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