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Kia Joins Battery Brigade With New Soul EV

Limited sales begin later this year.

by on Feb.06, 2014

Kia's first battery-car, the Soul EV, goes on sale during the third quarter, but only in a handful of markets.

Korean carmaker Kia is the latest to plug-into the growing market for battery-electric vehicles, introducing the all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show.

The Soul is one of three battery-based models Kia is showing at this year’s event in the Windy City, the maker also rolling out an updated version of its Optima Hybrid sedan, as well as the new Niro Hybrid Concept.

Keeping You Plugged In!

Most major automakers have, or soon plan to add plug-based vehicles to their U.S. model lines – at least in part due to the strict new Zero-Emission Vehicle, or ZEV standards going into effect in California and a handful of other states.  But while sales have fallen well short of proponents’ expectations, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, generated just short of 100,000 sales last year, an all-time record.

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Kia Readies Battery-Powered Soul

Will it be launched by the Eveready Hamsters?

by on Oct.02, 2013

Kia will reveal the battery version of the new 2014 Soul at one of the upcoming US auto shows.

Kia is preparing to roll out a battery-powered version of the latest-generation Soul crossover next year.

Michael Sprague, Kia’s vice president of marketing communication, would not say when the Korean company planned to put the new EV on sale nor when it would be unveiled, however.

Stay Charged Up!

“We plan to make news at all four major auto shows, L.A., Detroit, Chicago and New York,” Sprague hinted. However, the Los Angeles Auto Show has gained a reputation in recent years as the place for launching “green” vehicles such as the battery-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark unveiled there last year.

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Kia Unveils Korea’s First Battery Car

Ray EV gets 86 miles per charge and outperforms gas model.

by on Dec.22, 2011

The Kia Ray EV is Korea's first battery car.

Kia has charged out Korea’s first full battery-electric vehicle, a city car dubbed the Ray EV.

A virtual clone of one of the Asian maker’s conventionally powered multi-purpose minicars, the lithium-ion-powered Ray EV will get about 86 miles per charge, the maker says.  And, significantly, it will outperform the gas-powered 5-door.

Like its sibling Hyundai, Kia has been slow to embrace battery power, only recently introducing its first hybrid in the key U.S. market, a version of the midsize Optima sedan.  But both Korean brands have announced plans to aggressively expand their electrified offerings, with an array of conventional hybrids, plug-ins and full battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, under development.

News You Can Use!

The Kia Ray EV uses a 16.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer pack – about the same size as the larger Chevrolet Volt, and a third smaller than the battery pack in the Nissan Leaf.  It powers a 50kW, or 67 horsepower, electric motor which turns out 123 lb-ft of torque.

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First Look: Kia Naimo

A battery car for squares?

by on Mar.31, 2011

Naimo, Kia's third battery car concept, adopts the square shape familiar to fans of the Soul.

A first look at the new Naimo concept vehicle and you might think you’re looking at the next-generation Kia Soul.  They do share some basics, including the hard-edged new prototype its name, Naimo derived from the Korean word for “square shape.”

But with its pottery-like finish, the new Kia Naimo is the latest in a string of battery-powered prototypes from the Korean carmaker, this one making its debut today at the annual Seoul Motor Show.  As with many recent electric vehicles, Kia’s concept targets an urban market where today’s relatively limited batteries won’t produce excess range anxiety.

Stay Tuned In!

A relatively simple design nonetheless boasts some distinctive features, including a wraparound windshield and an unusual, asymmetric sunroof.  The front and rear LED lamps use a dot-like design.

Though it sits on a modest B-segment platform, Kia targeted a more upscale market for the Naimo, offering a Korean oak-laden interior contrasted by the use of a classic Korean paper-finished headliner.

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