Kia ramps up DC Fast Charging Network for Arrival of 2015 Soul EV
Kia Motors America (KMA) is kicking off the implementation of a robust charging network in advance of the Soul EV going on sale in California during the third quarter of this year. With Kia's addition of 17 new dc fast chargers to California's already-existing network of 198, charger availability will be increased nearly nine percent statewide by year-end. KMA's EV charging infrastructure plan provides Soul EV buyers with broad coverage, flexibility and excellent support, and Kia's networking partnership with Greenlots will connect customers to DC fast chargers in convenient locations throughout California.
Select Soul EV dealers in Northern and Southern California will be fitted with multiple Level 2 240V chargers and ABB's 50kW Terra 53 CJ dc fast charger, which can charge the Soul EV's battery from empty to 80 percent in about 33 minutes, to help build range confidence. Designed for the "charge and go" segment, the Terra 53 multi-standard dc charging station is ideal for use at car dealerships, fuel stations and high-turnover parking applications. The Kia dealership locations with available charging stations will be announced closer to the Soul EV's on-sale date later this year, and following the California launch of the Soul EV, select additional markets are set to come online in 2015.
"The Soul EV is a key vehicle within Kia's 'Clean Mobility' program, and having access to Level 2 and an increased number of DC fast chargers at select Kia dealerships is an opportunity for us to provide value to Soul EV owners, signaling Kia's commitment to the growing EV market," said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. "Our customers are making a sincere effort to be eco-conscious, and Kia is committed to delivering both flexible and convenient charging options to Soul EV owners."
Kia has partnered with Greenlots to offer flexibility and on-the-go access to large networks of charging stations via the EZ-Charge program, making the Soul EV ownership experience refreshingly simple and charging easily accessible. Through the Greenlots partnership, Soul EV owners will be provided a "Kia ChargeUp Card," giving them access to DC fast chargers via Greenlots' SKYâ„¢ network system. Soul EV owners can easily locate charging stations via Kia's free UVO EVServices telematics app through their smartphone or the standard 8-inch touchscreen inside the vehicle.
Partnerships have also been forged with Bosch, LevitonÂ® and Aerovironmentâ„¢ to serve as Level 2 at-home charging options for owners and also for Kia dealers. Recharging times vary from under five hours when plugged into a 240V outlet to about 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120V outlet. Regardless of their charging preference, Soul EV buyers will have the best in variety and value through high-quality, efficient and reliable products and services from each partner.
The 2015 Soul EV is Kia's first ever all-electric, zero-emissions car to be sold in the U.S. The Soul EV offers the fun and vibrant styling that customers have grown to love about the gasoline-powered model but with a number of interior and exterior enhancements that are unique to the EV. The Soul EV gets an impressive 80-100 miles of real-world range when the 27kWh, 360V, 192-cell lithium-ion polymer battery is fully charged, and the regenerative braking system captures up to 12 percent of the Soul EV's kinetic energy when coasting and braking to also help recharge the battery. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: "Drive" or "Brake" modes in Eco-mode "Off," and "Drive" or "Brake" modes in Eco-mode "On" (the "Brake" setting with Eco-mode "On" produces the most regeneration).
The battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety.
The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240V EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level-1 and Level-2 ac charging, and a CHAdeMO 480V dc fast-charging port. Found behind a sliding door located in the grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV's go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner's garage or when on the road.