This post is sponsored by Kia Motors America; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
National Drive Electric Week is starting tomorrow!
I admit, up until last week I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Then the kind folks at Kia reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in learning more about the Kia Soul EV and attending my local National Drive Electric Week Event at the Binghamton Makerspace and giving one a test drive.
I’m all about trying new things and learning about ways to be more sustainable, so I was happy to agree!
The idea behind National Drive Electric Week is to increase public awareness of the widespread availability of plug in vehicles and educate folks on the benefits of all-electric cars. There are events being held all across the US (including right down the road from me in Binghamton NY) as a way for electric vehicle enthusiasts, DIY’ers and dealers to show off to the public their pure electric and plug in hybrid vehicles without any kind of manufacturer or political bias. They want people to get excited about these modern vehicles, and give consumers a chance to really get up close to them. In many locations you may even be able to test drive some!
Now I’ve always wondered about electric vehicles. While we’ve had a good long run with fossil fuels, they are by their very nature a finite resource, and one that carries a lot of environmental consequences with drilling, emissions and such. But do the electric alternatives really work? I mean, are they really as powerful as a gasoline driven engine? What kind of range do you get? What’s the battery life? I know there are gas stations all over the place. . . would I be able to find a place to recharge my car if I was driving electric? Is it really more green than the conventional alternatives?
So tomorrow, Saturday September 10th, I’ll be able to check out a Kia Soul EV in person-and hopefully take it for a spin. Of course I like to be prepared, so I’ve already done my research on the vehicle. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- The Kia Soul EV is 100% electric (or 100% gas free, however you like to look at it).
- You can go about 90 miles on a charge–so no “range anxiety” necessary!
- It has 3 charging options-120v (your standard household current and outlet), 240v (a special unit you can install in your home and at charging stations, fully charges in about 5 hours) and 480v Direct-Current (DC) Fast Charge (the quickest way to power up–80% charge in about 30 minutes)
- The Kia Soul EV isn’t just eco-friendly because it’s electric, it’s also the first ever vehicle to receive UL Environment Recognition by using bio based materials for 19 of it’s interior parts and VOC free paint on it’s sound system, vent, and floor console.
- Using the phone app you can set charging hours for your vehicle at the least expensive times, check charging status, lock or unlock the car and even get it started and the heat going before you even get to the garage!
- There is a command center in the car that lets you know how much range you have left for your charge, where the local charging stations are, and a fun tree graph showing how eco-friendly your driving is.
- Saving energy increases an electric car’s range, so there are several technologies built into the Kia Soul EV including the option to turn the climate controls on for the driver only.
- Depending on what state you live in, the Kia Soul EV qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500
- It’s just fun! It’s a zippy looking compact 5 passenger, five door car.
I can’t wait for my chance tomorrow to look at one up close and give it a test drive! I’ll be documenting my experience on the Frugal Upstate Facebook Page, with the Jenn Fowler twitter account and on the Frugal Upstate Instagram account. Check and see where there is an event in your own area with the National Drive Electric Week “Event Finder”.
And, because I couldn’t resist, here is a really fun (and catchy!) video featuring the Kia Soul Hamsters: