Kia’s cool Soul EV put to the test on edge of Arc­tic Cir­cle

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS - Carmel Ste­wart

KIA’S forth­com­ing Soul EV elec­tric ve­hi­cle is un­der­go­ing com­pre­hen­sive win­ter test­ing on its new driv­e­train and on-board tech­nolo­gies in North­ern Swe­den, ahead of go­ing on sale later this year.

The val­i­da­tion test­ing on the fringe of the Arc­tic Cir­cle cen­tres on the heat­ing and ven­ti­la­tion tech­nolo­gies. These in­clude a world-first driver-only ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem that im­proves the ef­fi­ciency of the bat­ter­ies and in­creases the ve­hi­cle’s over­all driv­ing range.

The Scan­di­na­vian win­ter tem­per­a­tures, which can get as low as -35°C, al­low en­gi­neers to test the per­for­mance of the new heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air-con­di­tion­ing (HVAC) tech­nolo­gies, as well as other elec­tri­cal sys­tems and the EV pow­er­train.

Ac­cess­ing the car’s heat­ing sys­tem through the car’s HMI in­ter­face, users can sched­ule their ve­hi­cle to pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin 30 min­utes be­fore they start the car. The sys­tem works while the car is plugged in and re­duces load on the bat­tery when the Soul EV starts run­ning.

The Soul EV is pow­ered by an 81.4kW elec­tric mo­tor, pro­duc­ing 285Nm of torque, and a high-ca­pac­ity 27kWh lithium-ion poly­mer bat­tery pack lo­cated be­neath the cabin.

The mo­tor de­liv­ers its power to the front wheels through a sin­gle speed re­duc­tion gear set, al­low­ing the Soul EV to ac­cel­er­ate from 0 to 62 mph in un­der 12 sec­onds, on to a top speed of 90mph (145km/h). Kia en­gi­neers are tar­get­ing a driv­ing range of over 124 miles (200km).

To max­imise the ef­fi­ciency and po­ten­tial range of the Soul EV, re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing cap­tures and re­cy­cles the en­ergy gen­er­ated while the car is coast­ing and brak­ing. Users can choose be­tween three re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing modes depend­ing on the amount of brak­ing sup­port and re­gen­er­a­tive power re­quired.

A bat­tery heat­ing sys­tem is also fit­ted to the Soul EV, de­signed to in­su­late and warm up the bat­tery to min­imise the ad­verse ef­fects of sub-zero tem­per­a­tures.

The 6.6kW on-board charger en­ables the Soul EV to be recharged within five to seven hours depend­ing on the lo­cal elec­tric­ity sup­ply or an 80 per cent charge within 25 min­utes us­ing a fast charg­ing fa­cil­ity.

CHILL­ING OUT: Kia’s forth­com­ing Soul EV elec­tric car is be­ing tested in the freez­ing tem­per­a­tures of north­ern Swe­den.

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