Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

Just saw a TV commercial for the Kia Soul EV. According to Wikipedia it has a 27 KWh battery and an EPA range of 93 miles, with starting price of $33K.

Red Sage ca us | 29/09/2014

Those commercials for the Kia Soul Electric have been shown multiple times during NCAA and NFL football games. It seems to compare favorably with similarly priced EVs. I've always liked the form factor of this little car, and Toyota's Scion xB. It would be really cool to see either of them on a Tesla Motors skateboard configuration, with a nice, deep frunk on each. I wouldn't doubt that some day Tesla will release something of the sort for use in China and Japan.

jordanrichard | 29/09/2014

It would be interesting to take one of these out for a test drive and get a feel what range it will really get.

bryan.whitton | 30/09/2014

At the EV Ride In at De Anza College in Cupertino a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit in one and examine it pretty closely. I must say very nice for a conversion.

apsley | 30/09/2014

If the Model 3 comes in at $35K, it will make the the Soul EV and the Leaf instantly obsolete.

Red Sage ca us | 02/10/2014

apsley: I certainly agree with you, but many do not. Naysayers, $h0r+s/Bears on Wall Street, and enthusiasts for traditional automobile manufacturers are all still convinced that Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Chevrolet, et. al. will pull a rabbit out of their hats just in time to 'steal the thunder' away from Tesla Model ☰. They believe that it will happen this way:
Nissan will bring out an upgraded Leaf with 150 mile range and sell more than ever before.
Chevrolet will release a battery electric version of the Cruze (or similar platform) that has a 200 mile range.
Tesla Motors Model ☰ will be delayed until 2019 and even then will cost no less than $50,000 to start and it's EPA rated range will be less than 200 miles range.
The rest of the traditional automobile industry will either follow suit with the successes of Nissan and Chevrolet, or they will continue to ignore electric vehicles as a fringe phenomenon.
Tesla will be a 'loser' in the marketplace, 'the bubble will burst', and their stock price will plummet.
And they think that Tesla enthusiasts are smoking crack.

vgarbutt | 02/10/2014

Since tastes are so varied, anything with a decent range and price will be wildly successful. This isn't Stepford, and some people won't buy a Tesla till their body variant comes along. Some won't buy a Tesla because they get too popular and don't want to be just one of the masses.

Whatever happens, Tesla will still be a leader, and sell more cars than they can make for a while to come. The main think is the companies goals are exceeded the more the competition gets hot.

Brian H | 02/10/2014

Here's a recent Motley summary:

As it turns out, electric vehicles, when they are built the right way, present a very compelling value proposition to consumers. If Tesla can spark the same sort of relative demand with its Model 3 at a mass-market price point that it is creating at high-end price points, just imagine the potential.

Joshua Burstyn | 03/10/2014

We have a test ride of the Soul EV booked in about two weeks' time. The wife wants a smaller car with parking sensors, good stereo and I want her and the baby to be as safe as possible in any car she drives. The Kia is cheap (both to buy and very likely to maintain), has reasonable range for a commuter car, got an excellent safety rating and fits the baby seat really well.

We may just get one until the Model 3 arrives and we can check it out. :-)

Jolinar | 04/10/2014

Kia Soul EV is also first car to be capable of using so called CHAdeMO 100kW stations. These stations are capable of charging at a rate of about ~70-80kW (350-400Volts * 200Amps). Still much lower than Tesla SuperCharger with its record breaking 350Amps.

But I never seen such CHAdeMO station on my own eyes :-( But anyway, I hope Tesla CHAdeMO adapter will be abe to utilize also these stations, not only the basic 50kW (so called 62.5kW) CHAdeMO.

DTsea | 04/10/2014

Wrong jolinar the leaf uses chademo

3seeker | 04/10/2014


TM's success rides on something that the competition doesn't have - the SC network and fast charging technology. That is, unless battery swapping stations become as popular as gas stations today.

CT-Greg | 08/10/2014

DTsea: The claim isn't that the Soul is the first car to use CHAdeMO but that it's the first to (effectively) use 100kW variants.

DTsea | 08/10/2014

Ah. Have never seen a 100 kW chademo... All the ones I have seen are 50 kW.

buddyroe | 08/10/2014

I laugh when people say cars like the Kia Soul got a "good" safety rating. Read the sticker where it says, "compared to similarly sized vehicles."

That would be nice if we could convince everyone to drive around in Kia Souls and Ford Focuses. But, the truth is, that isn't going to happen.

My wife and kids ride in an Expedition and always have. The only other vehicle I would let them ride in would be a Model S (or vehicles in similar size to the Expedition).

I have a friend who is an EMT. She told me that almost ALWAYS when someone dies in a car accident, they're in a small car. I asked her about pickup trucks, and she said rarely - like when they hit a tree or an 18 wheeler. So, I bought my son an F150 when he turned 16.

The gas bill sucks. But some things are worth it.

bigd | 08/10/2014

buddyroe -- The gas bill sucks. But some things are worth it. Can not be said any better than that.

Red Sage ca us | 09/10/2014

F-150s are built great. SUVs and minivans unfortunately, are not built quite as well most of the time. The open space inside makes them split or fold when there is a speedy side impact. Frontal impact? Rear impact? Sure. The big vehicle wins. Not so much from the side, because just about anything can drive through just about anything.

vgarbutt | 09/10/2014

Even that one Tesla was sliced in half, and i imagine some changes will be made after analyzing that car, making it a bit more safe from the side impacts, but at that speed, its pretty hard to do anything other than pray.

Red Sage ca us | 13/10/2014

Most are not aware there is no such thing as a 'high speed crash test'. The majority of fatal traffic accidents take place at speeds of 45 MPH or less. Someone riding a motorcycle at 100 MPH can drive straight through the side of a minivan.

Brian H | 14/10/2014

Even with the sliding doors closed?


Red Sage ca us | 14/10/2014

Yes. I can post a link to video of such an event, if you like. Large vehicles are not as substantial as manufacturers would have you believe.

Red Sage ca us | 14/10/2014

Because their cars are actually spare parts conveyances.

They are designed, on purpose, to use legacy components with predictable wear patterns. These will all eventually need replacing, due to heat, friction, expansion, cooling, warping, leaking, cracking... Any number of issues that contribute to an economy of remove and replace 'repairs'. ,Even their regular service is meant to inspect the condition of seals, gaskets, and o-rings which impose labor costs for their removal and replacement.

The individual parts for these cars, sold over the counter at retail, have a total cost that exceeds that of the newly purchased car.

Red Sage ca us | 14/10/2014

All they see is quarterly sales reports. General Motors had over 50% of North American market share in 1976. By 1985 that had declined to 35%. Did they take notice? Did they understand they should change their ways? Of course not.

2008 rolled around and they were bankrupt. Today, they are building the best cars they have ever made. It doesn't matter though, because they are twenty-five years too late.

They, and other traditional automobile manufacturers resent the emergence of electric cars as a viable option. They hate that it may mean their entire business model must be based on making a profit solely on the initial sale of the cars, and nothing else. They see the potential 'loss' in spare parts revenue over the two decade life of a vehicle as too much to bear.

DTsea | 14/10/2014

BMW has made a very large investment in the i series.

DTsea | 14/10/2014

Nothing. Has to do with red sages post that big automakers are not making substantial investments in ev related technology.

Red Sage ca us | 14/10/2014

DTsea: "BMW has made a very large investment in the i series."

Yeah. Two whole models. Good for them. Both of which, arguably, suck.

Oh, by the way... General Motors invested a lot more in the EV1... And they still crushed them.

DTsea | 14/10/2014

Two billion euros. Thats one more model than we have from tesla so far.

Timo | 15/10/2014

Tesla has made two models. Roadster and Model S.

DTsea | 15/10/2014

Currently manufacturing one model. And Roadster was not a ground up vehicle, and did not overlap Model S.

Not knocking Tesla. I am rooting for them and I love my model S.

But there is no need to be dismissive of BMWs MASSIVE investment in EVs and in the manufacturing infrastructure (composites) to reduce weight, improve efficiency, and maintain recyclability of their cars.

MarlonBrown | 15/10/2014

If you what you can afford is a Kia Soul, go ahead.
You get what what you pay for.

When Model 3 comes - which I prepare to see happening in 4 to 5 years - then likely others would need to adjust price for their junk to compete.

Red Sage ca us | 15/10/2014

DTsea: There are three BMW i-Series vehicles. Only one of them is an EV. The other two run on gasoline. Some commitment.

3seeker | 15/10/2014

I would rather wait for the Model 3 and buy a decent hybrid in the meantime. There's no range anxiety, no need to worry about installing a home charger that you'll need to replace in a few years, it's better for the environment, you'll save big time on gas, and you can buy a hybrid that's a lot cheaper than $33k + tax incentives.

ElectricSteve | 28/10/2014

The Kia Soul. A car so ugly i wouldn't wanne be found dead in it...

The only EV i don't find vomit-inducing besides Teslas is the B-class EV.

kittykittybangb... | 01/11/2014

It would be exciting to take one of these out for a try out and get a experience what variety it will really get.

petero | 01/11/2014

TM is targeting the German premium sedans with the Model 3, not the Kias, Nissans, Fords, etc. TM’s Model 3 is looking to take market share from the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and MB C Class and will be priced similarly. The BMW 3 Series is the gold standard for premium mid size sedans. If the Model 3 has a base price of $35-40K you will most leaving Fremont with $50K+ Maroni in the window.

The real battleground for TM sales will be getting an aggressive leasing program. The German manufacturers take a very strong stance on American leasing which often accounts for 30-50% of their sales.

Brian H | 01/11/2014

" you will most leaving Fremont with $50K+ Maroni in the window." What means thisness?

Red Sage ca us | 02/11/2014

Brian H: I believe that petero is saying that the majority of Tesla Model ☰ buyers will purchase higher trim versions that are maxed with options, so they will have actual sale prices of $50,000 or more, no matter how low the base price may be...

I have hypothesized that a Model ☰ may be equipped in a manner similar to the Toyota Camry LE as a bare minimum for the base version at $34,900. I would hope that it would be more along the lines of the Lexus EX 350 or Toyota Camry XLE instead. But upon adding options such as AWD, panoramic roof, and a higher capacity battery pack, along with some other comfort and convenience items, another $15,000 could be tacked on to that amount.

I do take issue with those who believe that it will be even more expensive, with perhaps a $49,900 base price and another $20,000-$50,000 in possible options over and beyond that point.

carlk | 02/11/2014

I'm not sure how much this light weight material thing does for EV. Elon said recently they found weight is not a very significant factor of range, aerodynamic drag is. The material is probably only used by BMW on EV for intial testing and PR value but still targeted for eventual use on ICE or hybrids.

petero | 02/11/2014

Brian H. If the Model 3 has a base price of $35-40K you will (see) most leaving Fremont with a $50K+ Maroni in the window. Sorry for the sloppy proof reading.

Red Sage. Thanks for the save.

Brian H | 02/11/2014

"Maroni (Greek: Μαρώνι; Turkish: Maroni) is village located in the Larnaca District of Cyprus."??

ian | 02/11/2014

You mean one of these?

Never heard them referred to as a Maroni.

Rocky_H | 03/11/2014

Yeah, I had no idea what Maroni was either.

Joshua Burstyn | 11/11/2014

"It would be interesting to take one of these out for a test drive and get a feel what range it will really get."

We got better than the rated range in our test drive.

We still love our Model S beyond belief, but the Kia Soul (2014+) was designed from the get-go to be both an ICE and an EV model. The car is nowhere near as fast nor is it as well-mannered in terms of handling, but it does what it's intended to do.

And for those who claim bigger is always better, please see some of the small offset frontal crash vids. The Soul exceeds most other cars in that test, regardless of size.

The trunk is extremely generous for the small overall size of the car, and the seats are great. I'd say they're at least a match for the Model S' seats, if not slightly better in terms of side to side support. I like the style of the dash in the 'S better, but then again we're comparing an econobox with a luxury sedan.

All in all it was charming, efficient and cheap. All qualities my wife wants in her car.

blue adept | 25/11/2014

I congratulate Kia for the manufacture of their Soul EV and fully committing to producing an actual BEV and not some half-a$$ed, mocked-up, Frankensteined "hybrid".

Well done South Korea!

EV Quorum | 27/11/2014

Red Sage, what do you think sucks about the BMW i cars? They both represent real innovation in the industry (BMW i3 dropped 1,200 lbs off comparable cars). The i3 is the most efficient mass market car ever made.

BMW's investment in the i and related technologies is in the billions.

How is this commitment to sustainable transportation not laudable?

I have driven the i3 and found it delightful to drive. I don't own one now, but will next year, as soon as the Ford Focus Electric lease is up.

EV Quorum | 27/11/2014

I also recently drove the Kia Soul EV and it's a great car, very well done. If I was to choose again between the Nissan Leaf, the Ford Focus Electric, the Fiat 500e and the Kia Soul EV, I'd probably choose the Kia despite a $100/mo premium.

Red Sage ca us | 27/11/2014

The BMW i3 does not compare favorably to their own products at that price point. It is comparatively gimped in performance, range, utility, and styling.

The BMW i8 is a joke. The 'independent franchised dealerships' are taking advantage of its limited edition status to double its price to speculative buyers who won't drive them a mile.

MandL | 20/04/2017

Just about to pull the trigger on a Soul EV lease and sell my Model S. I'm one of those people who bought a Tesla even though it was way out of my default price range. Though when I reserved my Sig in 2010 it was still supposed to be a $50K car. Almost bought a Soul EV a couple of years ago, but got a great deal on a demo 2015 70D in trade for my Sig. I don't go anywhere near 100 miles on a daily basis and just can't resist the deals Kia is offering now. $9K in cash incentives, $17K for leases. Looking forward to not have to crawl in and climb out of the car every day, plus it has Android Auto and ventilated seats!

jordanrichard | 20/04/2017

MandL, just trying to follow your timeline. You put down a deposit in 2010 for a MS, which correct me if I am wrong, at the time req'd $40,000. At the earliest, you took delivery in June 2012, then 3 years later, traded in that car which presumably was a S85, to get a 2015 70D and now 2 years after that you realize you don't need the range of a Tesla and that both of the cars you had were a bit of a stretch for you,.so now you are going to rent a Kia..............?

Sleepydoc1 | 20/04/2017

Congratulations enjoy your Kia. Someone else will be very happy acquiring your CPO

thranx | 20/04/2017

"Looking forward to not have to crawl in and climb out of the car every day."

Tesla maintains the physical condition of its vehicles. It is unable to maintain the physical condition of its drivers.