The hamster-mobile is getting upgraded to electric power

If you haven’t seen the latest Maroon 5-backed commercial featuring a group of horny hamster scientists, give it some time and we’re sure that you’ll see it played 30 times a day, 7 days a week for the next month or two (or you could simply just watch it here).

Regardless, Kia’s 2015 Soul EV is launching during the third quarter [first in California] and the Korean automaker is partnering with Greenlots to provide its Sky Smart Charging DC fast chargers at Kia dealerships on the West Coast. Given the tendency for Americans in California, Washington, and Oregon to quickly embrace the latest in “green” automotive technology, this move makes perfect sense. East Coast residents will have to wait a while for the Greenlots expansion to make its way across the country.


However, unlike Tesla Motors’ Supercharger network that is quickly expanding across the U.S., charging up at Kia dealerships using a Greenlots fast charger will not be free. Greenlots notes in its press release, “Top automakers like Kia can determine their own pricing models, while allowing drivers to roam across a variety of networks through EZ-Charge, a network of public charging stations.”
As for the Soul EV itself, Kia says that the small runabout will travel 80 to 100 miles on a single charge via its 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Unlike some of its other competitors (namely the Ford Focus Electric), the battery pack is positioned under the passenger compartment to minimize the impact on passenger and cargo space.

The Soul EV will be equipped with both a SAE J1772 port for Level-1 and Level-2 AC charging and a CHAdeMO 480v DC fast-charging port that can charge the battery pack from zero to 80 percent in roughly 30 minutes.
Pricing for the Soul EV will be revealed this month.

Sources: Kia Motors, Greenlots

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