2015 Kia Soul EV Spotted Testing In California, Testing Rapid Charge Technology

By · July 08, 2013

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV Spyshots By Lee Colleton, Reproduced under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA .

South Korean automaker Kia it seems, has been playing catchup with some of its rivals in the quest to bring a plug-in car to market. Rumored for some time but never before seen,  the all-electric version of Kia’s urban crossover surfaced this weekend in Europe, wearing German license plates and wearing minimal camouflage.

But while sites like Autobloggreen and Autoevolution were busy drooling over European spyshots of Kia’s all-electric crossover, two more heavily camouflaged Kia Soul EVs were busy testing their CHAdeMO quick charge capabilities at the Residence Inn in San Juan Capistrano, California.

Mitsubishi i driver, EV advocate and BC2BC participant Lee Colleton happened to be passing through at just the right time to take some great up-close shots of the two cars as they charged as well as a short video of the pair driving away to the north.

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV Spyshots By Lee Colleton, Reproduced under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA .

Wearing Michigan license plates and full-body camouflage, the two Kias look remarkably close to market, indicating these two vehicles are probably undergoing real-life endurance testing. There’s nothing to indicate if the cars were driven there from Michigan, but we’re guessing Kia has brought them to Southern California to test them in the triple-digit figures the area has been experiencing lately.

Kia Soul Ev

Kia Soul EV Spyshots By Lee Colleton, Reproduced under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA .

From Colleton’s photographs, both the CHAdeMO quick charging port favored by Mitsubishi and Nissan and the standard J1772 inlet are visible on the left-hand side of the Kia Soul EV’s front grille, while the grille itself appears blocked off to aid aerodynamics.

Full specifications are yet to be released, but the Kia Soul EV -- which is due to arrive in the U.S. next year as a 2015 model -- is rumored by various sources to have at least 100 miles of range, a top speed of 87 mph, and a 0-62 mph time of 12 seconds.

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV Spyshots By Lee Colleton, Reproduced under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA .

As with other electric conversions of gasoline cars we’ve seen in recent years -- most noticeably the 2013 RAV4 EV, 2013 Honda Fit EV and 2013 Fiat 500e, we expect the Kia Soul EV’s primary target market will be California, where tough Air Resources Board requirements mandate that a certain percentage of all cars sold by an automaker within California must be zero emission.

Since Kia hasn’t publicly announced its sales strategy, launch date or even pricing for the car, it’s hard to predict where else it will sell in the U.S., or indeed if it will be sold or leased to customers.

But, there is one thing we do now know: the Kia Soul EV is on its way.

Hat-tip to Lee Colleton for the photographs and story (reproduced under CC-BY-SA)

Comments

· · 3 years ago

"we’re guessing Kia has brought them to Southern California to test them in the triple-digit figures the area has been experiencing lately."

In San Juan Capistrano? Nah. You don't get high enough temperatures there to bother with hot weather testing. I did see some Kia's in Death Valley a little over a week ago. Ambients were up to 129F. Now that's hot weather testing.

· · 3 years ago

Good to see another manufacturer dip their toes into the EV fray, however tentatively. The Kia Soul EV could be a successor of sorts to the original NiMH battery Toyota RAV4 EV. The size and format is similar. If they give it a battery of similar range, can hold the price down - and actually make it available - it will be a winner.

Back around 2009, when Nissan was testing the components for what was to become the Leaf, they used one of their Cube vehicles for that purpose. I was really hoping they would have brought out a production EV Cube by now.

Cars like the Cube, Soul and Scion's B (I like the early boxier ones much better than the current model) are just that much roomier inside when compared to a more conventional sedan. You probably wouldn't want to use any of them every day for dragging 4X8 sheets of plywood around town. But they're better suited for occasional tasks like this than, say, the typical arched roof hatchback.

· · 3 years ago

Within the past several weeks, one EV pulled 34kWh from this charger on a Friday evening.

Nobody got a picture of that one!!!

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