The 2015 Kia Soul EV Looks Like A Soul, Except It's ElectricS

Chicago in February seems as good a time as any for the reveal of the 2015 Kia Soul EV, the company's first electric car in the U.S. And the transition to EV suits the Soul well, since its appearance just gets funkier.

The Soul EV goes on sale later this year, with an expected range of 80-100 miles. That's a little short of the 120 miles of electric propulsion we heard rumors about last year, but it's definitely in the ballpark of things like the Nissan Leaf.

The 2015 Kia Soul EV Looks Like A Soul, Except It's ElectricS

As we heard earlier, Electric Soul will produce 109 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. of torque from an 81.4 kW motor. Kia says it expects 60 mph to come up from a stop in less than 12 seconds, and top speed around 90 mph.

So, it's slow. But at least it'll be well-equipped, with navigation, backup camera, power driver's seat and a fast-charging port in the Kia's tiger nose. With a 240-volt charger, the Soul EV will go from empty to charged in 5 hours, according to Kia, and that fast charger will do an 80% charge in 30 minutes.

The 2015 Kia Soul EV Looks Like A Soul, Except It's ElectricS

Also included for the first 5 years is UVO EV Services, Kia's OnStar-like service that allows owners to check their battery charge status, preset the Soul's interior temperature and find charging stations, among other services.

Kia says the Soul EV will first go on sale California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland, which it identifies as "the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure." But they also say they'll look at the market's acceptance of the Soul EV and could expand its availability to other states.

We won't know pricing until closer to its third-quarter sale date. We're fans of the gas-powered Kia Soul, and if this is priced well, the funky little Soul EV could be a good electric buy.

Photo: Kia