Kia Soul EV Ownership
I will be continuously updating this page with my ongoing experience with my Kia Soul EV. With this I hope to illustrate what you should expect as an electric vehicle owner. Some of the details before May 14th, 2016 are a bit loose as I lost some of my maintenance records, but they are pretty close.
Basically so far, I love driving electric, I love the car, but it will be my last Kia because of their lack of customer service. They're a cheap car company selling an expensive car.
December 28, 2017 - 69253 km - Surprise Repairs
Recently had an incident with the front bumper so I had to take apart the front bumper to check the damage. When I pulled the bumper off I found that the windshield washer tank was damaged and all the fluid had leaked out. The repairs are logged on our maintenance page if you're interested. What has bothered me about the incident is the quantity of rust sitting on the bumper support, which you can see in the two pictures below.
Now, I'm assuming that Kia has designed this properly and has allowed more than enough thickness so that the rust will not reduce the performance of this part, but it's sad to see anything rusting on a car this new. Two years, four months, and a whole lot of rust. This is more in line with what my 15 year old Toyota Camry looked like after 250,000 km of driving. While this might not bother everyone, it really annoys me that they didn't feel like coating their parts properly on a car that sold for $45,000. The needle has dropped to -19 outside and the car is sitting on 100 km of range, 50 km less than normal rating. When it warms up, I'll have another look to see what else is rusting.
November 5, 2017 - 62728 km - Tire Change
Tires look good, brakes look good. I am impressed every season by the continued performance and reliability of the electric drive without the need for maintenance. Completed a total of 8,605 km on the summers this year, for a grand total of 45,761 km on the summer tires. -4 degrees outside and max range of 122 km. Just realising now that I did not post when I installed my level 2 charger. I installed in some time in the last couple months, and it makes a huge difference. The car is much more useful with the level 2 charger. Highly recommend buying and installing one to everyone who can.
April 9, 2017 - 54123 km - Tire Change
So again another season without maintenance needs. This is so cool, I really love the low low maintenance needs of electric vehicle driving. Only problem is I've been traveling quite a bit for work. About 2-3 times a week I've been using the gas car instead of the electric. My wife just received her license this year so for the past couple weeks when I don't drive the Soul she does. Completed a total of 8,194 km on the winters this year, for a grand total of 16,967 km on the winter tires and they still look good. 9 degrees outside and max range of 134 km.
November 27, 2016 - 45929 km - Tire Change
So that was a nice summer. No news for maintenance is good news. Changed my tires back to the winters today. So the plan was to switch the rubber on the rims when winter came around. And here it is. But I don't want to wait for the spring to have the nice rims on again. It makes more sense to do the switch in the spring, so that's what I'll do. Completed a total of 23,800 km on the summers this year. A total of 37,156 km on the summer tires and they still look good. 5 degrees outside and max range of 123 km.
April 17, 2016 - 22129 km - Tire Change
Changed my tires back to the summers. I was wondering if I had to do anything special to hook up the tire pressure monitor in my summer tires to the car. The answer is no. It just works. Yay. Completed a total of 8,773 km on the winters. They are still soft and look very good. The only problem is, now I miss those rims. Winter and summer rims will be swapped when winter comes around again. No pictures please.
April 7, 2016 - 21099 km. car is back to life.
Kia mechanic says that they replaced the EPC with a new model and a new cable from the battery to the EPC. Apparently the new EPC which is installed on all the new 2016 Kia Soul EVs, has additional capacitors on it, presumably to prevent it from shorting out... but there has been no recall on the 2015 model. Oh well, car is up and running again after almost a month. Kia Canada gave me the same nonchalant brush off about paying any damages. This time I asked Toronto Kia to help me out. They said they would look into it. As of May 14, 2016 I have heard nothing from them. Max range 124 km.
March 24, 2016 - car still dead.
I received a call from Kia letting me know that they had run several diagnostics and that engineers from Kia Canada had come in to have a look at it. They tried replacing the controller in the on board computer, but it did not resolve the issue. On a hunch one of the mechanics opened up the motor housing and found that there was some shorting in which had occurred in the EPC as evidence by black marks on the interior of the housing. He let me know that the EPC receives power from the battery and sends it to the motor. They will replace the EPC and the cable from the battery, but there's no ETA on the parts.
March 9, 2016 - 21076 km. dead car.
Driving home after work I was almost home and I was making a left turn and the accelerator stopped working again. Luckily I had pressed hard enough to clear the intersection. I turned the car off and on again 3 times to bring it into the closest parking lot and had it towed to Toronto Kia in the morning of March 10th. I called Toronto Kia to advise them that my car was on it's way and before I could ask they offered me a rental to pickup from their dealership when I arrived with my car. At the dealer the person behind the desk told my I should have my car back tomorrow. I laughed on the inside and thanked him for the rental.
February 13, 2016 - 17000 km.
Stats: Max estimated range 97 km (without the heat on). It's -30°C out today. My car, like me, is very cold :(
December 16, 2016
Pulled into the charging station this morning and found this beauty.
December 11, 2015 - 13356 km - new winter tires
Had this done at the local tire shop. When I walked in they asked if I wanted tire pressure monitors installed. Of course I said no since my last car was a 98. Oops. Now I have a warning light on my dashboard. Not going back until next winter. Bought Michelin X-Ice Xi3s and mounted it on Akita AK77s. Spent 1405.16 after tax.
November 6, 2015 - 10021 km.
Nothing in particular on this day, but I have been having issues off and on with releasing the electric parking break and electric door locks. I'll have to bring it in to a dealer at some point, but since there's no local dealer able to handle it, I'm too busy to make that trip right now.
October 9, 2015
It's like my little brother :)
September 23, 2015
Just me and a Tesla charging next to each other, no big deal. Seems like September is the month to feel fancy.
September 11, 2015
Underground charging station at Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto. One of the best spots in the lot, right next to the valet service.
August 19, 2015
Nothing special, this is just the first time I've seen another Kia Soul EV charging beside me.
August 14, 2015 - 12 days later, car is ready.
Finally have my car back on August 15, but this is more of a story about the lack of customer service available at Kia. I started my chat with Meadowvale Kia trying to have Kia provide me with a rental vehicle. They informed me that I would have to go through Kia Canada to receive one. OK, first 5 times I called Kia Canada I was either disconnected or their phones were "busy" and rejected the call. I finally make a connection and they set me up with a rental. Once I have my car back I call Kia Canada to ask for compensation for the gas and a prorated financing payment. The lady on the phone tells me no, so I ask to talk to her manager and she says no. I ask to talk to someone else and she says no. I hang up and call again. Same thing. I call again the next day. This time the lady passes me on to someone else, I'll never know who since these people refuse to give you their names, and she says "you're lucky we gave you a rental, be happy about that". I say to her "I'm lucky I didn't die. I expect that you would give me a rental". She says we're not going to give you anything else. I ask to talk to someone else and she says no. I ask for contact information for someone to email or send a letter to, again no. I call again and talk to someone I had spoken to before. They also tell me I can't have anyone's contact information but offer me credits for service at a dealer. After hours of being on the phone with these people and not getting anywhere, I reluctantly accept. As of May 14th, 2016 they still have not sent anything.
As a side note, I was driving a regular 2015 Kia Soul and I didn't like it at all. The acceleration felt slow despite making a ton of noise and shifting was rough and it used a lot of gas for a new cars. I'd take my old 98 Toyota Camry over a 2015 Kia Soul any day.
August 2, 2015 - 1700 km. dead car
July 31st my wife and I drove from Oshawa to Kingston to visit a friend. We left at 11 AM and arrived at 8 PM. We stopped in Cobourg to charge at the free charging level 2 charging station provided by the local utility and have lunch. We stayed for 2 hours and ate at two places in town. Next stop was Belleville at the Best Western. The charging station was a bit hard to find, we missed the hotel then once we found it, there was a pickup truck parked in front of it. The owner moved the car for us and the Best Western didn't ask for any money to plug in. We went to the mall and spent 4 hours in town while the car charged up enough to make it to Kingston. Once in Kingston we went to another Best Western to charge up, again they didn't ask for any money.
August 2nd, 50 km out of Kingston on the 401 freeway the accelerator stops working and the car displays a warning on the console saying check electric vehicle system. Luckily there's no cars around and I drift over to the side of the road. I called roadside assistance tows me to the Cobourg Kia. Knowing that not all Kia dealers are equipped to work on electric cars I ask them if the Cobourg Kia would be able to help. That was my mistake not realising that the roadside assistance included with the warranty from Kia knows nothing about Kia. They said that Cobourg Kia would be able to help, but not until Tuesday as Monday was a Statutory Holiday. On Tuesday, of course, I received a call that Kia was shipping my car to Toronto Kia, the closest dealer able to service my vehicle. It takes me 1 week to negotiate with Kia to get a rental vehicle. During this time I borrow cars from family, whoever can spare their car that day.
July 30, 2015 - 1337 km.
I drove from Oshawa to Hamilton, charging at the free charging station at Tim Hortons in Oakville on a level 2 charger for 30 minutes while I grabbed some breakfast. On the way to Markham from Hamilton I had to stop back at the Tim Hortons in Oakville to charge because I was in my last 10 km of estimated range. It took 3 hours to charge enough that the estimated range would take me back to Markham. The battery was low so I left it at the local ChargePoint level 2 charging station in Markham for 3 hours before heading back to Oshawa.
July 24, 2015
First charging station buddy :)
July 23, 2015
Found a charging station near work. It isn't on CAA website or ChargePoint website, despite being a ChargePoint unit. Good news for me :)
July 20th, 2015 - 20 km - new car
Today was the big day when I could pickup my 2015 Kia Soul EV Base model from Meadowvale Kia. The estimated range was 187 km. I drove it 115 km to get home, most of it on the highway. No issues with the range and it was fantastically fun to drive.
Not sure where to put this, so I'm putting it here... I ordered the Bosch level 2 charger thinking that it was going to be free because Kia advertised it as a "Free level 2 charger". For reference my free charger took about 3 months to arrive and cost about 300 dollars. I did ask the Meadowvale Kia and Kia Canada about this to which both said they would look into it. As of May 14, 2016 I haven't heard anything.