Kia Hints At Expanded Soul EV Availability In U.S. – Coming To Atlanta By End Of April

MAR 13 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 20

Kia Soul EV At 2015 NAIAS - Image Credit: InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV At 2015 NAIAS – Image Credit: InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV At 2015 NAIAS - Image Credit: InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV At 2015 NAIAS – Image Credit: InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney

There’s a production bottleneck holding up plans for an expanded U.S. rollout of the Kia Soul EV, but once that’s solved, the electric Soul will be offered in additional U.S. states.

Kia’s EV Product Manager, Steve Kosowski, told ChargedEVs:

“The issue is actually getting enough cars.  As soon as we can get the supply, we’re going to start selling the car outside of California. What we don’t want to do is starve our California dealers after they’ve already invested in chargers and tools and training. The Soul EV is the first electric car we’ve sold outside of Korea. So, we want to make sure that the quality is there, that the suppliers and the distributors and the dealers and everybody in the whole chain is ready and there are no problems.”

According to Kia, annual Soul EV production is in the 5,000-unit range at this point in time.  That’s a low figure that will need to be dialed up before Kia commits to offering the electric Soul more widely in the U.S.

Orth Hedrick, Kia’s VP of Product Planning, admits that the automakers was “kind of shocked at how well the Soul EV was received.”

It sounds as though Kia didn’t plan for the electric Soul to be a success so quickly, but now that Kia is aware that the demand is there, the automaker is ready to step up its efforts.

Which new U.S. markets will get the Soul EV?  We’re not entirely sure, but we hear that the electric Soul will be available in the Atlanta Metro before the end of next month.

Kia is expected to reveal its rollout plans in April, perhaps at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

Source: ChargedEVs

Categories: Kia

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20 Comments on "Kia Hints At Expanded Soul EV Availability In U.S. – Coming To Atlanta By End Of April"

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Well, at least they’re considering selling them in other states.

Have to give KIA credit for sticking to it, and not abandoning their compliance EV, like Toyota did.

They sound production constrained, too.

If it were just for compliance then they wouldn’t have any reason to sell it in other countries, and it’s sold in plenty of countries.

They do need to step up production though.

And the 0 – 60. It’s a tad pokey…

“What we don’t want to do is starve our California dealers after they’ve already invested in chargers and tools and training.”

That certainly sounds better than “We want to make sure that we get our CARB credits first, before rolling out to less attractive markets”

+1

This car is already available in Canada, without CARB credit 😉

But seeing the video of this car production, I’m pretty sure they seems ready to roll out more cars pretty fast!

LOL. True.

The Soul EV could probably outsell the Leaf if they had enough production capacity.

If you want a black/red one, there are about 50 in Irvine. We had to go emergency shopping last weekend and wanted the blue/white, but there were only about 5 in the LA area.

I don’t know how much of the local supply issue is due to the backlog at the ports, but ours was just off the truck with all plastic wrapping intact, so maybe it is starting to clear.

I desperately want to see wider availability of the Soul EV, as it’s the only EV that I would consider, aside from another Leaf, when my current lease is up. And yes, the red/black version would be my first choice, hands down.

But I call BS on the “it’s a much bigger success than we ever could have imagined!” stuff. I think it’s vastly more likely that they said, “We do a slow roll out to minimize the risk from screwing this up. If it sells slowly, we figure out what we did wrong and fix it. If it sells well, we act like we’re shocked at how much people love our little hamstermobile and ramp up production.”

Isn’t that interesting KIA? People actually want to buy this Soul EV. But your fuel cells cars? . . . not so much. 😉

Oh, please put batteries into a more aerodynamic car like the Sonata. And offer a larger battery size. And offer both Chademo and SAE-CCS.

If I were Kia, I would target Nissan’s top 20 US markets first. They would benefit from existing EVSE infrastructure and an audience base that already has some EV buyers.

Also I would hire a good data company to get me a list of current EV owners, and start blitzing them with direct mail letting them know about the Kia Soul EV.

1) Kia announces release of Soul EV in the US
2) Kia announces release only to 5 states
3) Kia announces release to California in Oct. 2014 with plans to release in all 50 States starting Feb. 2015
4) Kia admits the Soul EV was always intended to only be a compliance car
5) Kia announces they’re going to start releasing to other States
6) Kia announces they’re shocked by demand for the Soul EV … really?!?!

7) No one believes anything they announce 🙂

Kia is proceeding wisely, in my opinion. They have a good generation 1.5 product and are targeting the most profitable areas first. Ford had a similar strategy. It’s somewhere between compliance-only (GM, Fiat, etc…) and borderline-recklessness (Nissan, Tesla). I think they are in the best position right now, from a business standpoint.

From my position, though, as someone who is just a few months from the end of his lease, I really wish Kia would hurry up. The Kia Soul EV is the most realistic replacement for my LEAF.

I paid deposit in October 2014 and still no words of when I will get my car.
Launch of Soul EV in Ontario has been a major failure.

I cancelled my deposit in Ontario 2 months ago (bought Model S) and they called me the other day to see if I was still interested, as they had one available. Call Meadowvale Kia (corporate run store), they are a pleasure to work with and they don’t mess around with extra fees.

I pulled in to charge at work yesterday at my office complex in Atlanta, and there was a Kia Soul EV charging at one of the chargers, and it had a Georgia plate on it, not a manufacturer or dealer plate. So it’s apparently already available here.

have a deposit over 1 yr ago
upfront total lease payment
cannot believe its not on
long island ny yet

ridiculus