Robert Llewellyn takes a 560 km (350 mile) test drive in the all new Kia Soul EV.
Kia Motors is using a 360-V lithium-ion battery pack of “class-leading” energy density (200 W·h/kg) in the 2015 Soul EV to give it range of about 200 km (125 mi) on the European Driving Cycle, and “real-world” range of 80-100 mi (129-161 km) in the U.S. The cells and the battery are the same in all regions.
Kia says high-performance anode and gel electrolyte additive materials were developed. The new electrolyte additive allows for better range by more effectively dealing with low and high temperatures. A “special” ceramic separator with improved thermal resistance properties is used.
The cell casings are of polymer pouch type (as opposed to metal), and the battery pack is air-cooled. Standard equipment on the Soul EV includes receptacles for SAE J1772 Level 1 and Level 2 ac charging, as well as CHAdeMO dc fast charging (480 V).
The battery in the 2015 Kia Soul EV is the result of a three-year development program with lithium-ion cell maker SK Innovation. The 192 cells are packaged into eight modules and deliver a total battery capacity of 27 kW·h. The cell cathode is of nickel-rich NCM (nickel-cobalt-manganese) chemistry, with the raw materials for that and other components optimized for energy density, durability, and safety.