Kia Soul electric to be showcased at the Auto Expo 2020?

Kia Motors is all set to blaze the Auto Expo 2020 with the Kia Soul electric, as per a report on ETAuto. The Auto Expo, which opens Feb 5 for the media, is not a new stage for the Soul EV as the previous generation car had been displayed at the 2018 edition. This time around, the difference is that there could be definite plans for the crossover EV’s launch.

The new generation Kia Soul EV or e-Soul carries forward the polarizing design with its boxy shape. With a 4,195 mm length and 1,800 mm width, the e-Soul is 55 mm longer and has a 30 mm longer wheelbase than the last generation. Globally, the Soul EV is available in two battery options – long-range 64 kWh and standard-range 39.2 kWh.

2019 Kia Soul electric rear
Globally, the Soul EV is available with 2 battery options – long-range 64 kWh and standard-range 39.2 kWh. The standard-range 39.2 kWh battery, used on the Indian Kona, generates 395 Nm and can travel up to 276 km on a single charge.

The Kia Soul electric’s long-range 64 kWh battery pack is paired with a 150 kW electric motor that is 84% more powerful than the outgoing Soul EV. The long-range e-Soul can travel up to 452 kilometres on a single charge. With all of the 395 Nm torque available from a standstill, the 64 kWh e-Soul can accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in just 7.9 seconds.

The standard-range 39.2 kWh battery pack, same as the Indian-spec Hyundai Kona, gets a smaller 100 kW electric motor. The torque of 395 Nm is unchanged and this version travels up to 276 kilometres on a single charge (all ranges are in the WLTP cycle). Both models are fitted with a Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charger that can charge the battery packs from 20% up to 80% capacity in just 42 minutes from a 100 kW DC fast-charger.

2019 Kia Soul electric interior
The Soul electric competes with the Hyundai Kona EV globally. Here, expect the car to be priced at INR 23 lakhs (ex-showroom) and come with the Kona’s 39.2 kWh battery and an ARAI-certified range of about 450 km.

The e-Soul is equipped with several technologies to enhance its efficiency that includes Kia’s innovative smart regenerative braking system, operated by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. With five levels, the smart regenerative braking system can automatically adjust the braking level if it detects the car in front slowing down, creating smoother coast-down driving – especially on a steep downhill road.

The e-Soul is also equipped with UVO CONNECT telematics system that features a Kia Live system, housed within the 10.25-inch TFT LCD widescreen in the centre of the Kia e-Soul’s dashboard. With its own SIM card, the system will be able to retrieve and update live data during a drive, such as live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential on- and off-street parking – including price, location and parking availability. 

The UVO system also shows drivers charging station locations, charger availability, and connection compatibility. The system can be accessed through the UVO App that is compatible with Android and Apple smartphones. 

The e-Soul also gets four drive modes – Normal, Eco, Eco+ and Sport. As per the name, the two Eco modes are tuned to maximise vehicle range with power-saving measures; Sport mode increases responses from the steering and electric motor to maximise the dynamic driving while the Normal mode provides a balance between range and response.

Kia Soul electric price, range & prospects for India

Kia Motors has implied that the Soul EV is in contention for the Indian market as it has showcased the car before at the Auto Expo and invited a few journalists to sample the new generation abroad. Kia’s entry-level electric vehicle is the Soul, and on paper is the right size and price for the Indian market. The e-Soul competes with the Hyundai Kona EV globally, and that rivalry is set to unfold in India with the Soul’s price expected at INR 23 lakhs (ex-showroom) with an ARAI-certified range of about 450 km for a charge.

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