Need help with this decision, please?

Discussion in 'General' started by Cobberprof, Sep 11, 2018.

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  1. Cobberprof

    Cobberprof New Member

    I'm new to this forum, though have been reading topics over the past couple of weeks to try to be informed about the Soul EV. I decided to join this group because I really need some wisdom from others who live with this vehicle. Our situation is bizarre and complicated, but that's typical for how we choose to live. [​IMG] So here's the situation. We live in Fargo, ND. In general, the only Soul EV vehicles we've seen advertised have been in Chicago or some other location 500+ miles away. About 10 days ago, I stumbled on a dealer ad for a 2015 Soul EV+ with 79 miles - never been titled/registered - in Minneapolis, MN (about 3.5 hours away). It was put into service on 7/5/2016 by a Kia dealership (but again, not titled). The dealership in Minneapolis is asking $23,995 - and this does qualify for the $7500 rebate. We have not talked about leasing - I need to follow up on that, because I know that most people on this forum do indeed lease, and after reading quite a bit on here, I now understand why. So I'll ask about that. As an FYI - we just sold our 2008 Prius with 250,000 miles on it (never needed a single service) and we also have a 2013 Chevy Volt with 75,000 miles on it (also has not needed any service). Our commute to work and back is about 30 miles roundtrip. We have a Level 2 charger installed in our garage for the Volt. The Kia dealership is putting the Soul EV through certification and testing the battery to determine SOH. It came up from NV, but it appears to have been indoors the whole time (showroom car, maybe?). It's currently being held for us while they do the testing/certification - I signed the purchase agreement last weekend, so it's "ours" until/unless we back out before they ship it up to us.

    Okay, all of that said, here's the rub. We'd love to add an EV to replace the Prius we've sold, and I like the size of the Soul - not so tiny, yet not big. Sadly, Fargo has limited support for electric vehicles in terms of service centers. We'd be limited to the LEAF or the Bolt if we wanted to go EV based on what the service centers can work with in our area. There is also the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV option here in Fargo, but we really did want to go all-electric. So...the price for this 2015 Kia, after tax rebate, is really quite good for a car that is fairly new. Yep, the warranty is now down by two years. But from what I can tell, the closest Kia that will be able to service it for non-warranty work is down in Minneapolis - our local Kia won't touch it because it's an EV, even for non EV maintenance. If warranty work is needed, Kia will have to transport it to an authorized EV service center - and from what I can tell, those are currently in NY and GA and maybe one or two other locations (I called the customer care line and they told me that they know require a new certification process and most of the former service centers no longer qualify). According the them, they'll covered transport to the warranty dealer if work is needed. But we'd obviously be without our car for a long time, as transporting it to NY or GA will take some time.

    I'm trying to lay this out as honestly as possible, but I'll add that I'm really smitten with this car, and I'm afraid that I can talk myself into thinking that for this price, it's work the risk that we might have to ship this off for service. I do know that several of you on here have had battery issues and/or have needed the OBC replaced. The BMS and OBC updates are being done on the vehicle as I type this.

    I just need help evaluating this offer, and how insane it would be to buy a car that can't be serviced locally. As an additional note, I did just find out that the car does not have a battery heater (as it was made for the temperate southwest climates...sigh). So I suppose that should be my deciding factor, right? But an EV that will cost us around $16,500 after credits is hard to pass up, you know? Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!
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  3. Astros

    Astros New Member

    If you're sure you can get the tax credit for it, I'd say go for it. That's comparable in price to what you can get them for used. In fact, if it's been sitting on the lot that long, I'd guess you could talk them down another ~$2k if you're willing to play that game. However, EV batteries can develop problems if they are left sitting for two years, so you should absolutely check the car out in person and drive it first. If it's fully charged, drive it as fast as you're allowed to go on the freeway for at least half an hour, then plug it in to a quick charger. If it's near empty, then plug it in to a quick charger yourself until it gets to 80%, and note the delivered charge. Then drive it for a while, and note how much the estimated range drops compared to your actual mileage.

    If I recall correctly, Kia's have a much better than average warranty to begin with, so even at two years old it's still probably as good as the warranty on a Leaf or Bolt.

    Good luck!
  4. Cobberprof

    Cobberprof New Member

    We'd have the car shipped up to us, since we can't drive it the 230 miles from the dealer (and there aren't enough charging locations between here and there yet...). But then we do have five days to decide. By quick charger, do you mean a level 2? We have one of those in our garage. There aren't any level 3 superchargers in this area yet. I did just get an SOH report from the dealer, but I'm not entirely sure what it is telling me...

  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber


    You've already identified a potential show-stopper, absence of battery heater in a place where it goes beyond cold in the winter. I would really have to look at more technical data as that would be a significant problem. Since it is Kia there is a fair chance it is an LG Chem, liquid cooled, battery pack. See if you can get the Owner's manual (frequently downloadable) and/or access to the maintenance tech data site. The latter is important because you'll probably become the self-taught Kia Soul EV mechanic.

    The good news is it appears there will eventually be a string of four, equally spaced, CHAdeMO/CCS, fastDC chargers between Fargo and Minneapolis.

    You might consider an end-of-lease, 2015 BMW i3-REx. The REx gives remarkable range yet you can always use EV around town. Being German built with liquid cooling and heating, it can easily handle sub-freezing temperatures. It would provide similar backup to the Volt. The BMW i3-BEV version would be similar to the Kia Soul EV.

    Bob Wilson
  6. Astros

    Astros New Member

    Got it, I understand your situation better now. It looks like you would be able to make that trip in a few months once Electrify America finishes the chargers they're installing along I-94, but until then I guess you really can't make the trip even just using L2 chargers. The battery stats from the dealer look fine, but I'm not sure I would expect anything alarming to show up there. It's a good sign that it reports 100% state of health, but sometimes when battery software is upgraded it resets the battery capacity calibration. In that case, the battery would appear to rapidly degrade over a couple thousand miles of driving until it settled back in to it's true range. It's reassuring, though, that they show the battery at 89% charge when they took the snapshot, because that implies that they didn't just leave it fully discharged for a year.

    If you really have five days to test the car out and return it if you don't like it, I would say to go for it. It's true you don't have any quick chargers in your area yet, but you can drive it to almost empty a couple times while you have it and see how many kWh it takes to fill up. If the battery is as advertised, you should still be able to drive 90-100 miles on a charge.

    I see from the VIN that it's the '+' trim, which has some nice added features. For that price, I'd say go for it.
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  8. Yanni

    Yanni Member

    I would be concerned about the tires...sitting for that long...with so few miles...I would imagine they have flat spots. Will the dealer throw in a new set of tires?

    Have you googled to see if there are other things that may not be all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips with a "new" car that is already 3 years old??
    Up until a few weeks ago there were several 2017 Hyundai Sonata's at some of our local dealerships (So. California) and while I was interested, I was concerned about the fact that they'd been virtually unused for so long. One of them only had about 20 miles on it. I would have jumped on it had it only been 5 -9 months old..but 2 years...I don't know I could trust a dealer to remedy problems that occurred due to non-use. But then again, I'm a fraidy-cat with big purchases like this.
    I know the Sonatas were eventually marked down to about $24K during the big Labor Day sales...

    Good luck and let us know how it all turns out!

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