The first-generation Kia Soul EV is now feeling its age a little in terms of driving range. However, it is still a good proposition for those coming into the EV market thanks to a recent styling refresh, and an electric powertrain that is happier at motorway speeds than many of its rivals.
With an official range of 132 miles and real-world figures a little above 100 miles, the Soul EV is also a very practical car because of its boxy shape and crossover foundations. Eligible for the plug-in car grant, with up to £3,500 off the cost of buying a new Soul EV, Kia customers will also probably be able to get £500 off the installation of a home charge point thanks to the EVHS.
Official NEDC Range
Kia Soul EV155 miles
Kia Soul EV124 miles
Next Green Car verdict: “The Soul EV proves eminently capable across a broad range of uses”
How to charge a Kia Soul EV
The Kia Soul EV uses two charging standards for its inlets – Type 1 and CHAdeMO. The Type 1 inlet is used when charging at home or at public slow and fast AC points. The CHAdeMO inlet is used to carry high power during rapid DC charging from a CHAdeMO connector. The Kia Soul EV’s inlets are found behind a flap in the centre of what would normally be a car’s grille.
Kia’s Soul EV is able to be slow, fast, and rapid charged from public points, depending on network and type of charge unit. In most cases, slow charging requires a 3-pin-to-Type 1 cable, and fast charging a Type 2-to-Type 1 cable, both of which are usually supplied with the vehicle. For rapid charging, the CHAdeMO connector required is tethered to the charging unit.
|Type 1 – Slow & Fast||CHAdeMO – Rapid|
Charging on AC or DC requires the EV driver to plug the connectors into the correct inlet, after which the car then ‘talks’ to the charging unit to make sure there is a power supply, that there are no faults, and that it is safe to start charging. If charging at private home or workplace charge point, the vehicle then automatically starts charging.
On a public charger, an activation process is required to initiate charging. Depending on the network provider, this may require the use of an RFID card or smartphone app, often linked to an account which has been set up beforehand. Contactless pay-as-you-go units are also becoming more common on newer units. Once activated, the units will conduct further connection and account checks before starting to charge the vehicle.
How long does it take to charge a Kia Soul EV?
The following table shows approximate times to charge a Kia Soul EV. Times are for a 100% charge for all but rapid charging, which is quoted for 0-80% as most rapid chargers reduce or cut power well before 100% charge to protect the battery and maximise efficiency.
Note that the times shown are only a guide, as very rarely will an EV need to be fully charged from 0%. Other factors that might vary the charging time include ambient temperature, in-vehicle energy loads, any upper and lower charge restrictions to extend battery life and protect against potential damage, and charging rates slowing down as the maximum charge is reached.
|Rapid 50kW||Fast 22kW||Fast 7kW||Slow 3kW|
|30 mins 0-80%||4.5 hours 0-100%||4.5 hours 0-100%||10 hours 0-100%|
The Kia Soul EV is fitted with a 6.6 kW on-board charger for Type 2 AC charging, in addition to rapid 50 kW DC capability. This means that even when connected to a fast charger with a rated output above 6.6 kW, the Soul EV will only be able to charge at 6.6 kW.
Use Zap-Map’s Home Charging Calculator to estimate charging times for a Kia Soul EV. The level of battery charge, connector speed, and on-board charger options can be tailored to your requirements for more accurate results.
How much does it cost to charge a Kia Soul EV?
The table shown below shows estimates of the cost to charge the Kia Soul EV’s 31 kWh battery at home (on a domestic tariff) or using a rapid charge point. Cost estimates are dependent on the charge remaining, usable battery capacity, and age of battery pack. Cost per mile is calculated using an estimate of real-world range.
|Type||Cost/kWh||Cost to charge||Cost per mile||Home||16 p/kWh||£4.80||3.9 p/mile||Public Rapid||30 p/kWh to 80% charge||£7.20||5.8 p/mile|
Based on these figures, the Kia Soul EV’s fuel costs are 3-7 p/mile based on real-world energy usage, the cost depending on the type of charging. In general, home charging provides the cheapest per mile cost and public rapid charging tends to be around double the cost. These fuel costs compare favourably with 12-15 p/mile for conventional petrol and diesel cars.
To find the cost and times to charge an EV on a public charge point, Zap-Map’s Public Charging Calculator calculates charging costs for any new or used plug-in vehicle. The results can be personalised for different electricity costs and the level of charge required.
Charging a Kia Soul EV at home
Charging at home is often the most convenient and cost effective way to recharge an EV. Government grants are available for the installation of home EV charge points, and a large number of companies offer a fully installed charge point for a fixed price.
Most home chargers are either rated at 3 kW or 7 kW. The higher powered wall-mounted units normally cost more than the slower 3 kW option, but halve the time required to fully charge an EV. Many plug-in car manufacturers have deals or partnerships with charge point suppliers, and in some cases provide a free home charge point as part of a new car purchase. Zap-Map recommends shopping about beforehand as there are a number of suitable products on the market.
Charging a Kia Soul EV on public networks
The UK has a large number of public EV charging networks, with some offering national coverage and others only found in a specific region. The major UK-wide networks include BP Chargemaster (Polar), Ecotricity, Pod Point, and Charge Your Car.
Payment and access methods across networks vary, with some networks providing an RFID card and others a smartphone app to use their services. While most require an account to be set up before use, some rapid units with contactless PAYG card readers are starting to be installed.
Although many EV charge points are free to use, the majority of fast and rapid chargers require payment. Charging tariffs tend to comprise a flat connection fee, a cost per charging time (pence per hour) and/or a cost per energy consumed (pence per kWh). For more information about network tariffs, visit Zap-Map’s public charge point networks guides.