Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi all build and sell an electric car, so Kia is a little late to the game.
That doesn’t mean that the 2015 Kia Soul EV won’t be one of the best electric cars when arrives this summer, however.
Kia lifted the lid on the details of the Soul EV’s class-leading battery pack earlier this year and this video outlines the cold-weather testing the car has undergone, benchmarking rivals in temperatures as low as -35°C.
The procedure of Kia’s cold-weather tests are outlined on the kia-buzz.com blog, with each car undergoing a thorough check-up each morning – including every moving part on the car – to find out if the relentless cold has killed anything.
After that, all the car’s electrical systems are monitored, and that means the car’s traction control system and power steering as well as more mundane features like electric windows and door mirrors.
Kia is also aware that electric cars can lose a considerable proportion of their electric range as the battery becomes less efficient in cold temperatures, so the the Soul EV is fitted with a trick heating and ventilation system that minimises unnecessary loses. Like other electric cars, the Soul EV can also be pre-heated during charging for that cold commute to work.
When the 2015 Kia Soul EV arrives later this year it will only be available in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland at first. Kia has also said that it will not be priced aggressively, so this is very much a toe in the water for the Korean company rather than an all-out assault on the EV market, similar to what BMW and Nissan are trying to achieve. Expect a prices to be close to $40,000.