Kia Soul EV now on sale in the UK

Kia Soul EV now on sale in the UK


With the arrival of the Soul EV, Kia becomes one of the growing number of manufacturers offering a battery-electric car for sale in the UK. Priced at £24,995 after the government’s £5,000 Plug-in Car Grant.

Kia expects to sell between 100 and 200 Soul EVs in the first year of sales in UK, with supply from the factory in Korea extremely limited. It is available from a network of 13 specially trained UK dealers, two of which are located within the M25.

Apart from qualifying for the UK Government’s Plug-in Car Grant, it is currently exempt from UK road tax (VED), company car tax (BIK) and the London Congestion Charge.

This new model is the result of almost 30 years of research and development by Kia into the feasibility of electric cars. Those years of research have endowed the Soul EV with a theoretical range of up to 132 miles on a single charge.

The Soul EV’s batteries have an energy storage capacity of 27 kilowatt-hours. They are mounted beneath the car in a special casing. The remainder of the electric drive components are mounted beneath the bonnet. Because an electric motor requires less cooling than a petrol or diesel engine, the front of the Soul EV has been blanked off where the radiator grille would normally be found. This brings aerodynamic benefits.

The charging ports are hidden behind this blanked-off section. Owners have the option of recharging the batteries from a standard domestic socket, via the Kia-branded wallbox supplied as standard with the Soul EV or at a public fast charger, or through a public rapid charger.

Using a UK 230-volt domestic power supply, the Soul EV can be fully recharged in 10 to 13 hours. With the wallbox or at a public fast-charge point, the time is reduced to around 5 hours.

Alternatively, through a public rapid charger the batteries can be topped up to 80 per cent of capacity in 33 minutes.

According to Kia the Soul EV has a fun-to-drive character. Its electric motor develops 81.4 kilowatts – the equivalent of 109bhp in a combustion-engined model. The Soul EV has a top speed of 90mph and can accelerate from 0-60mph in 10.8 seconds.

To help the driver maximise the car’s range, the Soul EV has two different performance levels – DRIVE and BRAKE – both of which can additionally be operated in ECO mode as a further means of extending the car’s range. The driver is therefore able to vary the recharging effect of the regenerative braking system and the performance of the car according to the requirements at any particular time.

A 3.5-inch OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) information cluster monitors the driver’s energy efficiency and displays the energy flow, battery level, charging time and the selected settings for the air conditioning system.


Outwardly, the only obvious differences between the Soul EV and the models powered by internal combustion engines are the front end devoid of a radiator grille, the absence of a fuel filler flap and the unique rear light clusters.

It was a major challenge for Kia’s designers and engineers to reshape the floor without affecting passenger space and versatility. The only impact is an 80mm reduction in rear-seat legroom, for which Kia has compensated by changing the materials used for the rear-seat construction. The Soul EV, like any other Soul, is therefore a compact but spacious five-seat crossover with a large boot accessed through a wide-opening, high-lift tailgate.

In keeping with its environmentally friendly powertrain, the cabin is trimmed in ‘green’ materials wherever possible. This has led to the car being awarded UL Environment Validation for using bio-based organic carbon content for 10 per cent of its interior trim. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a global independent safety science company. Bio-degradable plastic, bio-foam and bio-fabric are all used in the Soul EV’s interior.

In common with all Kias, the Soul EV is covered by Kia’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, which includes all labour and parts except those subject to normal wear and tear. The warranty is transferable if the car is sold before the time/mileage limit expires.

It is available with Kia’s Care-3 servicing package, which covers the cost of all routine maintenance – ­including parts and labour – for three years, at a cost of just £199. Like the warranty, this can be transferred to any subsequent owner should the car be sold before the expiry date.