Kia Soul EV – Exclusive Rollout Information & Live Images From 2014 LA Auto Show

NOV 20 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 30

 

Kia Soul EV - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

We must say, we’re disappointed by what we learned from Kia at the 2014 LA Auto Show.

According to the Korean automaker, the Soul EV’s current rollout status does not include plans to go nationwide.  Basically, Kia tells us that the Soul EV will only be  available in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.

We repeat…at this point in time, Kia has no plans to expand to Soul EV’s rollout to states other than 5 listed above.  Bummer.

Kia adds that all U.S. Soul EVs come standard with heat pump, heated seats and steering wheel & CHAdeMO.  Additionally, our man on the scene says that state of charge is displayed in numeric form in the center screen info display, but there’s no battery temperature display. There is only one wheel available (pictured), no optional wheels are offered at this time.

Kia Soul EV - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Kia Soul EV – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

 

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30 Comments on "Kia Soul EV – Exclusive Rollout Information & Live Images From 2014 LA Auto Show"

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“the Soul EV will only be available in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.”

Boo! Hiss!

Triple Boo!

Also a Boo to whoever it was in the Washington state legislature that stripped the CARB-like clean vehicle mandates when our state adopted all the rest of California’s vehicle air quality standards.

That’s why Oregon still gets those compliance models and we don’t.

Sad :O(

So it’s a CONN M car?

*sigh*… compliance vehicle status confirmed. 🙁

Not quite… it’s just more profitable to sell them in other countries, than in US states when they don’t gain clean-vehicle-compliance credits for them.

Strict compliance cars are produced only in quantities sufficient to meet those credits, and sold only there. By contrast, the Soul EV is doing pretty well in Europe right now, where I think the margin for cars might be higher.

So we can officially start calling it a compliance car, then?

At least in the US… 🙁

Of course not… you don’t sell compliance cars on three different continents or in higher numbers than needed.

It’s rather a lack of demand and earnings kind of problem.

Atlanta Georgia has no lack of demand and they won’t be selling them there.

How do you know it’s a lack of demand? There are no cars for sale anywhere except for these five states.

There’s actually no way to know if there is demand for this car or not if the manufacturer refuses to sell it.

I don’t really care if it is a compliance vehicle or not since I am in California… It is still a kick-ass EV that easily trumps the Leaf and I be replacing my Leaf with one.

Call it what you will, but it is still a great effort.

Lucky you… But for the other 260 million Americans it is nothing but a compliance car like the Fiat 500e.

It’s a shame too, since it’s a good effort with heat pump and CHAdeMo.

Although I am happy for you I do wish that you would consider a different car that is not basically a compliance car.

The reason-I believe we need to encourage all of the other manufacturers to make these cars. We should reward the manufacturers who are making good faith efforts, and punish the manufacturers who are not.

That said, I totally see why you’re getting this car even though it’s not for me.

I would suggest your idea of avoiding compliance EVs in the states where they are sold could go even another step forward. Avoid them where they can be bought, and everyone go out to dealers where they CAN’T be bought and ask about them, and request to buy them there.

Once they see some demand in locations other than the compliance states and agree to sell them, then go ahead and everybody buy them nearest to you.

But, it’s selling in high enough numbers in the likes of Norway and where else ev-salesblog recorded the Soul EV to be in.

Does Kia still stick to the 5000 units per year like they previously said? Because even if this car isn’t available in every US states, it is in other countries (like Canada) and 5000 seems so low.

FAIL (due to compliance policy, not the product).

I already have 2 Kias and a Leaf. This could have been my 3rd Kia (replacing the Leaf).

Too bad, Kia, I’ll shop somewhere else next year.

Assuming they stick to their absurdly low production levels for this vehicle, I seriously doubt we’ll see them in any of the non-CA states, at least not above one or two token units. According to cars.com, the closest Soul EVs to my zip code (Rochester, NY) are all over 2,200 miles away, and there are only 49 in stock nation wide.

I like the styling and the utility of the Soul EV quite a bit, and I would leap from my Leaf to a Soul when my lease expires in late March if I could get one locally. I’ve talked to local Kia dealers and none of them showed the slightest interest in the car; I had to explain to one of them what an “EV” was (no kidding). As far as I’m concerned, until things change dramatically, this vehicle doesn’t exist.

This car looks amazing and the Leaf falls pale in comparison. Thank goodness I live in California.

Any right minded company wants to make money and would probably want to sell their cars in all 50 states if they turn a profit. It’s too bad other states’ legislature isn’t making it easy on car companies to sell great cars like this one across the country.

It really is too bad that the Nissan leaf is so ugly.

Because a recurring theme here is that people want to replace their Leaf with anything that looks better. If only the Leaf looked better people would be happy with it and wouldn’t want to switch.

Let’s hope that Nissan can get better designers for the next-generation leaf

Actually, I think most people just want to replace their Leaf with something that has more range and better battery thermal management.

Yet another compliance car. Nothing to see here.

I wouldn’t buy a car meant solely as a compliance vehicle. It won’t get updates, upgrades. It has no future. Bare minimum they need to do to sell 100 of them.

I’d rather support someone who is committed to EVs and has a plan to make it viable, not just waiting for CARB to give up and go away.

Dave makes a very good point regarding support. Compliance cars will inevitably end up as unsupported orphans without updates, improvements or possibly even spare parts.

Imagine an aftermarket supplier wants to sell a high capacity aftermarket battery with new chemistry and lower cost. Would they be more likely to make a Leaf version, or a Fiat 500e version?

Leasing is one thing, but buying a compliance car is a risky prospect.

Compliance eventually leads to ubiquitous. My Honda lawnmower (in Texas) is CARB compliant. I’m thinking it’s more cost-effective to build one version than 50.

We have it in Canada right now. 4 dealers in the Toronto area carry it, one near Ottawa, and one in Montreal.

Mark, but the Canadian dealers are only allotted two per month, tops. What’s worse is that the heat pump and CHAdeMO are not included with the Canadian spec base model. It’s really weird that Kia stripped the heat pump from where it’s most needed due to longer Winters!

A dealer told me the top of the line version which includes all those features, as well as the black colour combo, are coming in Spring.

Well at least those of us in Pennsylvania can just “cross a border” to get one.

I live in PA, but I wouldn’t do that. Not worth the risk to me.

I wonder if Kia will even sell it to people with addresses in unsupported states.