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Soul EV revealed at the 2014 Vancouver Auto Show

VANCOUVER, March 25, 2014

New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers 160km of ‘real-world driving’ range
State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery results in minimal cabin intrusion
VANCOUVER, March 25, 2014 /CNW/ – Scheduled to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2014, the 2015 Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in Canada and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources.

“We are elated to offer a full EV to Canadian consumers, and what better vehicle than the Soul to showcase Kia`s green advanced technologies” said Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing, Kia Canada Inc. “With its youthful, fun, practical and green design, the Soul EV will certainly win the hearts of Canadians as did its gasoline-powered variant”

High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power
A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh (versus 24kWh in Nissan Leaf), air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg (43% more efficient than Nissan Leaf) battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 160km of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 200km in some instances.

The 360 volt 192-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, high density, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the lithium polymer battery’s advanced chemistry does not build up gases if overcharged unlike lithium ion which can ignite; for additional safety an overcharge protection device has been incorporated., The battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, each cell contains ceramic separators surrounded by gel electrolyte to significantly improve thermal stability and safety and allowing for 95% energy usage versus 60-80% in some other batteries.

In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake Regen” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake Regen” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake Regen” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most kinetic regeneration).

The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a fast-charge CHAdeMo DC port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard household 120-volt outlet and 4 hours 20 minutes when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 24 minutes with a 100 kW-output charger (33 minutes with a 50kW charger).

The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb-ft. of torque (+23 lb-ft. more than Nissan Leaf). The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is internally tested at 11.4 seconds (versus Nissan Leaf at 15.9 seconds), 80-120 km/h passing speeds of 8.9 seconds (versus Nissan Leaf at 9.8 seconds) with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 145 km/h. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul.

Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 20 km/h and whenever the car is in reverse.

Minimal Battery Intrusion
The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s molded design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors (+67 mm more than Nissan Leaf). Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space remains unchanged from the conventional model (532 L) and offers a generous 121 L more cargo space than Nissan Leaf.

Uniquely Designed Inside and Out
The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three two-tone color choices: Pearl White with metallic Sky Blue roof/mirrors, Electric Blue with Polar White roof/mirrors, and Sterling Silver with Polar White roof/mirrors. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the standard dual charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered ‘Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR)’ tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range.

When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with dual-layer bright white/clear shell trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its high amount of bio-based organic content in interior components. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application.

The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with contrasting sky blue stitching on the cloth seats and sky blue piping on the leather seats. Additional sky blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. The graining of the interior components are influenced by nature.

Air conditioning is one of the major energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump, individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air.

The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit.

Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Over 2.7 million Kia vehicles a year are produced in 10 manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering around 150 countries. Kia today has around 48,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$43 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan – “The Power to Surprise” – represents the company’s global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca – www.facebook.com/kiacanada) a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) which was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality, class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 184 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 161 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada, with an all-new state-of-the-art facility in Montreal. Kia’s brand slogan “The Power to Surprise” represents the company’s global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

SOURCE KIA Canada Inc.

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