One of the top “must-haves” on any new car buyer’s list, is exceptional fuel economy. A trait typically above that of safety, drivers are placing a major emphasis on the ability to go farther, for much longer. Skipping gas stations not only allows for more enjoyment of the open road, but keeps money where it should be – in your wallet. Saving money at the pump simultaneously helps the environment, which gives even more of an added benefit to the desire for higher fuel economy ratings on new vehicles. Car manufacturers have had to choice but to cater to this growing demand, which is also coming from new government compliance laws that are mandatory on new vehicles.
While some automotive companies are scrambling to keep low fuel economy ratings without sacrificing performance expectations, Kia is effortlessly managing to do both. A perfect example is the Kia Soul in Miami and across the United States. The compact crossover is already known for its high fuel efficiency, and is getting an even bigger boost with the introduction of the latest Soul EV model.
Where it All Started
While the gasoline powered Kia Soul has been around since 2009 here in the United States, the electric version of the modern crossover is a newer addition to the lineup. The first Kia Soul EV was sold in the United States for the 2015 model year, and was marketed exclusively to Oregon, California, and New England states such as Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. The South Korean automaker sold over 5,000 Kia Soul EV units in the first year it was made available, cementing the future of the nameplate in the Kia lineup.
The creation of the Soul EV was not by accident, and took careful planning and consideration prior to coming to market. Kia began testing prototypes of the Soul EV in 2013, before making the official announcement of their plans later that year. The electric version of Kia’s popular Soul crossover debuted for the first time at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, and was based on the second generation of the gasoline powered Soul.
How it Works
Kia created the Soul EV for a specific purpose. While other manufacturers hurriedly produced electric vehicles without much thought, Kia put careful consideration into the design and technology that powers the Soul EV. The result is nothing short of incredible, and their efforts certainly paid off. Both the 2015 Soul EV and the latest 2016 model of the crossover offer the highest EPA-rated all-electric range in its class of 93 miles. To acheive this high number, Kia engineers carefully designed the Soul EV’s body and battery, for maximum efficiency.
The lithium-ion polymer battery that powers the 2016 Soul EV is slim, and features 27 kWh of energy to help achieve maximum driving range. Unlike other all-electric vehicles, Kia placed the battery under the floor of the Soul EV, which increases cabin space and improves handling. With the heavy battery unit placed at the lowest possible point, the center of gravity on the Soul EV is lower, which lends itself to more responsive and tighter handling.
Fastest Charging Available
The 2016 Kia Soul EV offers a standard DC Fast Charge port, which is the quickest charging option available on any electric vehicle. A completely empty battery can be charged up to 80-percent capacity in just thirty minutes, and can be connected to any standard 120-volt outlet. Searching for a charging station while on the road is no longer an issue. Pull up for a quick rest stop, and by the time the last bite of your lunch is finished – your Soul EV is ready for the next leg of your adventure.
Kia also offers a 240-volt charging station, that can easily be installed in your home. This high-powered charging option will get your Soul EV fully charged in just five hours, and is the perfect option for overnight charging. Drivers can even sync their UVO EV Services app to schedule charging times when electricity rates are at the absolute lowest. When on the go, these 240-volt charging stations are available across the United States for public use. Currently over 26,000 charging stations exist nationwide, and that number increases daily. Drivers can easily locate a public charging station with the UVO EV Services infotainment system, for confidence no matter how far you end up away from home.
2016 Soul EV Offers All the Best
The newest 2016 Soul EV is even more impressive than the model that debuted in Chicago nearly two years ago. Featuring three different trim level options, there is a Soul EV for every driver. With a starting MSRP of just $31,950 before government incentives, you will be saving money at both the pump, and at the point of purchase. Check out each of the three Soul EV trim levels, and see how they compare to one another.
This base model offers the same 120 MPGe in the city, and 92 MPGe on the highway, as the other two Soul EV models. The Soul EV-e manages an impressive 109 horsepower rating, and features the standard DC Fast Charge Port, individual climate control settings, and Bio-Material interior trim. A push-button start with smart key technology comes standard, along with the unique Supervision Cluster built into the dash with a 3.5-inch color display. While this is the base model of the 2016 Soul EV, it is in no way ordinary.
The mid-level offering from Kia starts out at $33,950 prior to tax incentives. Featuring the same electric motor and fuel economy ratings, the biggest difference between the EV-e and the EV, is seen in amenities and convenience features. A technologically advanced Climate Scheduling feature comes standard, which allows you to set your specific heating or cooling setting while the vehicle is charging. Serving as sort of a remote start, this feature ensures your Soul EV is at the perfect temperature when you are ready to hit the road. An eight-inch color display is also included, and comes with voice-command navigation, UVO EV Services, and a standard rear-camera display. This mid-level offering also comes standard with heat pump heating and air conditioning technology, which uses the heat from the Soul’s electric motor, to maximize range while keeping the interior cabin at the perfect temperature.
The top of the line 2016 Soul EV comes with all the bells and whistles, for just $35,950. Offering the same electric motor, the EV+ is packed full of amenities and luxury features. Everything that the Soul EV-e and the EV come with, are also standard on the EV+ model. Premium leather upholstery with heated and ventilated technology are also standard on the EV+, giving it a new level of luxury. Also standard on the EV+ is Kia’s Parking Assist technology with front and rear park sensors, that warn you of possible obstacles when navigating tight spots. Front fog lights and projector beam technology are part of the EV+ package, allowing it to stand out even more from the two base Soul EV models.
The Benefits of EV Power are Endless
Choosing to purchase and drive the 2016 Kia Soul EV may be one of the smartest decisions you ever make. There are countless benefits to driving an all-electric vehicle, with only a few minor downsides. Not only will you save money by not having to purchase gas, but your Soul EV will never need an oil change, emissions test, or other costly maintenance associated with a traditional gasoline engine. More public places offer parking perks for smaller cars, and drivers can expect up to a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government when purchasing an electric vehicle.
With significant benefits that are included in owning an electric vehicle, and Kia’s high quality standards, buying a 2016 Soul EV is truly a no brainer.