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Home / Technology / 2020 Kia Soul EV – efficiency, range and recharge compared to competitors

2020 Kia Soul EV – efficiency, range and recharge compared to competitors



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Published on December 1, 2018 |
by dr. Maximilian Holland

1. December 2018 by Dr. Maximilian Holland


Kia has unveiled the 2020 Kia Soul EV. This has significantly improved Kia's range, based on the same big battery and powertrain as his younger Korean siblings. The Hyundai Kia engine proves once again that it can produce compelling and affordable electric vehicles.

We know that Soul has the same 64 kWh battery pack option as its siblings Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV. It will probably also have very similar DC charging capabilities (CCS connectors).

We do not yet know what the real range of the soul will look like (Kia has vaguely mentioned "over 200 miles"), but we can make reasonable estimates based on the fact that it has essentially the same powertrain as its Siblings. We know that the soul, due to its characteristic box-shaped shape, has a slightly lower aerodynamics than its siblings. The good news is that the 2020 version has a refreshed shape and seems to have a slightly slipperier aero profile than the current Soul EV. The height may also have been slightly reduced. Take a look (Version 2020 in unmistakable fluorescent yellow, current version in blue):

Here is a comparison of the front profiles, with striking changes recognizable:

We already know that the combined powertrain of these three Korean siblings has excellent efficiency. How does the boxy character of Soul affect the speed of highway driving compared to Kona and Niro?

The current-generation Soul EV has a drag coefficient of 0.35 Cd, compared to 0.29 Cd of the Kona. Your front area is very similar. I estimate the revised drag coefficient of Soul in the range of 0.32-0.33 Cd in 2020, partly thanks to a probably slightly smaller frontal area than the previous generation, as it is slightly shorter. The side mirrors also seem to have been optimized. If the current soul has a 21% higher aero profile than the Kona, the 2020 soul may only be 12-15% higher. At a speed of 113 to 120 km / h (70 to 75 miles per hour), an aero hit of 12 to 15% will generally make a total energy efficiency hit of about 6 to 7.5% (the efficiency of the Powertrain and rolling resistance are more constant).

To summarize, an EPA rating for the Soul EV of 2020 (2109 miles) compared to the Kona's 226 miles (EPA ) and an EPA rating for combined routes ( EPA ) is expected to be 240 to 250 miles (compared to the 258 miles of Kona). Note that the combined EPA rating tends more towards a low and medium speed driving cycle, where aviation efficiency has a much smaller impact. The EPA highway rating is roughly equivalent to the real range on long hauls at constant highway speeds (70 to 75 mph) under decent conditions. Do not pay much attention to WLTP ratings, as they (for now at least) remain a political fudge between powerful automakers and weak regulators. They are much less representative of the reach of the real world.

Our latest CleanTechnica EV driver survey shows that the range of the real world is 220 kilometers or more is an extremely desirable option for those who Want to join the EV revolution. The Soul does its job and is likely to provide 200 miles of range even at highway speeds and more than 240 miles at low to medium speeds. Let's look at how the range and charge of the soul are compared to their siblings and other affordable electric vehicles.

The figures in the table below are comparative and based on data from the real world, traveling at a constant speed of 120 km / h km / h) – slightly more demanding than the EPA motorway cycle, which is closer to 112 km / h is:

The blue bars indicate 90% of the total range, just like in any car, do not expect to go from full to empty before scheduling a recharge. They rather drive by about 10%. The specified range of 30 minutes of charging (green bars) is based on the optimum charging rates of stations that can deliver the full power (up to 72 kW) that Korean electric vehicles can use. In practice, these charging stations would have to be 80+ kW or 100+ kW. However, most of the current CCS charging stations in some parts of Europe and most of the US are limited to 50 kW, so these electric vehicles can only charge about two-thirds of their maximum charging power (in practice up to ~ 48 kW). The more typical area that will be added from the 30 minutes of recharge in most locations in 2018 will only account for two-thirds of the optimal area indicated in the graph.

The good news for vehicles with CCS plugs is that the charging infrastructure is improving fast. Switzerland, Austria, West Germany, the Netherlands and southern Scandinavia already have a reasonable density of CCS chargers with more than 100 kW on the main motorways, which continue to expand each month. There is a similar story in the US: Coastal areas will see more than 100kW chargers over the next year, and other parts of the country will fill up along major highways.

Hyundai and Kia hinted at a charging power of 100 kW may be possible on the Niro and the soul in the future. This should be taken with a pinch of salt (this would require a charge of 275 amps, which is a bit of stretching). For the moment, the diagrams above show the optimal charging performance that has been shown so far in the real world.

Tesla already has the great advantage of a dense (and ever growing) charging network that guarantees convenient charging at optimal prices throughout Western Europe and the US. You can also charge to near or above 100kW (120kW for the long range), giving a long range of 30 minutes. We do not yet know the real load speeds of the standard and mid-range variants, but the graph gives reasonable estimates for working. There is also the possibility that the upcoming Supercharger version 3.0 will further increase the charging rates of the Model 3, maybe just north of 150 kW for the larger battery models. However, the graphic shows again what we have seen so far in practice.

The graph shows that even at fast highway speeds (120 km / h), Korean electric vehicles can travel nearly 300 miles (483 km) with just a 30-minute charge break under optimal conditions. For longer trips, it is preferable to charge at least 45 minutes (Kona) or 50 minutes (Niro, Soul) to add 2 hours (150+ miles or 240+ km) of highway uphill speed on a medium range scenario. This is probably fine for many families with small children and occasional runaways who are in no hurry.

Slower 50 kW chargers charge 60 to 70 minutes to add another 2 hours of highway driving. This is a food break that many people like to go for a 350-mile journey (that's 5 hours of highway driving). One or more hours of food break on a long journey, which is done a few times a year, is no big deal. In an electric vehicle this is more than offset by the savings of about 10 minutes per week for visiting a gas station. This saves 8.5 hours a year.

Also, keep in mind that if you have access to an overnight slot, EVs will not need any extra effort to start a long journey from home with a "full tank" that will fill about 200 miles without a break. This is not the case with any gas car. How much time does a gas car already have enough fuel in the tank to take a 200-mile ride without taking time to recharge?

These EVs are a compelling all-round vehicle for most people Compared to owning a gas car, you save a lot of money over the course of your life. The Soul is expected to be on the road in Q3 or Q4 2019. As with Kona and Niro, Soul will be limited in all markets for the foreseeable future. So if you like the styling and the overall package, be sure to get your reservation as early as possible.


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Tags: 2020 Kia Soul EV, Hyundai, Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro EV, Kia Soul EV, Tesla Model 3


About the Author

Dr. Maximilian Holland Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist. He tries to ask questions and to encourage critical thinking about social justice, environmental justice, sustainability and the human situation. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia and currently lives in Barcelona.




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