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With the Soul EV, Kia Unveils Its First Mass-Market Electric Vehicle

Last updated Thursday, February 13, 2014 11:01 ET

Electrified Version of Popular Urban Crossover Debuts in Chicago

MILWAUKEE, 02/13/2014 / SubmitMyPR /

With its unique, compact shape and its impressive mix of versatility and efficiency, the Kia Soul crossover is already a popular choice for urban drivers, but a new all-electric model could make the vehicle even more of a favorite among city dwellers. Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month, the 2015 Soul EV is Kia's first mass-market electric vehicle, boasting an estimated range of 80 to 100 miles thanks to its energy-dense 27-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack.

The 2015 Kia Soul EV extends the distance it can travel between charges with an advanced regenerative-braking system that captures up to 12 percent of the vehicle's kinetic energy. When it is time to plug in, the Soul EV features both a SAE J1772 AC port and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port behind a sliding door on its front grille. Full charging can take up to 24 hours with a household 120-volt outlet, but 240-volt charging requires less than five hours, and fast charging with a 50-kilowatt charger can replenish the battery pack to 80 percent capacity in as little as 33 minutes. Though sales will initially be limited to select states on the East Coast and West Coast when the Soul EV launches later this year, Kia intends to quickly expand availability as the nation's EV infrastructure grows.

"The Soul is the perfect vehicle for Kia's foray into the EV market because it's already designed specifically for urban driving, and its boxy shape allows the battery pack to fit beneath the floor, which helps conserve interior space and actually lowers the center of gravity," said Jeff Rosen, general manager of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Kia dealer Rosen Kia Milwaukee. "Not to mention, buyers of the electric version will benefit from all the style and substance upgrades that the gas-powered Soul received as part of its recent redesign."

On sale since last October, the redesigned 2014 Kia Soul retains the crossover's instantly recognizable silhouette, but it dons new styling cues like a large trapezoidal lower air intake while riding on a new chassis that is stiffer, wider and longer. Inside the cabin, there is extensive use of soft-touch materials, and buyers can now opt for an eight-inch touchscreen and the UVO eServices infotainment system. Those changes continue to resonate with U.S. car shoppers, as January sales of the Kia Soul reached 8,092 units for a 10 percent increase year-over-year. The Soul's strong performance at dealerships helped the Kia lineup set a January record last month, with more than 37,000 units sold by the auto brand.

About Rosen Kia Milwaukee:
Rosen Kia Milwaukee has been serving the automotive needs of Wisconsin residents for years, providing top-notch new and used Kia sales, service and parts in a customer-focused environment. Their Milwaukee dealership offers the entire lineup of new Kia vehicles, including the Kia Soul, Optima, Sorento, Sportage, Forte, Rio and Sedona. Whether visitors are looking for a new vehicle or thorough Kia service and repairs, Rosen Kia Milwaukee aims to exceed customer expectations every time. Visit their showroom at 5505 South 27th St. in Milwaukee, Wis., or call them at 414-239-9200. They can also be found online at www.kiamilwaukee.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RosenNissanKia.