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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

We have had a Soul EV for around a month. Very pleased so far, charging at home proves to be very simple and generally the car ticks the boxes for our requirements.

I'll soon be looking to do some longer trips up and down the country (occasionally doing much longer mileage where I may need multiple stops) and will need to use the public charging network. I'm not too concerned about the cost of the per/kw for the limited amount of times I'll be doing longer trips and based on that it would seem Instavolt are often working well from what I have read on the ZapMap app (I could be wrong as I'm yet to use public charging).

My queries are:
  • This is our first EV and I've read about the throttling of charging to protect the battery (is this typically 0-20% and 80-100%). Does anyone in particular know how this works with the Kia Soul EV battery on public chargers? If I run it lower than 20% on the battery, will it start charging very slow? Is it the case that on a Soul it will run fast between 20-80% or can I fully charge it to 100% when on the motorway without it taking a long time?

  • What speed can it charge up to?

  • What do others do, do you just charge between 20-80% and if so, how long does this typically take or do you run say up to 100% and if so, how long does that extra 20% take?
Any advice greatly appreciated, I'm sure there are some owners out there charging their 20-21 plate Soul EVs and have worked out what seems to make the most sense to avoid the most waiting around OR does it make sense to wait for the full 100% charge and stop less often.

Thanks,
Sam
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020
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There is a lot to unpack here.

First off, go to YouTube, find one of the longer trips from Bjorn Nyland, aka Tesla Bjorn. Watch and see how charging works on longer trips.

Second, speed. Batteries are different, in the sense that their charging speed varies depending on SOC. One can usually achieve highest charging speeds at low SOC, and vice versa. The rule is you want to only charge for as long as you need to get you to the next charger + safety margin (10% SOC). But you also want to start charging with as low SOC as possible to achieve best speeds.

Third, the Soul can only charge at maximum of 74kW (0 to 53%SOC). That can only happen on a charger capable of over 100kW, which are not that common in the UK. The more common 50kW chargers will charge at around 44kW up to 73%SOC.

PS: you never want to wait for more than 80% SOC. On any charger, the last 20% will take close to 40min, if I'm not mistaken. TBH, on the soul anything above 73%SOC, is a waste of time.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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Because the Soul and Niro are essentially the same, check out this post: e-Niro 64kW charge test 1% to 100% video

This illustrates the point @Todor makes about charging speed and state of charge really nicely, it's also not as long and tedious as Bjorn's vids - his videos have really useful information but man he could do a better job of editing.

Tools such as A Better Route Planner can be useful. This will let you plan a journey, specifying the starting charge level, expected efficiency and desired charge remaining on arrival at charge points and destination. I personally tend to manually work it out using zap-map, but take a look at it.

Over the coming months there's going to be huge improvements in the motorway charging network with Gridserve replacing the old ecotricity chargers. Instavolt have a good reputation for offering CCS chargers that actually work. They tend to be off, but close to the major routes. If you have the choice of a non-upgraded ecotricity in a services, or taking a mile detour to an instavolt, go for the instavolt today.
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020 64KWh
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@Todor is spot on - the rate will drop significantly at 73%, from around 43kw to around 25kw, and quickly drop further as you progress. Aim to stop around that point, certainly no later than 80%, by which point it will only be taking on board at a max of around twice the speed of a type 2 destination charger.

By 90% you'd be no faster than you would be if you moved to a type 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all.

Really helpful advice, I'll be sure to check out the video and use the website for planning the trip. I Will let you know how I get on and the times I manage in case it helps someone else out looking for similar info. Perhaps the numerous shorter charge stops work out better, a quick coffee and then back on your way rather than sitting for an extended period.

Sam
 

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A really interesting vid Bjorn made tested drive slow and avoid charging vs drive fast and stop to charge. I think he was in a Tesla so using the super charger. Conclusion he came to was that it's overall quicker to drive as fast as you're allowed and stop for a quick charge. I found that unintuitive which is what's great about doing the test and proving it.
 

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2020 Kia Soul EV
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There's an interesting chart over at Fastned that shows their analysis of charging speed for the Soul EV (AKA e-Soul) by state of charge.

 

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@Sam As nobody has mentioned it yet. Go and try a couple of different rapid chargers from different companies local to you before attempting your first long trip just to get some experience with them. You only need to charge for 5 minutes on each, it will be time well spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There's an interesting chart over at Fastned that shows their analysis of charging speed for the Soul EV (AKA e-Soul) by state of charge.

Ah yes, that shows it well, thanks. On the trips I've been planning, I've only been able to find the 50kw chargers to date, I wonder when we will see more of the 100kW + chargers installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Sam As nobody has mentioned it yet. Go and try a couple of different rapid chargers from different companies local to you before attempting your first long trip just to get some experience with them. You only need to charge for 5 minutes on each, it will be time well spent.
Mark that is a good point and one I hadn't considered. I'm glad more of the chargers now have contactless payment as for the infrequent trips I am making I wasn't looking forward to the idea of setting up cards/accounts with various providers. If we head over to France however for a trip I don't think it will be that simple from what I can see.
 
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