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EVs Go Korean: Kia Announces Electric Soul

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On: Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 9:11AM | By: Chris Weiss


EVs Go Korean: Kia Announces Electric Soul

Confirming rumors that we heard almost exactly a year ago, Kia announced this week that it has an electric Soul in the works. The Korean automaker sees the electric variant as a natural extension of the Soul's urban-focused design.

Kia announced the electric Soul at the launch event for the 2014 Soul, indicating that it plans to reveal more details at a major upcoming US auto show—November's LA Auto Show or January's North American International Auto Show, perhaps? The electric powertrain option will offer the Soul MPV's young, urban demographic the chance to navigate city centers without spewing emissions or sinking money into the gas pump. The EV will launch in select markets sometime next year.

"Eco-consciousness already comes standard on the all-new Soul with 85-percent of its materials able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and the Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia’s engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints,” said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning, KMA. "The Soul has always been a terrific choice for drivers in urban environments, and the all-new version’s blend of technology, refinement, style, improved dynamics and value has allowed us to create a car that is as efficient as it is fun to drive."

The Soul EV will become Kia's sole EV in the US market and its second alternative-fuel model, following the Optima Hybrid, which launched in 2011. That Optima Hybrid sedan uses a combination of 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, 47-hp electric motor and 47kW lithium-polymer battery to deliver 38 mpg combined, including 40 mpg highway.

While we'll have to wait to see what the Soul EV is all about, the standard 2014 Soul will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. The new model, which starts at $15,495 after destination fee, benefits from a stiffer, longer, wider chassis that opens up more passenger and cargo room. The new Soul also offers more premium features and better driving dynamics than its predecessor, according to Kia.

We'll be keeping our eye out for the Soul EV on the American auto show circuit.




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