Print 9 comment(s) - last by Brandon Hill.. on Sep 2 at 11:56 PM

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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Amazing charge speed
By Nortel on 9/2/2014 1:38:17 PM , Rating: 2
charge the battery pack from zero to 80 percent in roughly 30 minutes.

I'm very interested to see how they were able to charge the batteries this fast without:
-very high battery heat
-shortening battery lifespan

Additionally the ability to drive immediately after charging

RE: Amazing charge speed
By mdogs444 on 9/2/2014 1:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
480 volts.

RE: Amazing charge speed
By quiksilvr on 9/2/2014 4:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
He wasn't asking how it's done, he's asking how it was done without the risks of 480V charging. 480V is okay to do once in a while (i.e. on a road trip, emergency, etc.) but doing it too much introduces cells to excessive heat without any cool-off period. Doing this runs the risk of damaging battery cells and shortening the battery life.

This is a serious problem that I have with companies advertising this. Yes it is a possibility and yes it works but doing this daily is not recommended. The highest recommended is 240V and even that is unnecessary for a car with a meager 27kWh battery. Even with 110V you can charge it from 0% to 80% overnight.

RE: Amazing charge speed
By Guspaz on 9/2/2014 4:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla's cars (for their part) have active liquid cooling for their batteries, which can manage the temperature of the battery cells during supercharging. Presumably Kia has a similar solution. We're not talking about sticking some AAs in a quickcharger here. Additionally, we're talking about thousands and thousands of individual cells, charging an 18650 cell from low to full in an hour or so isn't all that dramatic for the individual cell...

RE: Amazing charge speed
By quiksilvr on 9/2/2014 5:58:47 PM , Rating: 3
Tesla seems to stand behind their 480V supercharging stations with active liquid cooling. From what I read, Kia is using gel electrolytes and ceramic separators between each cell. I don't know how that compares to active liquid cooling, but I do know that is far better than the air cooling method that Nissan is doing with the Leaf (a vehicle I would never supercharge unless it is in a freezer).

RE: Amazing charge speed
By Brandon Hill on 9/2/2014 2:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm eager to see how they price this thing. I think they will easily undercut the VW Golf-E, but the real question is how close will it get to the Nissan Leaf.

RE: Amazing charge speed
By Flunk on 9/2/2014 3:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's pretty likely that they'll try to undercut the leaf by a few thousand dollars. Price is the biggest way KIA competes across all their products.

I will say, it does look pretty good. But I've always thought the Soul looked pretty good for the low price. I don't see many of these selling, it's going to cost a lot more than the gas one.

Rule 34
By inperfectdarkness on 9/2/2014 4:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
Did anyone else look at that picture and immediately think of rule 34?

RE: Rule 34
By Brandon Hill on 9/2/2014 11:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
I actually had to look that up... now I'm shaking my head...

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