Kia will begin production of an electric version of its Soul hatchback. The Kia Soul EV, as it will be known, will go on sale in the UK sometime in 2014, making it Kia’s first electric car marketed outside of Korea.
The vehicle’s price has yet to be disclosed, but given the fact Kia has begun selling the Kia Ray EV in its homeland for double the price of its petrol-powered counterpart, we’re not expecting the Soul EV to come cheap.
With a 27kWh battery pack, the Soul EV is expected to exceed the 124-mile range of the market-leading Nissan Leaf. It will feature an 81.4 kW electric motor that provides a healthy 285Nm of torque, giving it a 0-62mph time of less than 12 seconds and a top speed of around 90mph.
Kia claims the Kia Soul EV can be recharged in up to five hours from a home supply and as little as 25 minutes from a fast charge supply.
The lack of an internal combustion engine and ‘special sound-proofing materials’ means the Kia Soul EV should prove exceptionally quiet in motion, both inside and out. In order to maximise pedestrian safety, Kia has equipped the vechile with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an audio alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse.
The Kia Soul EV’s interior will feature a range of recycled materials, including Bio Plastic, Bio Foam, Bio Fabric and Bio PET Felt, as well as low volatility organic compounds and antibacterial materials and paint.
Expect more information on the pricing and availability of the Kia Soul EV, as well as a test drive, in due course