Still behind the competition
Kia recently introduced an all-electric Niro concept with a range of 238 miles (383 km). But for now, Kia’s only pure electric offering is the Soul EV, which gets a nice bump in range for the 2018 model year.
According to the EPA’s website, the 2018 Kia Soul EV can travel an estimated 111 miles (179 km) on a charge, up from 93 on the previous version. It’s still way behind other competitors, though. The new Nissan Leaf maxes out at 150 miles (241 km), until Nissan introduces a version with an upgraded battery that should deliver about 225 miles (362 km). The Chevrolet Bolt can travel 238 miles (383 km) on a charge, and the Ford Focus Electric is rated at 115 miles (185 km). Volkswagen’s e-Golf has enough juice for 125 miles (201 km).
A new 30-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery improves the range of the Soul EV. Previously, the model came equipped with a 27-kWh unit. The electric motor produces 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque.
The Kia Soul EV starts at $33,145 USD if you get the base model that’s only available in California. Otherwise, it begins at $34,845 USD. So it’s neither the cheapest nor the most expensive EV on the market. You can get a 2018 Leaf for less coin, but the 2017 Bolt will cost you at least $37,495 USD before credits.
We enjoyed driving our long-term Kia Soul EV, and we often exceeded its 93-mile (150-km) range at the time. But unless we see a bigger improvement in range, we wonder how long the Soul EV will survive against other competitors.