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Geneva: Kia Soul to go electric only and further

Stylish compact SUV on sale later in 2019 in two versions.

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The new Kia Soul EV made its European debut at the Geneva motor show after a reveal at the Los Angeles show in November.

When it goes on sale later this year, the Soul EV will become the brand’s third globally sold electric vehicle. And it also ushers in the third generation of the boxy compact crossover.

Unlike the previous Soul, European buyers will only have electric drivetrains to choose from, but there will be two options. The car, using an updated version of the e-Niro drivetrain, also improves significantly on the range of the previous electric Soul.

Two versions

The new Soul EV will be offered in either standard form with a 39.2kWh battery pack or as a long-range 64kWh variant.

The standard-range pack is paired with an electric motor of 100kW (136hp) – 23% more than the outgoing Soul –  and peak torque of 395Nm. Range is 172 miles per charge and Kia says that the car’s WLTP energy efficiency rating of 145 Wh/km is 30% more efficient than the best-selling electric car in Europe – making the Soul EV one of the most energy-efficient electric vehicles in the world.

The long-range battery pack powers a 150kW (204hp) motor, boosting range to 280 miles. Combined with the same 395Nm torque figure, the power rating is 84% up on the outgoing Soul, and gives the new car a 7.9-second 0-62mph time.

Both versions now include a Combined Charging System DC fast charger that boosts the battery packs from 20 to 80% capacity in 42 minutes using a 100kW DC fast-charger.

Kia regards the Soul as a pioneering model. “A decade ago, it established the urban crossover segment, and when we launched the Soul EV it became the first fully-electric crossover,” said Kia Motors Europe COO Emilio Herrera at Geneva.

“The all-new Soul EV breaks more ground, as we launch it in Europe with an extended-range electric powertrain as standard – without the option of an internal combustion engine,” he added.

“The market has changed significantly in recent years, and in 2018 – the outgoing model’s final year on-sale, Kia sold more of the zero-emissions Soul EV in Europe than petrol and diesel versions combined.”

Kia Soul EV The Car Expert
Photo: Andrew Charman

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.