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Tags:   Cars,   Motoring,   Electric vehicles

By The Swag Team   -  December 14, 2014

Cars International, representatives of Kia in Malta, have launched the brand's first electric car – the Soul – manufactured by the Korean brand which is thus breaking ground in its quest to increase its market share in the international car industry.

A landmark in Kia's history, the zero-emissions Soul EV is Kia's first electric vehicle to be marketed by the company outside Korea. The Soul EV is a uniquely designed battery electric vehicle perfectly suited for city commuters thanks to its class-leading drive range, a spacious cabin and generous cargo area.


At the launch, held in Mdina recently, Transport Minister Joe Mizzi said the Government is pleased to note that the private sector promotes such initiatives as it understands the importance of culture change in Malta as we start to realise the negative impact pollution has on our health.


“The Transport Ministry is committed to ensure that two projects that encourage the use of electric vehicles are implemented successfully – one that it facilitated the purchase of 24 different electric vehicles and the instalment of 90 charging points for the public to charge their electric cars. The Government also offers between €1,500 and €5,000 to those owners who scrap their car for an electric one,” said Minister Mizzi.


“I congratulate Cars International, as representatives of Kia, for putting this new electric model on the Maltese market and hence making a direct contribution to improve the air quality in Malta and increase the choice of eco-friendly vehicles,” said Environment Minister Leo Brincat. "Every Maltese citizen should embrace the availability of electric vehicles as these are the best shields against fine particles and greenhouse gases.”


Company General Manager Ryan Buttigieg said: “Combining the iconic design of the KIA Soul with advanced eco-friendly technology has landed Soul EV in a class of its own. The Soul EV is equipped with a state-of-the-art battery providing top efficiency in range and regenerative energy. This becomes a winning combination of individualistic style, user-friendly functionality and eco-friendly capability.”


The Kia Soul EV comes with a battery energy density of 200 Wh/kg. Ensuring that the Soul EV retains all the ‘fun-to-drive' character, rapid acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) is predicted to take 11.2 seconds, while top speed is in the region of 145 kph (90 mph).


The battery pack is mounted beneath the cabin, ensuring a low centre of gravity and contributing to the car's accomplished ride, handling and refinement.


Charging is accomplished by plugging the Soul EV into any standard household electricity supply. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a 6.6 kW AC slow charger. An 80 per cent charge can be achieved in as little as 25 minutes with a 100 kW charger or 33 minutes using a 50 kW DC charger.

The new Soul EV has achieved the world automotive industry's first UL Environment Validation for containing 23,942 grams of bio-based plastic and 10 per cent bio-based organic carbon content. Soul EV's recyclable interior materials include bio plastic, bio foam, bio fabric and bio PET felt, together with low volatile organic compounds and newly developed antibacterial materials and paint.


Kia engineers have developed the outstanding power pack featuring 192 lithium-ion polymer battery cells in eight modules, delivering a total battery capacity of 27 kWh. A lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery which saves the electric power as chemical energy and uses it when necessary. The pack incorporates state-of-the-art thermal control technology to maintain individual cells at optimum temperature and structural design to enhance crash worthiness.


By exploiting the class-leading energy density of its battery, the Soul EV offers a driving range of around 200 km on a single charge.


The Kia Soul EV has also become the latest model from the Korean brand to earn important certification for its outstanding whole-life environmental credentials.


TÜV Nord, an independent technical inspection organisation, certified the new Kia Soul EV according to the ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) standard. LCA examines the environmental impact of both the car and the overall manufacturing process throughout its whole life, taking into account factors such as choice of materials, tailpipe emissions and recycling.


The zero-emissions electric vehicle scored particularly strongly for ‘Global Warming Potential', emitting 39.7 per cent fewer greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, over the whole life of the vehicle. The Soul EV also scored an improvement in ‘Photochemical Oxidant Creation Potential', limiting the amount of smog created by the vehicle's manufacturing process and by the vehicle itself throughout its life.


Kia's first TÜV Nord certification was earned in 2008 with the first-generation cee'd, and this year's certifications bring the total number of Kia models with ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) certification to 11.


The car will retail at €29,900, showroom price, which includes the full government grant.  As with every other Kia model, the Soul EV will guarantee owners with the peace of mind provided by Kia's unique seven-year warranty, including on the EV battery. There are no additional leasing costs besides the selling price.


The Kia Soul EV is available for a test-drive at Cars International, Mdina Road, Qormi. For more information or to book a test-drive send an email to kiasales@cil.com.mt, call 2269 2120 or visit the website www.kia.com/mt or Facebook page Kia Malta.


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