Kia Motors America (KMA) and Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. announced an expanded partnership with the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to help develop and demonstrate Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) advanced smart charging software algorithms.
Kia will provide six Soul EVs with the shared goal of creating software algorithms for use in coordinating the charging of plug-in electric vehicles to support grid resource operation.
Vehicle-to-grid defines a system which enables battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) to communicate with the power grid for bi-directional power flow while being grid-connected. This enables the vehicles to serve as energy storage to help manage energy demand.
Demonstration and evaluation of Soul EVs will increase understanding of how BEVs are managed on the electric grid, while identifying challenges and solutions for V2G deployment. Additionally, this test program will help predict BEV and PHEV charging behavior and further understanding of their impact on the grid.
As the centerpiece of the Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ efforts, the Soul EV is the embodiment of the brand’s environmentally focused mission, transforming the hip urban crossover into Kia’s first mass-market, all-electric zero emissions vehicle to be sold in the U.S. Honored with an industry-first automotive environmental validation by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for its innovative use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV also has an EPA estimated range rating of 93 miles with an MPGe of 92 miles highway and 120 miles city for a combined fuel economy of 105 miles.
The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMO DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road.
Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120v outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240v outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved from empty in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output DC fast charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs.
The front-wheel-drive Soul EV is powered by a 109-hp (81.4kW) electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of instantaneous torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine common to most electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. The battery pack’s location beneath the floor results in a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation.
In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four drive mode combinations: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” or “B” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration).