2015 Kia Soul EV, front, Extended-Use Kia Soul EV
Our extended-use 2015 Kia Soul EV lists for $36,625 including floor mats ($125) and destination ($800); various federal and state incentives can bring that down considerably. EPA range estimate is 93 miles on a charge.

According to a recent report from the Consumer Federation of America, 54 percent of Americans surveyed had a positive view of electric vehicles (EVs), and nearly a third said they would consider buying one as their next car. Yet electric vehicles currently make up only about one percent of overall sales.

Extended-Use Kia Soul EV

2015 Kia Soul EV
The Soul EV comes with such niceties as heated and cooled leather-covered front seats, heated rear seat, heated mirrors, rearview camera, front and rear obstacle detection, and navigation system with 8-inch screen.

The survey also found that the more people know about EVs, the more likely they are to consider one. Obviously, an EV’s inherent limitations – mainly range and recharge time – mean they’re poor candidates for most buyers, but their advantages – namely very low per-mile costs and the ability to “fill up” in your garage – make them extremely practical for others.

Test Drive: 2015 Kia Soul EV

So that’s our goal with the Electric Blue Kia Soul that will be making use of our charging station over the next year: Relay our experiences in real-world driving to help people judge the suitability of an EV for themselves. To that end, we’ll be keeping track of statistical data to arrive at realistic range estimates and per-mile costs, and also relay our drivers’ thoughts and perceptions about Livin’ Electric.

Steve and Johnnie Road Test: 2015 Kia Soul EV

As all of our regular editors are quite familiar with electric vehicles, we’ve enlisted the help of a couple of fellow employees to drive the Soul who have zero experience with them – largely to get a “newbie’s” view of things the rest of our staff may overlook. We feel their input will be invaluable in providing a more enlightened look at the pros and cons of electric vehicles.

2015 Kia Soul EV
The Soul’s charging cable — and a lot more — can be stored in bins beneath the rear cargo floor.

Tested vehicle: 2015 Kia Soul EV

Base price: $35,700 (Before federal or state incentives)

Price as tested: $36,625, including floormats ($125) and destination ($800)    

EPA city/highway/combined ratings: 120/92/105 (MPGe)

EPA estimated range: 93 miles

Extended-Use Kia Soul EV

Long-Term Updates

Kia Soul EV Long-term Update # 2: Warmer Weather Brings a Modest Drop in Range

Kia Soul EV Long-term Update #3: Holding Steady in the Heat

Kia Soul EV Long-term Update #4: Doing the Math

Kia Soul EV Long-term Update #5: Breaking the 3-cents-per-mile Barrier

Kia Soul EV Long-term Update #6: A Chilling Impact on Range

Kia Soul EV Long-term Update #7: Cold on the Outside, Toasty on the Inside

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