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Kia continues fast-charger buildout ahead of Soul EV arrival

California charger network promises to fill Soul batteries to 80 percent in a half hour.

In preparation for the Soul EV's US launch, Kia is continuing to build out its fast charger network in California.

An additional 17 fast chargers will be installed around the Golden State, adding to the existing network that already has nearly 200 sites.

The 50kW Terra DC fast chargers are claimed to fill a depleted Soul EV battery to 80 percent in just 33 minutes, providing an extra 64-80 miles of driving range. In contrast, fully charging the battery from a home 120-volt outlet can take up to 24 hours.

The quick chargers are designed for use at car dealerships, fuel stations and parking lots near shopping facilities, where drivers are naturally in a hurry to quickly arrive and depart. For longer-term parking areas, such as at home or at work, a Level 2 charger can fill an exhausted battery in under five hours.

Several EV makers are following in Tesla Motors' footsteps, actively building fast-charger infrastructure -- or securing free-charging contracts with third-party networks -- to alleviate the 'range anxiety' that has limited wider adoption of electric vehicles.

The Soul EV will be Kia's first all-electric model to be sold in the US market, initially targeting California before moving to other regions. It integrates a 27 kWh battery with 80-100 miles of range, positioning the hatchback as a direct rival to the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and other compact EVs.

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