Kia is still working on its all-electric vehicle strategy and all they have to show for now is a compliance car: the Kia Soul EV. We looked at the 2017 version of the vehicle last year and we were pleasantly surprised at what is essentially a gasoline-powered vehicle modified to fit an electric motor and a battery to comply with zero emission mandates.
We now learn that the Korean automaker expects an incremental upgrade to the 2018 Kia Soul EV for a slightly longer range.
The 2018 Kia Soul EV retains much of its energy by using regenerative braking. On downhill slopes or at any time you use the brakes, the energy is recaptured and recycled so that you can travel further on a load. Many hybrids, such as the Kia Optima, use this technique in conjunction with gasoline engines to increase their MPG limits. But the Soul EV goes further by integrating special features like the heat pump that uses the heat exerted by your own electronics to heat the cabin. Conversely, it gathers outside air and uses it to cool your core interior, allowing the battery to concentrate most of its load to power the electric motor. This super efficient heating and cooling system is highlighted by the Driver Only option, which transmits the entire air conditioner to the driver. This not only ensures that the driver is comfortable in his micro climate, but helps to extend the range by conserving energy when it’s just you.
After the battery upgrade, the Soul EV is still not a competitor very close to the last EV harvest. For example, the Chevrolet Bolt has a range evaluated by the EPA (383 km). In the near future, the model of Tesla model 3, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai should also count on 322 km on a load.
Even the current Kia Niro EV exceeds the rumored numbers of EV soul. The electric crossover can go 124 miles (200 kilometers) on a load. Its electric motor produces 118 hp (88 kW) and 215 lb-ft (291 Nm).