Production of Kia Soul EV to Begin in April – Sales to Follow Immediately in South Korea


Soul EV Live in Chicago

Soul EV Live in Chicago

Kia Motors has confirmed that production of its first-ever mass-produced electric vehicle will begin in South Korea next month.

Soul EV Live in Chicago

Soul EV Live in Chicago

Sales of the Soul EV will commence immediately in South Korea.

Soon, Kia will start shipping the Soul EV to Europe and to the US.

The official on-sale date for the US in Q3 of 2014.:

“The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.”

Additionally, Kia has announced a sales target for 2014.  The figure is 5,000 sales globally, which is actually rather high considering that it enters production in the 4th month of the year and that it won’t even be available in the US until near the end of the year.

Soul EV Live in Chicago

Soul EV Live in Chicago

Hyundai affiliate Kia Motors said it will start building a battery-powered version of its Soul compact in Korea next month. The car will be Hyundai-Kia’s first battery-powered EV export, with destinations including the United States and Europe.

Kia provided a price for the Soul EV in South Korea:

  • 42 million won
  • Or ~ 21 million won after government subsidies

Or $19,698 USD.

Lastly, Kia announced what we assume to be a finalized range figure for South Korea of 92 miles per 100% charge.

Here are some additional details on the Soul EV:

  • 109 HP
  • 210 Pound-feet of torque

    Kia Soul EV Battery

    Kia Soul EV Battery

  • 27 kWh lithium polymer battery pack
  • Target range of 80 to 100 miles according to Kia
  • Recharge in under 5 hours on 240 volt (via 6.6 kW on-board charger) or 80% in 33 minutes via 50 kW CHAdeMO quick charge
  • 0 to 62 MPH in less than 12 seconds
  • Top speed of 90 MPH
  • Projection type headlamps
  • LED positioning lamps
  • LED rear combination lamps
  • Aerodynamically shaped 16-inch alloy wheels.
  • Class-leading battery cell energy density of 200 Wh/kg ensures driving range of up to 200km
  • Innovative application of Nickel-rich high capacity cathode material

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19 Comments on "Production of Kia Soul EV to Begin in April – Sales to Follow Immediately in South Korea"

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Eric, do you know what subsidy amount they are including? According to your article from 8mo ago, it could be as much as $20k.

Hey kdawg, thanks for catching the high price I had listed. I did some more digging and found out that was wrong. The article has been updated now to include the actual pricing:

Kia provided a price for the Soul EV in South Korea:

42 million won
Or ~ 21 million won after government subsidies

Or $19,698 USD.

$19.7K is much more reasonable. I’m still wondering what they are using for a Korean subsidy figure, and how much more it will cost in the USA.

42 million won is $39,396. Since subsidies come from the government, Kia gets paid the full 42m. If that price was chosen to ensure Kia a little profit, they/we are in trouble. If it was chosen because they thought they could move them at that price due to the SK government’s (excessive?) subsidies, they might be okay to try here in the $25-32k range. Since the gas version is so crazy cheap, and I assume they share a lot of parts, they should be able to electrify it and keep its price down. If it is a good or great car, and priced within a few bucks of the Leaf, I could see a shootout brewing between these two, as decisions might come down to styling. Oh and WIND NOISE, which the Soul is known for: “[C] Comfort While the seats are comfortable and space is generous, a rough ride and excessive wind noise make this Soul less appealing the more you drive it. It wouldn’t be the ideal first choice for a road trip.” On that I’ll get the “that car is ugly” party started right here. It is no less goofy looking than the Leaf. The main… Read more »

This battery since it has a heater should do better than that of the Leaf in cold weather.
I can’t find details as to whether the battery is actively cooled, but the newer battery technology seems likely to retain its cycle life better in very hot climates than that of the Leaf too.

So I think that the battery pack gives it advantages over the Leaf.

There are two subsidiaries, 15 mio WON from the central government and up to 6 mio WON from local governments.

If they are going to sell it in areas with good infrastructure, then Dallas/Fort Worth should be on the list since this car supports Chademo and we have 30-ish Chademo stations around here.

Soooo… CARB states, huh? If they really wanted to sell boat loads they’d sell them in Texas, Atlanta, Portland, and Seattle, but they aren’t. Let me guess, they’ll build them to order which keeps a lid on demand, and then gosh darn there just isn’t enough demand for them to sell them in states where they aren’t being forced to anyway. Typical.

Oops they are selling them in Oregon. But my point still stands

I wonder why they wouldn’t launch in Seattle? Seems like a great market for EVs and has decent CHAdeMO infrastructure as well.

If the post-tax-break price in the US is below $20k, then I would assume the lease price would be in the ballpark of $2k down + $200/month, possibly slightly less. (My 2013 Leaf S lease had those metrics.) That would be less than I was expecting, frankly, enough to put it in the running as a replacement for my Nissan.

But if I get my wish, and Nissan brings out a Qube EV with a Borg Signature Edition color scheme, all bets are off.

Rumors are the price will be at least $35k before tax credit.

This car depending on if it’s really around $20,000 dollars and has a 90 mile EV range. It could in theory be a challenger to the Nissan Leaf. But the main question that should be asked is this a compliance car or do they really want to go after the Nissan Leaf. In that if they do make it price competitive to the leaf and it has a higher range by 12 miles it could in theory take sales way from the leaf.

I thought car makers used to want to make and sell cars at 100,000+ units a year?

Both of my 2012 Nissan Leafs have heated battery packs so i don’t understand your comment about the Soul’s battery doing better in the cold. Also, in two years and 53,200 miles on my black Leaf i’ve yet to lose any capacity. Im pretty sure the only Leafs that lost capacity were in extremely hot climates like Arizona and Southern California. It only got up to 103 in Nj last summer.

If this vehicle is ~$20k in the U.S.; they will wish they would have made over 100,000 of them!

I don’t understand why the 0-60 time is so slow. Is because they put a weak motor controller in it? Or is it a weak motor?

Just think if we could do a motor swap or controller swap. I like 1,200+ plus hp/tq myself.

If you’ve ever road sport bikes that can run high 9’s in the 1/4 mile(with a great rider), or cars that run 10’s or better in the 1/4; then you know what I mean. 😉

It will be an interesting 6-12 months in the EV world. We have some new cars coming out, but unfortunately some(SOUL EV?)may just be compliance cars. Hope that they are not,as, if the EV is priced right, it will sell. Many people are fine with the smaller batteries, while a lot more of us really need larger batteries(if only to allow us to use our heaters more in the cold weather). DCQC, 6.6 on board chargers(or faster), an increase in the availability of charging facilities(both DCQC and Level II)and at least the cars can be charged reasonably quickly. I will, though, be VERY disappointed, if we end up with more of the same—same few cars for most of us and compliance cars(and variety) in those compliance states. Having said the above, at SOME POINT the battery prices will go down, battery size will go up, EV’s will be profitable and they will be as common as a chicken in every pot. For many thogh, it’s “…any color as long as it’s black…” mentality–no real choices, which is a bummer.

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