Kia Motors America is working with a company called Greenlots to build Level 2 and fast-charging stations at Kia dealerships. Specifically, about 30 fast-charging stations will be deployed at 21 dealerships throughout those four states. Those stations can get a Kia Soul EV 80-percent charged in about a half hour. The EVs can go about 93 miles on a full charge.
Including Level 2 stations, about 40 stations will be added in the Pacific Northwest alone. The idea is to make sure folks in both the Seattle and Portland areas feel secure about their ability to charge their cars throughout the region.
Additionally, Kia and its sister automaker Hyundai are working with another company called Mojo Mobility to develop a wireless plug-in vehicle charging system, Hybrid Cars reports. The companies received funding from the US Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program, and have so far found that those wireless stations can charge at about 92-percent efficiency. No timeline has been disclosed as far as when those stations will start being available to the public, but folks in the Pacific Northwest are sure to welcome them, perhaps in time for the Soul EV 2.0.
KIA MOTORS AMERICA RAMPS UP SOUL EV INFRASTRUCTURE IN WASHINGTON AND OREGON
Soul EV coming to a total of 20 dealers in the Pacific Northwest; 12 in Washington1 and eight in Oregon2
Kia increases fast-charger network in the region with 10 new chargers
IRVINE, Calif., July 8, 2015 – Kia Motors America (KMA) is continuing its progressive launch of the Soul EV and adding to the electric vehicle ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest with 20 Soul EV-certified dealers and a robust charging network. Of the 20 dealers in the region, 12 will be located in Washington and eight in Oregon. In addition to each being equipped with two Level-2 chargers (40 total in the PNW region), 10 of the dealers will also be up-fitted with DC fast chargers, increasing Kia's overall network of fast-charging stations. As an added value, select Kia dealers will allow Soul EV owners to charge their electrified urban runabout at no cost3.
Kia's addition of six new DC fast chargers to Washington's already-existing network of 414 DC chargers will increase fast-charger availability by 40 percent in the Seattle metro area and 15 percent statewide. The four new chargers added to Oregon's current network of 815 DC fast chargers will increase fast-charger availability by 15 percent in the Portland metro area and five percent statewide.
"With the level of interest the Soul EV has received in the eco-friendly states of Washington and Oregon, it was only natural for us to expand into the region and make our electrified urban passenger vehicle available to customers who not only want to be eco-conscious, but stylish as well," said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. "Kia is committed to making sure Soul EV customers in the Pacific Northwest are adequately covered, which is why we're also installing DC fast chargers and offering free charging at select dealers."
With Kia's expansion of Soul EV availability into Washington and Oregon, consumers in the Pacific Northwest will no longer need to travel great distances to get behind the wheel of the funky and fun EV. All Soul EV-certified dealers will be conveniently located throughout the region, including sites near centers of population such as Vancouver, Washington, and Eugene, Oregon. In an effort to ease "range anxiety," all Soul-EV certified dealers will be equipped with a pair of Level 2 chargers, while half of them will also have a 50kW Signet FC50K-CC-S DC fast charger available for use. This fast charger can charge the Soul EV's battery from empty to 80 percent in about 33 minutes, which will benefit those customers who are constantly on the go.
Similar to California's infrastructure program, Kia has partnered with Greenlots in the Pacific Northwest to offer flexibility and on-the-go access to large networks of charging stations. Through the Greenlots partnership, Soul EV owners will be provided a Kia "ChargeUp" CardTM, giving them access to multiple DC fast charger networks, making the Soul EV ownership experience refreshingly simple and charging easily accessible.
When it comes to locating charging stations, the Soul EV offers UVO EVServices6, Kia's cutting-edge telematics system. Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services utilizes an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon wireless network7 and an integral smartphone app to provide Soul EV owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and a host of added convenience features.
About the 2016 Soul EV
The 2016 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 earned an EPA estimated range rating of 93 miles8 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 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.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and set an all-time annual sales record in 2014, surpassing the 500,000 unit mark for the third consecutive year. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the rear-drive K900 flagship sedan** Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Soul Electric Vehicle***, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door subcompacts and the Sedona midsize multi-purpose vehicle, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States. Kia's U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, builds the Optima* and Sorento* and is responsible for the creation of more than 14,000 plant and supplier jobs.