2020 World Car Awards – India-bound Kia Soul EV bags the World Urban Car award

The winners of 2020 World Car Awards, which were supposed to be announced at the New York Auto Show, have been revealed online and the Kia Soul EV has bagged the World Urban Car award.

Soul EV wasn’t the only winner for Kia Motors as the full-size SUV Kia Telluride took home the prestigious 2020 World Car of the Year title. The Kia Soul EV was selected by the jury, who found the car to be ideal for city drives along with an impressive range and performance in a compact body and a bold, practical design.

Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Product Division at Kia Motors Corporation has said that both Telluride and Soul EV are outstanding vehicles and the awards prove that and is the result of talents and efforts of a worldwide team.

The winners of the World Car Awards are picked by an independent international jury comprising 86 experienced and respected automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world including India.

The Kia Soul EV, similar to the Hyundai Kona, is available in two battery packs – standard range 39.2 kWh and long range 64 kWh. The 64 kWh returns an impressive range of up to 452 km in a single charge (WLTP ‘combined’ cycle) while the 39.2 kWh can travel up to 277 km in a single charge. Both models get the Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charger fitted as standard and can be charged from 20% to 80% in 42 minutes through a 100 kW DC fast-charger.

The new Soul EV features Kia’s regenerative braking system to enhance the travel range. The regenerative braking system gets five levels – none, 1, 2, 3 and single pedal mode. The single pedal driving mode allows the owner to extract highest energy from the brakes and can stop the vehicle gently without even pressing the brake pedal. The braking system detects when the vehicle in front slows down and adjusts the braking level for smoother coasting-down driving. The Soul EV also features four driving modes – Normal, Eco, Eco+ and Sport, that can be used according to the preferences of the user.

Kia Soul EV launch in India?

Kia Motors showcased the new Soul EV at the Auto Expo 2020 (the previous gen car was displayed at the Auto Expo 2018) and is deliberating whether to launch the car in India or not. Though its plant in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, can manufacture electric vehicles, factors such as the lack of charging infrastructure, the high cost of the battery and the lack of clarity of EV policy have hindered launch plans. At its only Indian experience centre ‘BEAT360’ in Cyber Hub, Gurugram, the company has the car on display since last year.