2015 Kia Soul EV launch at 2014 Chicago Auto Show
If you can get over the rodent-based adverts, Kia's new electric Soul, the 2015 Soul EV, is quite an interesting vehicle, and it's the first electric car sold by Kia in the U.S.
It's making its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, and gives buyers yet another body style for their electric needs, the Soul's boxy body hiding useful interior space and an upright driving position not found in many other electric vehicles.
An 81 kilowatt (109 horsepower) liquid-cooled electric motor powers the front wheels. It also develops a healthy 210 pounds-feet of torque, and the 0-60 mph acceleration benchmark is accomplished in "under 12 seconds".
Juice comes from an air-cooled 27 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Like most electric vehicles, it lies flat under the car's floor, leaving the passenger compartment and the trunk relatively unobstructed--legroom has decreased a little next to other Souls.
Charging is handled by both a Level 2 J-1772 standard charging port and a CHAdeMO quick-charging port, each hiding behind a sliding door in the car’s stubby nose. Charging from empty takes around five hours using Level 2 charging and up to 24 hours from a 120-Volt household outlet.
Quick charging, like many EVs of its type, gives you an 80 percent charge in around half an hour. Also in common with its peers, range is said to be 80-100 miles--though we'll have to wait for EPA ratings to emerge to get a handle on its true capabilities.
As you can see in our live photos from the Chicago show floor, the Soul EV's exterior is largely similar to that of regular gasoline Souls.
There's a new color scheme of course, a blanked-off front grille panel (behind which you'll find the charging ports) and a unique aerodynamic wheel design.
Click through the gallery for more photos of the Soul EV, or head to our Chicago Auto Show page for more news and images from the show.