1.24.2015

Electrified Soul: The 2015 Kia Soul EV

Front 3/4 view of the 2015 Kia Soul EV
The 2015 Kia Soul EV.
Full disclosure: I have a very spotty record with EVs. I don't handle range anxiety well, for openers.  After 43 years of having a driver's license in my wallet, I very much appreciate sticking the nozzle into the gas tank for three minutes and immediately curing any potential stranding of myself, knowing that time spent will give me the ability to get anywhere from 250 to 700 miles away from wherever it is I am.

Secondly, it seems either the EV itself is a pain in the backside (Mitsubishi i-MIEV, Nissan Leaf) or the fellow EV drivers on whose decency one depends to get re-charged and back on the road are (Honda Fit EV).

The Kia Soul EV is a breath of fresh air.



Charging port for 2015 Kia Soul EV
2015 Kia Soul EV charging port.
It promises a range of 93 miles on a full charge, and it delivers.  A full recharge on household current can take 24 hours, which is a bit long, but I never had it drop below 50%.  A night at home was enough to bring it back to full charge.  Five hours is all it takes on a 240-volt charger, and Kia is following Tesla's lead by offering free re-charging on 480-volt systems at Kia dealers, with an app telling you where to find them. Those CHAdeMo chargers can take a depleted Soul EV to full charge in 33 minutes.

Rear 3/4 view of 2015 Kia Soul
2015 Kia Soul EV.
On the road, the Soul EV acts and feels just like a gasoline-powered Soul...only quieter.

The Soul EV starts at $33,700.  Our tester was the EV+ (say  "plus"), which adds leather seat trim, front and rear parking assist, and front fog lights. The base price hops to $35,700 less government incentives.

Interior view of 2015 Kia Soul
2015 Kia Soul EV Interior.
With an EPA-estimated equivalent of 120 miles per gallon highway and 92 city (105 combined) , the Soul is fully competitive with the other EVs on the market, but scores extra points for its charging options and space for people and their things. It's the first EV I could see myself actually owning.

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