The Kia EV will be the company's first all-electric car in the U.S.  Photo courtesy Kia Motors.

The Kia EV will be the company's first all-electric car in the U.S. Photo courtesy Kia Motors.

Kia Motors is currently developing an all-electric version of the Kia Soul, scheduled to go on sale in 2014. The Kia Soul EV will be the company's first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle marketed outside of Korea.

With a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Soul EV is expected to offer a driving range of more than 120 miles on a single charge, making it practical for everyday use and suited for city commuters. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the vehicle recycles back into the battery the energy generated while the car is coasting and braking.

“The new Soul EV will be at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program, which aims to provide environmentally-friendly vehicles to our customers around the world, when it goes on sale globally next year,” said Orth Hedrick, Kia Motors America’s executive director of product planning. “Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea.”

The Soul EV can be plugged into any standard outlet, recharging in approximately five hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 240v outlet, or 25 minutes on “fast” charge with 100 kW output.

The front-wheel-drive Soul EV prototype test cars currently under development are built on modified versions of the 2014 Kia Soul and are powered by a 109hp electric motor, producing 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit, accelerating from 0-62 mph in less than 12 seconds with a top speed in the region of 90 mph.