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Kia calls its car an “Urban EV” and the range reflects that. The official EPA figures suggest a 93 mile range – second only to a Tesla Model S, Kia points out, though you’re getting 208+ miles from Elon Musk’s car – from the 27 kWh batteries, sufficient for shuttling around town but probably not something you’d want to tackle a road-trip with.
That doesn’t mean it’s low-tech, though. Kia’s batteries have been designed for warm-weather use (sensible, given the Soul EV will go on sale in California initially, before spreading to cooler states, where it will be fitted with a heater system) as well as better thermal stability and more stable degradation over time. That means a more predictable “distance to empty” reading on the dashboard, rather than the wildly-oscillating figures some EVs display.
Charging is courtesy of either a regular 240V connection or a 480V CHAdeMO DC fast-charge port, both hidden behind the pop-open grille. Figure on a charging time of 4-5 hours if you’re supplying 240V or 33 minutes to go to 80-percent on 480V.
Yes, you can plug into a regular 120V domestic supply too, but figure on being tethered there for a full 24 hours.
The batteries are linked to an AC synchronous permanent magnet motor, with liquid cooling, and a single-speed transmission. It’s one of the more refined EV motors I’ve driven: Kia says it has slapped in extra sound insulation, but even with the windows open there’s minimal whine under either acceleration or regenerative braking that you can so often encounter in an electric vehicle.
With 109 HP the Soul EV is down compared to its gas-powered brethren (which muster between 130 and 164 HP), but that all-important torque is up significantly: the electric car musters 210 lb-ft, while the gas Soul tops out at 151 lb-ft. It’s instantly available, too, just as with any EV, rather than having to wait for the engine to spool up.
The result is a car that can surprise ostensibly meatier vehicles when pulling away from the lights. Sure, they’ll quickly catch up if the road stays clear – Kia quotes a top speed of 90 mph and a 0-60 mph dash in 11.2 seconds – but it’s the nippiness at city rates that makes the Soul EV a tiny urban warrior. Kia says the 18.6-43.5 mph run takes 3.9 seconds, and it’s that sort of rapidity that makes lane-changes and last minute overtaking so straightforward.
It’s also more comfortable while doing so than the gas Soul. The extra weight of the electrics, as well as the cross beams which double as stiffening, mean the Soul EV flexes less and feels more stable on the road. Hop between lanes and there’s no wobble or rock as you might predict from an upright little car with a relatively short wheelbase.
Braking, too, is smooth – you can either put the Soul EV in regular mode, or notch the transmission selector to “B” and have the accelerator also bring in more aggressive regenerative action, effectively driving the Soul EV with a single pedal as you can do with the Model S – and predictable, and it never felt like the battery heft wanted to keep pushing forward despite my intention to stop.
The electric power steering won’t win any awards for dynamism, but it’s accurate even as it subdues road feel. Hit the “Active Eco” button down in the center console and the Soul EV gets even more miserly, being quicker to start the regen when you lift your right foot, among other things.
93 miles may not sound like a lot, but there’s a lot to be said for having a predictable range expectation. One of Kia’s main priorities with the Soul EV, project manager Steve Kosowski told me, was to make the number you see on the dashboard as close to what you’ll actually get on the road as possible.
Without spending longer with the car I can’t say conclusively whether that’s always the case, but it certainly looks promising. When I hit the Start button the digital gage told me I had 109 miles of range; after a mixture of mid-speed highway and stop/start city driving, I compared the distance I’d actually traveled versus what range the Soul EV claimed I had left. The initial estimate turned out to only be two miles different to what I’d done in the real world.
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2023 Kia Sportage PHEV is a plug-in hybrid with 32 mile EV mode
Kia is adding another plug-in hybrid to its line-up, with the 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV promising around 32 miles of electric driving along with standard all-wheel drive. The first Sportage PHEV variant, the SUV will arrive in US dealerships in Q3 2023, Kia said today, alongside its gas-only and regular hybrid siblings.
We saw that hybrid break cover back in November 2023, at the LA Auto Show. There, Kia combined a 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine with a 44 kW electric motor, powered by a compact 1.49 kWh li-ion battery. While not really designed for purely electric driving, the setup was sufficient to coax out up to 39 mpg in front-wheel drive form, Kia promised.
For the 2023 Sportage PHEV, there’s a bigger battery intended for external charging. Kia is using the 1.6-liter turbo gas engine – with 177 horsepower – here, combined with a 66.9 kW electric motor. The battery is a 13.8 kWh li-poly pack, and the whole thing is linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission. AWD is standard.
Two trims will be offered: X-Line PHEV AWD, and X-Line Prestige PHEV AWD. Both will have unique bumper designs with satin chrome trim, gloss black side mirrors, roof rack, and window trim, and 19-inch gloss-black alloy wheels. The plug-in hybrid will also have standard LED taillights.
Inside, a dual panoramic curved display will be optional, combining twin 12.3-inch screens. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both standard, while a 360-degree camera with 3D view is optional. The Sportage X-Line Prestige PHEV AWD gets a Harman Pardon premium audio system, while both trims can be equipped with Kia Connect with smartphone remote control, WiFi hotspot with 4G LTE, stolen vehicle tracking and immobilization, and AI-powered predictive mapping.
LED headlights are standard, as is lane following assistance and lane keeping assistance. Forward collision avoidance with cyclist detection, rear occupant alert, reverse parking sensors, blind spot collision avoidance with parallel exit, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assistance, and safe exit warnings are all standard. The Prestige trim throws in blind spot view monitor – beaming a view of the neighboring lane to the dashboard when you hit the turn signal – along with junction turning capability to the forward collision avoidance, plus front parking sensors.
The Prestige Sportage PHEV also has Highway Driving Assist as standard, along with navigation-based smart cruise control. Together, they can keep the SUV in the lane and at a consistent distance from the traffic ahead, along with adjust the preset speed according to upcoming curves in the road. There’s also remote smart parking assistance, allowing the Sportage to pull in or out of a spot using buttons on the key fob.
While much of the attention on Kia’s electrification efforts has been focused on its fully-electric models, including the well-received new 2023 EV6 BEV and the three-row-SUV-teasing EV9 Concept, there’s still undoubtedly a place for a plug-in hybrid in the line-up, too. Pricing for the 2023 Sportage PHEV will be confirmed closer to the SUV’s arrival in dealerships later this year.
If 50 Cent reckons he can have the whole CES 2011 celebrity rapper headphone endorsement market to himself, he needs to think again. The Sleek Audio “Sleek by 50 Cent” cans have some competition from Ludacris, who has lent his name to Signeo USA for them to slap on the SOUL by Ludacris headphones.
SOUL won’t just consist of a single pair, either, but five different models: the High Definition Professional SL300 Powered Noise Cancelling headphone, High Definition On-Ear models SL150 and SL100, and the SE99 and SE49 High Definition In-Ear headphones. Each gets noise cancellation technology and “ultra precise audio mix balancing.”
No word on pricing, but the new headphones are expected to arrive early this year.
Signeo USA Officially Unveils SOUL by Ludacris®
Company to Launch Full Suite of High Performance Audio Line with World Renowned Artist Ludacris at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show
January 5, 2011 – Signeo USA, a global leader in pro and consumer audio manufacturing, announces the worldwide launch of a superior new line of personal audio products – SOUL by Ludacris®. In a highly collaborative effort with the Grammy winning and globally renowned artist Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, the SOUL® brand kicks off with an initial 5-model line-up of high definition headphones that offer the elite sound caliber of a professional headphone with a distinct flair for self expression and style. Driven by his famously artistic vision, and supported by an award-winning design team with resume credits spanning from luxury automotive to world-class electronics, the line dons a sleek form factor and presents an array of eye-catching colors and uniquely designed styles.
“It was important to our team to create a collection of audio concepts that not only delivers a powerful and precise listening experience, but also embodies the kind of style people look for in a nice pair of sunglasses or even a sports car”, said Bob Bonefant, Executive Director of Signeo USA. “Ludacris is a perfect partner for us as he is the consummate individualist and has such a talent for infusing a distinct style into everything he does.”
The SOUL by Ludacris® product line will be exclusively distributed by Ingram Micro, Inc. (NYSE: IM) through its Consumer Electronics Division. The new line is scheduled to hit retail shelves nationwide in early 2011.
About SOUL by Ludacris®
Expression, Passion and Superior Sound are at the core of the SOUL by Ludacris ®experience. Here to prove that style and sound quality can coexist, the SOUL line offers an array of personal audio products that masterfully balance elements such as world-class noise cancellation technology with superior sound quality, allowing you experience the full range of your music. Pair that with an award winning design team and the expressive vision of world renowned artist Ludacris, and you get the first headphone that effectively merges style with professional acoustics.
About Chris “Ludacris” Bridges
Boasting a collection of hits that spans over a decade, Ludacris has sold more than 12 million albums domestically thanks to the blockbuster success of such singles as “Stand Up,” “Get Back,” “Number One Spot” and “Money Maker.” 2010’s acclaimed “Battle of the Sexes” album release brought more chart topping hits, including “How Low” and “My Chick Bad.” With an unrivaled match of lyrical acumen, wit and imagery, Ludacris has solidified himself as one of music’s premier entertainers. Although he’s best known for his infectious tunes, Ludacris has shown that he’s equally adept at writing powerful songs with serious subject matter, including runaways on “Runaway Love.” This versatility and artistic complexity enabled Ludacris to make a seamless transition to acting. His global popularity soared with his work on the Fast & the Furious motion picture series, and his acclaimed performances in films such as Crash and Hustle & Flow plus noteworthy television roles (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) have Hollywood and critics alike buzzing about his increasingly impressive screen resume. The SOUL by Ludacris audio line joins Ludacris’ Conjure Cognac and Disturbing Tha Peace Records as yet another successful venture of the business mogul.
As the adoption of electric vehicles has grown, so has the availability of EV-specific apps for CarPlay. There are a number of excellent CarPlay apps that help take your EV experience to the next level, including planning trips, finding chargers, and more. Read on for the growing list of CarPlay apps that every EV owner should check out.EVs that support CarPlay
Most every EV on the market offers support for Apple’s CarPlay platform, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E, The Volkswagen ID.4, the Kia EV6, the Chevy Bolt, and plenty of others. Two of the major exceptions here are Tesla and Rivian, neither of which support CarPlay and neither of which have shown any indication they plan to add CarPlay support.
CarPlay, for those unfamiliar, is Apple’s platform that basically mirrors your iPhone to your car’s infotainment system. You can access specific apps designed for CarPlay, including first-party apps from Apple, third-party apps in a handful of different categories, and interact with Siri.
For a breakdown of the best CarPlay apps across all App Store categories, be sure to check out our in-depth roundup right here.
Apple is also planning a major revamp for CarPlay that will start hitting the first supported cars sometime in late 2023. This “next generation of CarPlay” provides content for all of the driver’s screens in a car, including the instrument cluster. It will also add support for vehicle-specific features like climate controls and drive modes.The best EV apps for CarPlay Apple Maps
Edit: EV routing in Apple Maps is currently only supported on the Ford Mustang Mach-E. I did not know this, and I hope Apple is working swiftly to expand the feature to other cars.
If you’re an Apple Maps user who wants to stick with Apple’s platform for navigation, the company has done an excellent job of adopting some EV-specific features over the last several years. As you’d expect, these EV-specific features are also supported via CarPlay. This also includes support for multi-stop navigation routes, which is a feature added in iOS 16 this year at long last.
The headlining feature here is support for electric vehicle routing, which means the Maps app can help you plan trips that include support for charging stops for your EV. Apple Maps, when your iPhone is connected to CarPlay, can track your car’s charge level. In some cases, you might also need to download your car manufacturer’s app from the App Store.
Apple Maps takes into account a number of different factors to determine when and how often you need to charge. This includes the availability of chargers, the speed of those chargers, elevation levels, your driving speed, and more. It will then automatically insert charging stops along your route. Additionally, if you drive until your charge gets too low, Apple Maps will present an alternative route to the nearest charging station.
To make sure you’re using all of the available EV features in Apple Maps, update your iPhone to iOS 16, which is available as a free download.Google Maps
Google Maps offers a handful of features for EV drivers, but not to the level of Apple Maps or some of the other apps on the market. For instance, Google Maps on CarPlay doesn’t offer support for electric vehicle routing. The app doesn’t have access to your car’s battery data and won’t route you to EV chargers on a long drive.
Google Maps does offer a feature that picks the most efficient routes for EVs. The app will ask you to select your car’s “engine type,” and you can choose “electric” from the list of options. Google Maps will then pick routes that are the most energy-efficient, while also still factoring in traffic and other data points.
Google Maps also includes support for manually finding EV charging stations. It will show a few helpful details for these chargers, as well, including connector types and charging speeds. Some stations in Google Maps will also show whether a charger is available or if all of the spots are full.
App Store: Google MapsWaze
Like Google Maps, Waze has a pretty lackluster selection of features for electric cars and this is true for the Waze app via CarPlay as well. The only thing Waze offers for EV owners is the ability to find nearby charging locations and chargers along your current route.
My belief is that Waze is best used alongside another navigation app. But as Apple Maps has continued to add Waze-style features, I’ve found myself relying on it less and less. The lackluster support for EV features doesn’t help the situation, either.A Better Route Planner
If you’re an EV driver and haven’t tried out A Better Route Planner, commonly referred to as ABRP, you’re missing out. It’s a powerful routing app and service for EV owners that offers more granularity and control over your route than any other option on the market. I’ve yet to find any app that creates plans as accurately as ABRP, nor one that offers the level of control as ABRP.
ABRP allows you to select your vehicle model, enter a destination, and get a full trip plan, including charging stops, total charging time, total trip time, and much more. You can use the app as your main navigation interface via CarPlay, allowing you to see your plan in real-time. This can factor in changes, traffic, and other things that might affect your route and charging plan.
If you don’t want to use ABRP for navigation, you can create your plan in ABRP, then use a different app for navigation to each of the ABRP stops, like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze. Having all of this information accessible via CarPlay is a huge help while driving. You can also view a report after your trip that breaks down the drive time, charging time, and how they compare to the planned estimates.
ABRP is a free download with a $4.99 per month subscription ($49.99 per year) to unlock full functionality. If you’re an EV driver, this is the easiest $5 a month you can spend, in my opinion.
Interestingly, Rivian just recently announced that it has acquired A Better Route Planner. It remains to be seen what this means for the future of the app.
App Store: A Better Route PlannerElectrify America
Electrify America is the largest alternative to Tesla’s Supercharger network, offering nearly 800 charging stations across the United States. The company offers a CarPlay app that makes it easy to find Electrify America charging stations nearby; the app can also route you directly to those charging stations.
In addition to helping you locate charging stations, the Electrify America app also presents some information about those stations. This includes things like the number of chargers available, charging speeds, the available connector types, pricing, idle fees, and more. There are also filtering options available for most of these things as well. For instance, you can filter nearby charging stations to show only chargers that have charging speeds of a certain threshold.
Additionally, you can use the Electrify America app via CarPlay to pick a specific stall at the charging location and initiate charging. This unlocks more of a “plug-and-play” style charging experience and means you don’t have to use your iPhone to do it.
Unfortunately, as of now, the Electrify America app for CarPlay doesn’t show any information while your car is charging. You’ll have to jump to your car’s native charging interface to do this or use the Electrify America app on your iPhone. The CarPlay app will, however, tell you when your car is done charging.
App Store: Electrify AmericaChargePoint
ChargePoint is similar to Electrify America in that its app is focused on its own network of chargers. Therefore, many of the same features that are available in Electrify America app for its chargers are also available in ChargePoint for its network: finding nearby chargers, filtering those locations, favoriting chargers, and more.
ChargePoint also offers a similar “Start Charging” button for its network of chargers via CarPlay. The app will contact the charger, start the session, then prompt you to plug in your car. Charging will then start without any further interaction from you.
App Store: ChargePointPlugShare
PlugShare s a popular third-party service that aggregates electric vehicle charging stations across all networks and types. It’s by far the most powerful platform for locating charging stations of all types, ranging from 120V outlets in random locations to Electrify America and Tesla Supercharger information.
The CarPlay app for PlugShare offers many of the same features as the PlugShare app for iPhone. You can view nearby chargers with in-depth details on things like the number of stalls, plug types, and more. PlugShare will also show the average review score from other PlugShare users for a charging location, which can help you weed out locations that aren’t currently working.
App Store: PlugShareSpotHero
If you’re an EV driver, you’re likely familiar with the process of trying to find a parking spot at your final destination that offers EV charging. This is especially useful if you know you have a long drive after you finish doing whatever you’re doing at that location, as you can return to a car that’s fully charged.
SpotHero is a CarPlay app that include the ability to filter parking locations based on the availability of EV chargers. Using this, you can ensure that your parking garage or parking location will have EV chargers available.
App Store: SpotHeroAnd more
These are just a handful of the EV apps that are available via Apple’s CarPlay platform. Here are some of the others:
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
This huge Hyundai EV concept is hiding something important
Hyundai is hiding something important in plain sight. While the new Hyundai SEVEN Concept – unveiled today at the LA Auto Show 2023 – may be an expansive vision of what an all-electric SUV might look like with a lavish lounge interior, it’s in fact a thinly-veiled preview of what’s expected to be a three-row EV set to join the IONIQ line.
Auto show cars are, unsurprisingly, designed to be eye-catching. Concepts give automakers the opportunity to experiment with designs and technologies nowhere near ready for their production counterparts, though sometimes the vehicle that’ll end up in a showroom is a lot easier to see through the glitter.
The SEVEN Concept is one such example. Sure, the show car is a sizable “sport utility electric vehicle (SUEV)” in Hyundai’s terms, diverging from traditional SUV design language and styling cues and instead focusing on aerodynamics and maximizing internal volume. That allowed Hyundai to fill its 10+ foot wheelbase with a lounge-esque cabin complete with swiveling armchairs and moveable footstools.
There are Pillarless Coach Doors to make climbing inside more straightforward – and, conveniently, make showcasing it on a stage easier, too – and a huge glass roof, along with a panoramic screen built in that can show streamed media or soothing screensaver-like graphics. Hyundai then throws in a mini fridge, “shoe-care compartments” that promise to “refresh passengers’ footwear,” and a center island modeled on fancy kitchens. Unsurprisingly, Hyundai is also talking about the potential of autonomous driving, leaving those onboard to focus on playing with the tech rather than being concerned with the road.
Look beyond that, though, and the reality of what Hyundai is teasing is much more down to earth – though undoubtedly even more important. The SEVEN Concept is a preview of what the automaker can do atop its E-GMP, the Electric-Global Modular Platform it developed specifically for EVs. More specifically, it’s a vision of a future three-row, seven-seater all-electric model.
It’s not hard to imagine that slotting in above the IONIQ 5, the five-seat electric hatchback which Hyundai announced back in February. A Hyundai IONIQ 7, as such an SUV could be branded, would tackle a still-underserved market among EVs. Though there are a fair few options if you need to seat five, your shortlist gets a whole lot shorter if you need an extra two seats.
Hyundai, of course, is being coy about production intent, and clear that “SEVEN is a concept vehicle, and its specifications should not be considered as those of an upcoming production model.” That means a version of the SUV you might one day be able to buy won’t necessarily support the same 350 kW DC fast charging as the concept – enough to take the EV from 10% to 80% charge in about 20 minutes. Nor will it necessarily hit the SEVEN Concept’s 300+ miles of targeted range.
As 2023 comes to an end, it will be a turbulent year for the crypto asset industry. In this year, DeFi, Meme, DAO, GameFi, and other sectors have sparked the market, and it seems that metaverse blockchain games will continue the popularity of 2023 to become the leader in the new year. From the current market performance, investors’ passion for the blockchain game sector has returned again, and the crypto assets of mainstream blockchain game projects such as MANA, AXS, and SAND all increased significantly this week.
If you missed out a lot in 2023, then be sure not to miss StarMon, which is expected to lead the chain game market in 2023. According to the latest news released by StarMon, the StarMon game testing will end this week, and the official game will be launched.Exquisite game design
Starmon is an essential character to play in Starmon, and each Starmon has a different appearance, elemental attributes, ability values, skills, characters, and talents. Also, each Starmon has six abilities: HP (health), SPD (speed), ATK (Object defense), DEF (Object Defense), ATT (special attack), and RES (Special Defense). The difference in ability also determines the positioning of the Starmon, namely whether it is better at attacking or defending. Other settings, including elements, characters, and talents, will also affect the abilities of the Starmon. In addition, Starmon’s battle performance is also related to the field and the weather, such as a Starmon will also get a bonus to its battle ability under the right field or weather conditions.
Like animals in the real world, Starmon can breed offspring from two Starmons. Offspring have a high probability of inheriting genes from their parents such as appearance, personality, talent, and skills. In theory, the better the quality of the parents, the higher the probability of breeding excellent offspring. However, there is a small chance that the offspring will pick up traits not belonging to parents from the race gene pool, sometimes bringing surprise to players.Low barriers and rich gameplay
The current blockchain games are broadly 2D or web versions, preferring DeFi rather than the playability of the game itself. StarMon is a 3D mobile game whose gameplay is more similar to that of the world’s most popular game – Pokemon.
PVP is a battle between players. Players who want to beat opponents and rank higher need to constantly improve Starmon’s ability and find the best matching and operation strategy for Starmons. In addition, StarMon will launch the PVP Ladder tournament to generously reward excellent Starmon trainers.
The deflationary model ensures long-term ecological prosperity and stability.
StarMon ecosystem is similar to Axie Infinity in that it has both governance token SMON and in-game token GST. In order to ensure stable Play to Earn revenue and a thriving ecological economy, StarMon also set up a deflationary model for SMON and GST scenarios. Starmons consume SMON and GST for breeding, incubation, evolution, skill/potential/talent development, etc.
However, in scenarios such as Starmon evolution, other Starmons will also be consumed as materials. This also ensures the value support of the Starmon itself.
Overall, StarMon’s 3D graphics, smooth battle experience, and cool visuals provide players with the ultimate gameplay experience. Moreover, StarMon has a low barrier and can be picked up quickly. But, to become a great Starmon trainer on the continent of Andres, players also need to delve into the many settings of the game system. And the relevance between complex settings and the impact of combat effects also greatly improves the playability of StarMon.
StarMon is a metaverse game that truly belongs to players and its underlying blockchain technology allows the Starmons, materials, props, etc. in the game completely owned by players. The emerging metaverse will continue to create sensations in the future and StarMon will also potentially be one of the biggest blockchain game projects under this trend!StarMon Official Links –
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