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by Alex Gibson

Specifications of the upcoming Kia Soul EV have been released, with the South Korean car maker promising a “best in class” range of more than 190km.

The Kia Soul EV – Kia’s first zero-emission, all-electric vehicle to be sold outside of Korea – is equipped with a 27kWh lithium-ion polymer battery making it capable of travelling up to a claimed 193km on a single charge. Paired with the battery is an 81kW/285Nm electric motor, propelling the Soul EV from 0-100km/h in less than 12 seconds, and on to a top speed of 144km/h.

Power is sent through the car’s front wheels via a single-speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. As with many EVs, the Soul recycles energy back into its battery when coasting and braking. Kia also says the Soul EV’s battery can be fully charged in around five hours when using a standard 240-volt outlet, or in 25 minutes when using a fast-charge unit with a 100kW output.

In addition to its zero-emission status, Kia claims the Soul EV will provide a more relaxing experience for drivers compared with conventionally powered versions of the car, with no engine noise and improved sound-deadening materials. The car emits an external audio alert at speeds below 19km/h, and also when in reverse, warning pedestrians of its presence.

Externally, the Soul EV shares its donor car’s skin – first seen last March – and features LED accents and unique 16-inch alloy wheels. Inside, a new instrument cluster and centre stack with an eight-inch display screen set the Soul EV apart. Trim materials consist of recycled plastics, foam and felt.

The Kia Soul EV will go on sale in 2014, though Kia Australia has no plans to offer it locally at this stage.




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