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