According to Park Tae-joon – a battery expert reporter – from the South Korean electronic newspaper etnews, the Kia Soul EV will get its battery capacity upgraded from 27 to 35 kWh. This 30 % battery capacity increase is expected to be available in South Korea in the first half of this year.
Since the current Kia Soul EV – with its 27 kWh battery – has a 93 miles (150 km) EPA range, we can expect a jump to 120 miles (194 km) with the new battery. The silly NEDC should increase from 212 to 275 km.
Just as a curiosity, the Renault Samsung SM3 ZE in South Korea is expected to get a similar upgrade (27 to 35 kWh), but from a different battery cell maker. While Kia’s battery cell maker is SK innovation, Renault is a LG Chem‘s customer.
The Seoul Motor Show 2017 (March 30 – April 9) and the 4th International Electric Vehicle Expo (March 17 – 23) are both good opportunities for the Korean automakers show us what to expect from them regarding electric vehicles.
I still hope that Kia will make an electric car that hasn’t the aerodynamics of a brick, Kia could learn something from its sister company Hyundai and its IONIQ car. Making electric cars more aerodynamic it’s the best way to get better range.
But future looks bright and I think that Kia has more aerodynamic electric cars planned. One clear example it’s the hybrid Kia Niro with a drag coefficient of 0,29 and a great EPA MPG for such a big car. The Kia Niro is prepared to have BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) and PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) versions when Kia decides to.
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