Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Kia Soul EV Claims Inaugural AJAC Canadian Green Car of the Year
While most of the AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) awards were handed out at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, one special honour awaited a vehicle connected to an all-new category for this week's Vancouver International Auto Show. An appropriate prize handed out inside the environmentally-conscious province of British Columbia, the first Canadian Green Car of the Year would be bestowed on one vehicle. From a group of four finalists chosen for fuel efficiency, low emissions and reduced overall minimized impact on the environment. Becoming the first recipient for the new award, the Kia Soul EV prevailed as the choice for 2015.
An all-electric equivalent to the gasoline-powered MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) version of the Kia Soul, the Soul EV substitutes the fuel-burning powertrain for a 81.4-kw AC synchronous permanent magnet motor and 27-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Capable of travel up to 105 miles (roughly 170 kilometers) on a single charge under combined city and highway driving, the 2015 Kia Soul EV can be charged using 120-volt, 240-volt or through an available CHAdeMo DC fast-charging system. Using the CHAdeMo DC fast-charging system, up to 80 percent of the battery's capacity is replenished from empty in just 33 minutes.
Priced well-equipped at $34,995 in Canada (prior to applicable provincial tax breaks connected to electric vehicles), the 2015 Kia Soul EV is offered in a base equipped with stylish 18-inch two-tone coloured wheels, dual-zone air conditioning and an eight-inch touchscreen with voice recognition. A Soul EV Luxury model is also available featuring synthetic leather seats, heated and cooled front seats as well as fog lights. Another element Kia touts about the electric-powered Soul is the retention of the 18.8 cubic feet of cargo volume.
The Kia Soul EV was the only fully-electric vehicle contending for the 2015 Canadian Green Car of the Year. Other finalists that contended for the honour was the Honda Fit, Subaru Legacy and the Toyota Camry Hybrid. While certain vehicles qualifying as finalists for the Canadian Green Car of the Year were not necessarily the most fuel-efficient cars made available for the year, the criteria for judging the category attempted to take into account the purpose each vehicle is needed. Kevin Corrigan, the appointed chair for the award, went into length about the intent of the AJAC Green Car of the Year category. "While an electrically-propelled sub-compact, thought of as green, may well suit those living within the city limits, is it not also true to view a fuel-efficient 6 cyl luxury hybrid product likewise, when compared to a V8 gas-powered vehicle in its relative segment of the market? Yes, the Canadian consumer requires environmentally-friendly transportation which meets their needs, whether it be a small city runaround, or a fuel-efficient luxury product for their airport limousine business. So when it comes to vehicle transportation, any & every vehicle which offers both fuel-efficiency and addresses environmental concerns is worthy of our attention, and praise, where due". Expressing pride in receiving the Canadian award, Kia Canada's Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maria Soklis stated, "Class leading range and ample utility without compromise is a key advantage that the Soul EV offers to Canadians."
The 2015 Canadian Green Car of the Year is present at this year's Vancouver International Auto Show that opened Tuesday and will be opened to the public until Sunday, March 29th.
Information and photo source: AJAC, Kia Motors