Next Kia Soul EV Could Leapfrog Chevrolet Bolt EV’s Electric Range6
General Motors may have been first to the affordable electric car segment, but the competition is quickly moving in. Some of the latest threats come from Hyundai and Kia with the Kona Electric and Niro EV. However, Kia’s Soul EV may also become a direct competitor to the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
New spy photos from Autoblog published Wednesday show the next Soul EV testing and the photos also reveal the prototype’s estimated range remaining. From the photos, the infotainment system shows 92 percent charge left on the battery with a 437 kilometer estimated range. That’s about 271 miles, but we have a feeling this is testing with more liberal estimated figures from Europe since the range estimate is in kilometers.
However, the full range estimate falls within striking distance of the Kona Electric, which was rated at 292 miles in Europe. Autoblog speculated the Soul EV and Kona Electric could share an electric powertrain, which would give Hyundai-Kia another vehicle to leapfrog the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
The EPA has rated the Kona Electric at 258 miles of range in the U.S., and if the Soul EV is sharing an electric powertrain, we could see its range rating hover in the same area. Obviously, the figure is greater than the Bolt EV’s 238-mile estimated range.
Kia has largely made the current Soul EV a compliance car for sale in California with a 111-mile estimated range at present. However, the brand has discontinued the cheapest model in recent days, likely making room for the Niro EV and the next Soul EV itself.
At Chevrolet, we haven’t heard any whispers of increased range to the Bolt EV yet, but it a boost in range could certainly be on the table in the near future. GM has plans to introduce 20 new electric cars by 2023, though it remains to be seen how many will reach North America.
Spy shots: Autoblog
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All of that and we’re ultimately talking about a 20 mile range difference? I was expecting a much larger gap between the two from the ‘leapfrog’ comment in the articles headline. Clickbait much?
Ah yes, another day, another clickbait accusation.
Here’s the definition of leapfrog, from the Oxford American English Dictionary:-
– to surpass or overtake another
– to move into a leading or dominant position
What’s really going on here is that you don’t seem to understand what leapfrog means. I’ll be right here, waiting for an apology.
The Bolt has been on the market for 3 model-years with no significant change.
The new Soul will likely have the 64 kWh battery from the Niro, which would make it totally possible to leapfrog the Bolt.
Nothing surprising here. The price could be though – batteries are pretty expensive and the official Niro price hasn’t been released yet.
Crucially though the GM Bolt is only available in four countries – breaking news – make that FIVE: the US, Canada, Norway, Korea and now the UAE.
The United Arab Emirates ?! Yep, that’s right – not the EU but the UAE.
So when an oil sheikh asks GM to supply a groundbreaking EV to its citizens GM stands to order – but when EU citizens clearly wanted it GM said “No can do !”.
A modest Kia Soul range increase should have happened 18 months or so ago – just 160 miles/charge EPA would have markedly increased its appeal. .perhaps Kia didn’t want that to happen.
PS. am I alone in wishing that the Soul and the Bolt were both all-round approx. 5% bigger(longer,wider,taller) ?
It may be a compliance car, but my leased 2016 Soul has only one flaw: range.
The ability to purchase a Niro or Kona here in Ohio anytime in the next 12-18 months, possibly 24, are about zero. After coming to this realization, and the promised thermally managed 60ish kWh Leaf still nowhere in sight, I’m buying a Bolt to replace our 07 Prius before the tax credits expire.