(LEAD) Kia’s Soul EV price set at around 42 mln won

7 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи (LEAD) Kia’s Soul EV price set at around 42 mln won отключены

(LEAD) Kia’s Soul EV price set at around 42 mln won

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) — The sales price of the Soul electric vehicle (EV), which offers practical driving range and handling characteristics on par with those of its combustion-engine counterpart, is to be set at around 42 million won (US$39,400), Kia Motors Corp. said Tuesday.

The country’s second-largest carmaker said the car built on the platform of second generation Soul hatchback with the first car to be handed over late this week, with full-fledge sales to take place next month.

The car, which is Kia’s first global EV, is packed with the latest energy-saving features and gets class-leading warranty for all key parts that will lessen any anxieties people may have for buying an electric-powered vehicle for the first time, according to the carmaker. Kia had been selling the Ray EV in the South Korean market since 2011.

It said that while the sales price is similar to those of much larger premium cars, local consumers will actually be paying about 20 million won, due to hefty subsidies provided by the Ministry of Environment and local governments.

In effect the EV will be similarly priced to the high-trim level gasoline-powered Soul, a company official said.

The ministry will offer 15 million won in subsidies for people who buy the eco-friendly vehicles this year, with local government footing a maximum 9 million won for those purchasing EVs. In addition, people will get tax benefits that can further ease the burden of buying the Soul EV.

The company that first unveiled the car at the Chicago Auto Show in early February said the compact has been rated by the government to travel 148 kilometers on a full charge, with separate power connecting ports in the reshaped grille. The government figures deduct the highest numbers reached to reflect ordinary driving habits of drivers. The recharge time using the fact DC mode takes 24-33 minutes, while that with the slower AC adapter can take around 4.5 hours.

In tests conducted by Kia, the car achieved combined highway and city driving of 235 kilometers, which is the best in the class, with the exception of Tesla cars that cost much more than the Soul EV, said Lee Yong-min, manager at Kia’s marketing team. He added that the numbers are slightly better than the latest Nissan Leaf vehicles tested by Kia.

The car powered by an 81.4 kilowatt electric motor mated to a 27 kilowatt hour high-density lithium-ion polymer battery can push the boxy car from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 11.2 seconds, with top speed rated at 145 kilometers per hour. The drive system has been rated at 111 horsepower with 29 kilogram-meter (kg-m) of torque.

Kia claimed these numbers are not close to the performance of the 1.6-liter naturally aspirated gasoline-engined variant of the Soul 2014, which has 132 ponies under the hood and can generate 16.4 kg-m of torque.

On the car’s warranty, Kia said it will give 10 years and 160,000 kilometers for all critical parts of the Soul EV. The warranty is also industry best, with the battery durability actually being tested for up to 300,000 kilometers.

Kia said that any loss in energy efficiency of the 96-cell battery unit is not really different from losses caused when combustion engines become old.

Regarding the technological aspect, the carmaker, part of the Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automotive conglomerate, argued the Soul EV represents the pinnacle of technological excellence.

All key components that go into the Soul EV have been made in-house, which will give the automotive group global competitiveness in the building of eco-friendly cars down the road, Kia said.

Some features highlighted by Kia include state-of-the-art heat pump systems that can generate heating for passengers in an energy-efficient manner, next-generation regenerative breaking that creates power if the driver removes his foot from the accelerator, and individual heating and air-conditioning that can save power.

Compared with its rivals, Kia said the car only little cabin and trunk space was reduced to accommodate the battery pack placed on the floor so the interior is of a practical size. Other EVs have been criticized for having impractical space inside.

On the navigation system, it has been specially tailored to help drivers find recharging stations and offers real feedback on energy used and distance the car can travel with the power it has. The car’s UVO infotainment system can, moreover, allow drivers to pre-set the recharge time and remotely check the condition of the car via smartphones.

The company said it plans to set up 61 additional recharging stations across the country within the year to augment the 1,900 stations already in service.

The first Soul EV will be delivered on Saturday on Jeju Island, which will host the first International Electric Vehicle Expo, with other sales to follow suit from April onwards, Kia said. Sales in overseas markets will begin in the second half.

KIA Soul Electric Cars

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