kia Soul EV
Kia Soul EV

The official ‘Route 57’ electric car will be hitting the road and heading through 57 must-see destinations across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The road trip runs from 6- 26 April, starting in Plymouth and ending in Galway, visiting villages, towns, and cities along the way.

Route 57 was designed as the UK and Ireland’s answer to US Route 66, by Jurys Inn Hotels who are supplying accommodation along the way, to the driver, motoring journalist Jess Shanahan. Jess will be doing the road trip in a KIA Soul EV supplied by electric car leasing company DriveElectric, and stopping at charging stations along the route, mapped out by ZapMap.

As well as promoting local tourism, the campaign’s use of an electric vehicle (EV) seeks to challenge common myths around electric cars. A recent survey by the AA (infographic available for use as long as credit with a link to source is given) shows that the ‘range’ of an EV is one of the top reasons why people are not buying electric cars. The Route 57 campaign will show that these perceptions do not match reality with today’s green car technology, and that an electric car can drive more than 2,580 miles across four countries.

Jess will be posting updates on the Route 57 website: www.route57.org.uk along with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – and taking driving music suggestions through the Twitter hashtag #route57, or adding them directly to the Route 57 Spotify playlist. Audiobook suggestions are also welcome – Jess will be fittingly listening to Bill Bryson’s ‘Notes from a Small Island’ to begin with.

Kia Has Now Sold Over 10,000 Soul EVs Worldwide

Since starting sales in April of 2014 through late January 2016, Kia has sold 10,210 Soul EV worldwide in less than two years.

8006_2015-Soul-EV_Kia-620_unk
The numbers remains low versus expectations, but have been accelerating of late, as the last 5,000 were sold in over five months.

Demand for electric Soul comes mainly from Europe:

  • 6,770 Europe
  • 1,580 South Korea
  • 1,411 U.S.
  • 449 other markets

Source: Inside EVs

Kia Soul EV

KIA Soul EV Versus Nissan LEAF: An Owner’s Comparison

Hello, EV fans and interested parties! Trish, here. I know I’ve been pretty non-existent on this blog, but I’m finally chiming in to provide my thoughts on my new Soul EV. Further down, you’ll find Ty’s input as well, and a more technical analysis than I care to delve into.

Kia Soul EV
Kia Soul EV

I’m going to start this post off with a disclaimer: I’ve never been a fan of Kia. Moreover, I’ve always thought the Kia Soul was ugly as all get out and assumed that they were cheap and poorly made, and that I would never in a million years want one. So when Kia announced their new Soul EV, I was actually surprised to find myself liking what it had to offer; first, on a visual level, and then on a specs level.

And then I learned that they would only be offered in compliance states. In other words, not Washington. Sad trombone.

But then the 2016 Soul EV arrived, along with the announcement that it would be arriving at Washington Kia dealers this summer. And then they announced that the EV+ trim would be available with a “Sun & Fun Package,” which, most importantly, included a panoramic sunroof. And I was done for. Hook, line, and sinker: Kia reeled me in. On September 19th, we signed the lease papers at Smith Kia in Bellingham, and I drove my new titanium gray Soul EV+ with Sun & Fun Package home. Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs, so the sunroof needed to stay closed on her voyage home.

I’ve had many people in the EV community, most of whom have a Nissan LEAF, ask what I think about the car. After several months of driving it, I think I’m ready to share some of my feelings about it.

Read more: Inside EVs

Kia Soul EV – best car of 2015

We had a Kia Soul EV on our long-term test fleet in 2015, but I gave it a swerve because I assumed it wouldn’t fit well with my travelling needs.

006-low-res_Kia_Soul-EV_GCG

My journey is a 43-mile drive from Teddington down the M3 to Basingstoke. So although Kia claims a potential range of 132 miles for the Soul EV, and we saw a ‘real world’ 110 miles or so during urban driving, I wasn’t so confident I’d experience that during constant 70mph motorway trips.

I admit it – I was anxious about range. This is because I have no way of charging at home. My parking space is inconveniently placed; although the Soul EV can be slowly recharged via a household plug, I would have had to park in a flower bed and crush my cyclamen to get close enough to the socket.

Just before the Soul EV left Autocar, however, I needed to satisfy my curiosity and find out whether it could handle a dreary motorway commute with the same zeal that made it our go-to car for short urban trips.

None of that is a slight on the Soul EV, which proved perfectly amenable during my trip. This EV gets my car of the year vote because it put to bed some of my concerns about the viability of electric vehicles on longer motorway journeys.

Read more: Autocar