Kia Soul EV
In addition to unveiling the world's first 100 kW multi-standard (CHAdeMO + CCS) DC fast charger, Kia laid out its plans for charging station deployment in Europe:
Kia Motors Europe to roll-out charging network
Following the installation of the new 100 kW DC chargers at the brand’s European headquarters, Kia plans to roll out a network of 233 charging stations across its Soul EV retailers and national sales organisations’ headquarters in Europe. This is in addition to the existing network of 140 EV charging stations already installed at various Kia distributors and dealers, giving consumers access to a total of 373 Kia charging stations. This is part of a wider plan from Kia to install a robust charging network around the world, as the Soul EV is to be sold globally.
There's been some chatter that the Kia Soul EV is a compliance vehicle. This is simply not true.
Kia will strongly support the Soul EV's launch both in the U.S. and globally. In fact, it's rather likely you've already seen some Soul EV commercials during NFL football on Sundays. If Kia didn't give a hoot, then why spend all that cash to promote the Soul EV?
It's our belief that the Soul EV will be so hot that securing one will be difficult. Only about 5,000 can be produced annually at this early stage and that's for countries around the globe. If you're interested in getting a Soul EV, then you're going to want to try to get on an interest list at your local dealer.
The Kia Soul EV first went on sale in South Korea in April, which was followed by Europe in late August. The all-electric Kia is anticipated to arrive in the U.S. in late October/early November (full details here). Kia officially states the following:
“Soul EV expected Fall 2014; initially available in certain California markets only with limited availability.”
Limited production will hamper Kia's ability to offer the Soul EV in additional U.S. markets, but the company says it will expand quickly into Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and other eastern states. As far as North America goes, the Soul EV is also available now in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada as well.
Our belief is that Kia will slowly ramp up production and then eventually offer the Soul EV nationwide. Much like Mitsubishi with its Outlander PHEV, low initial production numbers will limit (or restrict in Mitsubishi's case) U.S. availability.