Kia Soul EV Is “Not Going To Be Priced To Try To Stimulate Demand”

4 years ago by Jay Cole 24

The 2014 Kia Soul Is All New (2013 to the right)

The 2014 Kia Soul Is All New (2013 to the right)

Two weeks ago we forwarded the word from Kia that the all new, redesigned Kia Soul would also be available in an all-electric version, albeit “in select markets in 2014” for the United States.

2014 and 2013 Kia Souls

2014 and 2013 Kia Souls

When it does arrive, the Soul EV is rumored to have a range of about 125 miles (KR – about 85 miles is our EPA estimate) and a top speed of just under 90 mph with a 0-60 time in the 11 second range.

Unfortunately,  no confirmed details or photos were released by Kia at the time, only a promise to do so closer to the plug-in’s launch.  This left some burning – and all too common questions:

  • when exactly in 2014 would the Kia Soul debut in the US?
  • how much would it cost?

This week, thanks to the rather surprising announcement that the Kia Soul EV would also be made available in the UK, we got some clues as to the answers for these questions from an interview between Yaser Shabsogh, Kia’s UK commercial director and Headlineauto.co.uk.

We Are Going To Call This 2014 Kia Soul "Mustard Yellow"

We Are Going To Call This 2014 Kia Soul “Mustard Yellow”

Electric Kia Soul EV Gets Caught Testing Earlier This Year

Electric Kia Soul EV Gets Caught Testing Earlier This Year (via Test Rider)

Mr. Shabsogh said that he expected the Kia Soul EV to arrive in the UK in just over 12 months time; with the US being a initial launch market, we can safely that assume by next summer the compact car/ute will be made available – which is good news.

The not so good news is that Shabsogh puts a pricetag of at least £20,000 ($32,000 USD) on the car in the UK.  And while any price around £20K would actually be fairly decent – as a locally made Nissan LEAF starts at just under £21K, it is the ‘at least’ part along with the following statement that has us a little concerned.

“It is not going to be priced to try to stimulate demand,” Shabsogh says to Headlineauto.co.uk. “We won’t be selling hundreds of them – maybe a couple of hundred, mostly in the key metropolitan areas. But the biggest question at the moment is not where we will be selling them but the support for these cars – the servicing and charging networks.”

Gallery: 2014 Kia Soul

Source: Headlineauto.co.uk

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24 responses to "Kia Soul EV Is “Not Going To Be Priced To Try To Stimulate Demand”"

  1. David Murray says:

    So, it will be a compliance car, then?

    1. David says:

      Looks that way. No real surprise.
      Nissan continues as the only major manufacturer selling a BEV nationwide.

      1. Volume EV makers include , Nissan and Tesla, with a fair showing from FORD with the Focus available in many markets. If gas prices jump they all may make a lot more! stop the fracking!

  2. philba says:

    Whew! Just when you think Kia managed to bottom out in the Ugly department, they have set new depths! Heck, it’s approaching the Cube on the U-scale. The 2014 looks even worse than the 2013.

    And, yes, it does look like just another compliance EV.

  3. Bloggin says:

    That makes sense. Each manufacturer will launch their first gen EV in limited markets at a price to sell a limited supply. Simply because the first gen EVs are being ‘real world ‘tested by consumers, and the support infrastructure for such a low volume vehicle has to be built out along the way.

    But at about $32k,with a range over 100 miles, and most likely coming with DC fast charging, and 6.6kWh onboard charger, it may be more of a challenge for other current EVs than expected.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      A) This vehicle will not have a range “over 100 miles” except in your dreams. All automakers lie about range.
      B) What makes you think that this will be “most likely coming with DCFC and a 6.6kW charger”? And what makes you think they won’t charge even more for the Soul EV if they do offer them?
      C) Are you wearing your Kia propeller beanie?

      @philba
      I actually think the 2014 model looks better. Not that that is saying much. Better shade of lipstick, maybe 🙂

      I do have to give Kia credit for being 1st with a BEV of this type of vehicle. Looks like CA will have yet another compliance EV to choose from. Yay.

      1. Bonaire says:

        Your A) “all automakers lie abourt range”…

        My Volt laughs at Chevy’s 35-38 mile EPA range by getting nearly 50 miles AER on my morning commute (slightly downhill) and 40+ on the afternoon one. Got 49 in mixed driving on Saturday. they were lying and I got much more than they said.

        Some Spark EV drivers are getting better than Chevy’s EPA numbers for that as well.

        1. David Murray says:

          Indeed. It appears GM has been conservative with its numbers and Nissan exaggerates.

        2. Rick Danger says:

          You should read what I write. I wasn’t talking about EPA numbers, I was talking about the numbers automakers give out *before* the EPA tests them.

          Like the 250 MPG crap Chevy tried to ply on us with the Volt, remember?
          Or the 100 mile range Nissan claimed for the Leaf?

          1. MTN Ranger says:

            What crap? My Volt gets 296MPGe*. The EPA did not finalize their method and GM was using a preliminary formula when that was presented.

            *Of course that doesn’t include the approximately $20/month in electricity it uses.

        3. Boyd says:

          I would have agreed with you about a year ago. Since then I noticed my tires were wearing something aweful on the outsides. After my alignment, my range went from 50+ to 38 with no changing in driving habits and patterns. I even bought brand new tires. Same thing. I am really lucky to get 40 every once in a while. Good range came at the cost of tearing up my tires.

  4. Dan Frederiksen says:

    Mistake. A limp car, with limp acceleration and limp looks. They will be lining up..

    They should learn from the excitement around Tesla Motors but that means they would have to make cars that make their ICE cars look bad and they wont do that. So they do nothing..
    Big mistake 🙂

    1. Bonaire says:

      Not everyone needs a big swinging “car” to make up for some issue with their testosterone. Most consumers don’t need or even want high HP, high luxury or high cost.

  5. bill howland says:

    I wish Kia would come up with an EV or PHEV version of their new flagship, the “Cadenza”. High priced so the battery cost wont be such an issue, and the car is BIG so plenty of room to hide a decently sized battery.

  6. Schmeltz says:

    (cough cough) `compliance car’ (cough)

    So much for Hyundai/Kia blazing new trails in the EV world.

  7. As Dan Frederiksen says, they don’t want to cannibalize more profitable ICE sales, so they put out a weak product. Kia fans cross-pollinated with EV tendencies (are there any?) might buy this product, but I’d guess most Kia customers are so price conscious, they couldn’t get past a TCO calculation that might make an EV Soul look pretty good. I like the idea of competition … but I’m thinking a few small geo-political changes could make Tesla a real winner and the other car companies more or less trying to catch up (Nissan and GM potentially having less ground to make up).

    I think as soon as the companies can see they can make a profit on an EV, they will making them as fast as they can. Until then, we’ll have compliance car nonsense and EV bashing. I’m still hoping for a carbon tax.

  8. Spec9 says:

    Are they on the Fuel cell bandwagon at Kia?

    1. io says:

      Hyundai is, yes. Might have something to do with it…

  9. Ben says:

    Just like any other Asian electric Car… fail… ugly… fail. Lets just broaden that to all Asian cars.

  10. Nix says:

    Compliance car. Not even a serious attempt either. Forget that, they aren’t getting any of my money. Let them buy ZEV credits from Tesla or Nissan.

    1. Suprise Cat says:

      It will be sold worldwide, so obviously not.

  11. Chris O says:

    Note that £20K actually translates into ~U$26,500 since the UK price presumably includes 20%VAT which is actually very competitive.

  12. Suprise Cat says:

    When they sell some hundreds, it will already outsell the gasoline Soul in UK, which would be a huge success.