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This is The Next Electric Vehicle I Would Like to Purchase.

Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:43 pm

With the release of the Kia Soul EV it got me to thinking what I would like to see in an affordable electric vehicle.

I believe that the technology exists right now to produce an electric vehicle that could silence the critics and sell by the hundreds of thousands.

I think that the Kia Soul EV comes the closest yet to an electric vehicle that could be a best seller, but there is still room for improvement.
What I like about the Kia Soul EV:
    Seats 5: There have been a few times where I could not take my Mitsubishi i EV because we needed one more seat. Five seats would be a benefit for many potential buyers.
    Longer Range: The published range of the Kia Soul EV is 93 miles. A 27kWh battery helps increase the range.
    Efficient Heating: The Kia Soul EV has an electric heat pump that uses the waste heat of the electrical system. It also has a humidity sensor to control the heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The Kia Soul EV also has a "driver only" mode for heating and cooling, and features both heated and ventilated seats.
    Price: The manufacturers list price of the Kia Soul EV is $33,700.00 before any tax incentives.
    Scheduled Ventilation: Pre-heating or cooling the car while it is still plugged in. It is so nice getting in a nice warm car in the winter.
    On-Board 6.6kW Charger: A 6.6kW on-board charger allows for the fastest Level 2 charging and the Kia Soul EV can fully charge in less than 5 hours.
    CHAdeMo DC Fast Charging: I have used DC fast charging with my Mitsubishi many times, even though there are only two CHAdeMo DC fast chargers in New Jersey. A quick 5 to 15 minute charge is all you really need in a pinch to greatly extend your range.
    Cargo Space: The Kia Soul EV has 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up.
    Zippy: The Kia Soul EV has 210 pound-feet of torque.

What improvements I think would lead to greater sales:
    Published 100 Mile Range: I believe that a 100 mile range is easily obtainable with a more aerodynamic design. The Kia Soul EV has a Cd (drag coefficient) of 0.38 mostly due to its blockish front design. The Prius has a Cd of 0.25 and the Tesla Model S has a Cd of 0.24. The aerodynamics of the Kia Soul are not optimal since it is an electrified version of a gas vehicle. An electric vehicle designed from the ground up could have a much lower drag coefficient. There is definitely room for improvement.
    Fun to Drive: The Mitsubishi i EV is a gas to drive (pardon the pun). The combination of on demand torque and rear wheel drive makes driving a pleasure. After driving many front and rear wheel drive vehicles through the years, I'm convinced that rear wheel drive vehicles are the most fun to drive. On demand torque is the most important aspect of an electric vehicle, and to get a similar response from a gas powered vehicle with an automatic transmission requires an exact combination of transmission gear and engine rpm's that rarely occurs. Pushing the accelerator to the floor in an electric vehicle is fun, whereas pushing the accelerator to the floor in a gasoline powered vehicle with an automatic transmission is jerky and sounds like a train wreck. I wish that car reviewers could understand this point. I've seen the same electric vehicle reviews calling a car both fast and slow.
    Safety: The Kia Soul EV is not yet safety rated, but it is easy to obtain a top safety rating with an electric vehicle given its inherent low center of gravity.
    Cargo Space: The Kia Soul EV rear seats do not fold down flat, a feature I really like about the Mitsubishi i EV with its 50 cubic feet of cargo space. An electric vehicle designed from the ground up would have a large cargo space with the rear seats folded down flat.
    Efficient Heating: I believe that electric vehicles could be heated more efficiently with further improvements. Electric vehicles could be better insulated to prevent heat loss. A thermal storage system could be incorporated into the vehicle to store heat when it is plugged in to be used later while driving.
    Battery Thermal Management: I do not have the details on battery thermal management for the Kia Soul EV, but I believe that the battery enclosure could be insulated and kept near room temperature when plugged in for little construction or electricity cost.
    Cool: I know that I am not cool, and I'm not sure what cool is, but I know a cool car when I see it.
    Price: The improvements I've listed would add very little to the price. We have seen how the price of electric vehicles has been dropping. I believe that this electric vehicle could be mass-produced with a manufacturers list price of less than $30,000.00.
    More DC Fast Chargers: Every 24-hour highway rest stop in the US should have DC fast chargers. Additionally, every gas station with a 24-hour convenience store should have DC fast chargers. I can't tell you how many times I have driven by a rest stop or gas station convenience store when I could have easily stopped for a quick DC fast charge and extended my trip.

Can anyone offer any other low cost improvement that they think would help sell electric vehicles, or something that they would like to have in an electric vehicle?

Now if we all pooled our money together, maybe we could raise the several hundred million dollars needed and start producing this vehicle.
Maybe not. :lol:
”Red” - 2018 Red Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive Tesla Model 3 - 11/27/18
“Blue” - 2018 Kinetic Blue Chevy Bolt Premier with QC - 5/13/18
"Purple" - 2012 Raspberry Metallic ES with QC - 4/10/2013

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Re: This is The Next Electric Vehicle I Would Like to Purcha

Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:11 pm

"Cool: I know that I am not cool, and I'm not sure what cool is, but I know a cool car when I see it."

Robert, a line like that will get you published on 8-) - you've published a nice little summary- perhaps that plus a note about compliance cars and making an actual marketing effort in other states would be worth some more exposure.

2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 105,400 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

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Re: This is The Next Electric Vehicle I Would Like to Purcha

Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:43 pm

hopefully the Tesla 3, with the promised 200 miles at $35K, will come true.

Still, I would settle for one of these extenders:

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Re: This is The Next Electric Vehicle I Would Like to Purcha

Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:03 am

RobertC, thank you for your nice Kia Soul EV summary. Since I'm somewhat frustrated by not having CHAdeMO in my i-MiEV, I've been over to the Kia dealership a couple of times and kicking that EV's tires in the thought that it might supplement our i-MiEV and be a more useful intermediate-range vehicle. So far, reason has prevailed and I've backed away from that option as our i-MiEV and my Sparrows satisfy well over 95% of our present driving trips (not necessarily miles driven).

RobertC, you've identified the Soul EV's features and I submit that the four main meaningful ones are that it seats five, that it's battery pack is 27kWh, that it has CHAdeMO and a 6.6kW charger, and it has a more-efficient heating system. The rest is fluff trying to give the perception of opulence for which one is paying an unnecessary $5K, IMO. Sadly, Kia failed to bite the bullet and give the vehicle the option of user-selectable regeneration - both super-heavy AND zero regen, but their existing selections are pretty close to our i-MiEV's. The rear cargo packaging volume is almost identical to the i-MiEV's, where the i-MiEV has the advantage of a flat floor. At 1.5x the cost of a new 2014 i-MiEV, the Kia Soul's few advantages are hard to justify.

One significant bone I have to pick with many modern cars is that the dashboard, such as on the Kia Soul EV, is light-colored. When are the human-factors people going to override the marketing types and insist that a dull flat-black surface is the only appropriate choice for the top of the dashboard? Think reflection mitigation. Happily, a custom black carpet cover would easily solve that problem.

When talking about selecting cars to purchase, a list defining user's requirements would be in order, recognizing that there are IIRC 2.3 cars/household in the US then these requirements can be easily divided and focused on each vehicle. In our case, the i-MiEV and Sparrows meet our local driving needs and the Gen1 Honda Insight (lifetime average over 70mpg) is our long trip vehicle - our rarely-used Isuzu Trooper SUV is strictly reserved as a serious tow vehicle and is most-often used by friends who borrow it when they need to transport something. Now, a Tesla SD (AWD) with a serious hitch would satisfy both our long-distance and towing needs… but (sanity check) do we want to spend $100K on something that is used for less than 1% of our trip needs?
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

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Re: This is The Next Electric Vehicle I Would Like to Purcha

Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:00 pm

Today I had the opportunity to test Kia Soul EV for two hours. I'm in love again!

I drive Citroen C-Zero for last two years. Soul EV is by faaaar superior in comparison with Citroen. Excellent equipment, big battery, lots of space, 5 seats, android application with many features, excellent layout of buttons on the instrument panel ...

After expiry of the three-year commitment of ownership of the current e-vehicle next year Kia Soul will probably be my first choice.
Tired of smelly garage - switched to EV in 2012!
Zelenec = Greeny, Treehugger, Ecofan

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