Kia have always been a brand that embraced the future, with genuinely cutting edge design and technology common place across the range but now the Soul EV is being used in an electric vehicle charging experiment that could have ripples right across the industry.
The Kia Soul EV was greeted with very positive reviews when it was launched, both short term tests and longer term reviews hailed it as smooth, refined and will equipped. This kind of praise for what is still, for some, a niche segment is very important. The Soul EV is now being used in an experiment organised by the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center Inc (HATCI) and Mojo Motability Inc which may well lead to global changes and advances in wireless charging.
Wireless charging allows electric vehicles to be charged without a complete connection between charging point and car, this will mean far more flexibility in terms of how charging points are set up which is going to be very important if we are to see a big increase in the number of EVs on the roads. This kind more flexible charging may also allow manufacturers to make smaller lighter battery systems with shorter ranges, the ease and availability of charging points would mean people would not be so concerned with long ranges. Of course, the options would be there for longer range cars and this may lead to either changeable battery set ups or just people buying cars to suit their needs specifically.
The experiments into wireless charging are now into the real world phase, this means the Soul is actually being used on the roads as part of this experiment. The researchers are looking into how well the wireless charging actually works, how safe it is and how it performs over time. The idea of having large garages where cars could simply pull into a space for a quick charge without having to actually plug in is an amazing one. It has the potential to be integrated into shop car parks, cinemas and the like where people get a charge while they are shopping and come back to a car fully “fuelled”. Taking the hassle out of charging is one, if not the, most important factors in increasing the spread of electric vehicles and Kia are right at the cutting edge of testing in this field.