Up until now, we've only heard rumors about an all-electric version of the second-generation Kia Soul, but these spy shots seem to confirm that the Korean automaker is developing a zero-emission version of its quirky little box-back. Our most recent report has the Kia EV showing up in the first half of next year (likely for MY 2015) with a starting price of around $35,000 (presumably before tax credits) and a range of about 120 miles.

While the front and rear of this prototype remains heavily camouflaged, we can see some differences between this car and the 2014 Soul we saw earlier in the year at the New York Auto Show. For starters, the entire front end seems to be changed, including the hood, headlights and fascia, and we would expect Kia's so-called Tiger Nose grille to be blocked off for improved aerodynamics. Further supporting our shooter's claims that this is an electric vehicle is the fact that the Soul's exhaust pipe is missing from beneath the rear fascia.

Previous reports have indicated that the Soul EV will become "the very-first electic vehicle to be sold in the global market, including the US, Europe and China." It would appear that claim may be validated by technicality only – Nissan sells its Leaf in the US and Europe, and it will reportedly be sold as the Dongfeng Fengshen E30 in China.


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  • 42 Comments
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hyundai/Kia releasing an EV when their engineers don't know the proper math to calculate MPGs is about as trustworthy as a statement saying you're getting a quality car when you buy Korean. This garbage will run out of power before the interior trim starts falling off and the paint starts rubbing off the buttons and steering wheel.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        [blocked]
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          They deserve all the abuse . . . they earned it.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          I don't believe it was human error. I believe in was intentional deceit.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          What? I'm the bad guy for wanting them held accountable for fraud? No wonder why we get screwed all the time . . . we let them screw us.
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          cartroll1701 brings up a good point. It appears KIA engineers are PRONE to Human Error, Do you really want to trust them to develop an advance powertrain?
        Awhattup
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        That's a great news! because they have higher quality interior and better paintjob than many others!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg-cuYsZfG8
      Helix
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Spotted for the first time, front end expected to look like BMW i3 concept"
        Todd Fleming
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Helix
        yep, they keep it camo'd so they can swap it out last minute to copy someone else. I've always like the soul but could never buy one, its a Kia, I just can't do it friends that have them hate them, broken down and gone in three years. Too bad cause the design is sweet/hip
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Todd Fleming
          [blocked]
          F150Soul
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Todd Fleming
          I've had my 2012 Soul for almost 2 years and not so much as a hiccup. Very solid daily driver that is fun to throw around the streets of Philadelphia.
          Rob Mahrt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Todd Fleming
          59 consumer reviews on cars.com gave the 2012 Kia Soul a 4.6/5 stars.. A 2012 Honda civic has a 4.5/5, while a Chevy Cruze has 4.4/5 and a Ford Focus with a 4.1/5... So seems like they are holding up pretty well to me.
          BB79826
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Todd Fleming
          2010 Kia Soul, 90k miles, not a single thing wrong. Nationwide surveys back up Kia reliability, and Soul sales have increased every year since introduction. Go away, Todd, you're boring.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        BB79826
        • 1 Year Ago
        That didn't make any sense.
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BB79826
          hey cartroll1701, you still trying to bone up on elementary school math? You comprehended that 34% is 1 out of 3 yet?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BB79826
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BB79826
          [blocked]
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BB79826
          Yes, we TIRE of your constant trolling and MISTAKES.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Uh... What are they thinking, using one of their least aerodynamic models for an EV with today's batteries? The thing gets 30mpg highway as is since it's shaped like a brick. That's using the same engine that produces 35-40mpg in their other cars.
        purrpullberra
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I can't argue with the aerodynamics part, it's fact, but it misses the point in my view. I think what is hindering adoption of EV's (to use the same language) is that so many EV's are simply cars that not a lot of people want to buy. Compromised hack-jobs, like the FFE. I like the Leaf but it is ugly as hell to a lot of folks. What else is there, Fiat 500e? Pure EV, affordable? When this is on sale we'll have the Spark and the i3, too. I love them both but they are also hard to swallow for a lot of people. How aerodynamic are they? You probably know. I think Kia taking a popular model and making it a good EV vs. Ford taking Magna's creation and shoehorning into a Focus is the way to go. People love the Soul. If it is a well put together EV the thing should be a blast to drive.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        [blocked]
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          Weight hurts you in rolling resistance, during acceleration, and hill climbing. Aerodynamics eats more and more energy the faster you travel. That's why this car with a 1.6L engine is rated at 30mpg highway. The Hyundai Accent ( +/- what, 200 pounds? ) achieves 37mpg highway with the same motor. The problem with this car is not the frontal area but the awful coefficient of drag. Literally like a brick.
        tagberto
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        With current ranges, aerodynamics are not really as important to EVs are they are to a hybrid. EVs are most useful for freeway+street commuting rather than longer range and higher speed highway driving. Later, when battery technology allows longer range at a reasonable price, then aerodynamics becomes more important.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @tagberto
          No, quite the opposite. Due to the limits of battery technology, range is what is hindering adoption. You need some extra fluff in your range above the bare minimum. The more range the car has, the less it is a grocery getter ( Mitsubishi iMiev ) and the more it's a real car ( Tesla Model S ). When you are forking over a 2x dollar figure over a regular car, it needs to be more like a real car. Range is the critical sticking point for EVs right now. The aerodynamic penalty of this car versus an aerodynamically shaped equivalent such as the Hyundai Accent increases the power needs about 20% to go the same speed on the highway. So if Hyundai were to electrify an Accent, and it had a 75 mile range on a 24kwh battery, then this car would have a 60 mile range on the same size battery. Is having a car designed like a box an acceptable tradeoff for this loss in range and highway speed oomph? no way!
        Awhattup
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I do agree, aerodynamic is an important factor in saving gas or other kinetic energy source. The Soul isn't so aerodynamic but I find this application quite marketable since many of its customers are also MPG conscious but also think... it's not the only not-so-aerodynamic EV.
      Good All
      • 1 Year Ago
      Soul is a very spacious vehicle because of its height and boxy structure. Check the interior space. It may have lot more interior space than compact cars like Civic, Corolla.
        zoom_zoom_zoom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Good All
        LOL, you compared a hatchback to a sedan. How about comparing it to say the Honda Fit instead of the Civic. Fit has MORE cargo space than the KIA tall boxy vehicle. Fit CITY mileage is equal to KIA Soul HIGHWAY mileage.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @zoom_zoom_zoom
          [blocked]
          DK
          • 1 Year Ago
          @zoom_zoom_zoom
          Fit has a smaller engine, less horsepower, less torque, smaller gas tank, 1.6 soul gets 25/30 fit gets 27/33 (28/35 for auto), 5 speeds for fit and 6 speeds for soul, less warranty, less room inside for people, and less cargo capacity with the seats in place. LOL
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 1 Year Ago
      So KIA lied as much as 6 mpg on the Soul Gas mileage. I'd be afraid to leave home in an electric KIA Soul. If KIA says you can go 80 miles, how far do you think it will REALLY go, maybe 30 or 40 on a hot summer day?
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a smart move for Kia even though there are seemingly many against it. **This is a VERY popular car** There is no other small CUV on the market that sells like this one so going EV is a no-brainer. There should be enough people who just want to go from their ICE Soul to EV since they know it would fit their needs. If they really try to sell these I can see them outselling Tesla by a long shot. Europe could gobble them up I'm sure. City folks in the US too.
        graphikzking
        • 1 Year Ago
        @purrpullberra
        Umm... I don't think this will be a hit. This Kia is a "cheap" market car. The BMW I3 will be about $35,000 from Autoblog estimates so I'm not sure anyone would choose an electric Kia over an Electric BMW at nearly the same price. Ford has the Cmax energy that goes about 22 miles on electric alone at the same price as well. I think I'd rather have a "volt like" option of 22 miles electric + gas extended range than have a range of 80-120 miles. I know it adds more complexity and cost but it is also much more functional. Most vacations are 40-70 miles from home so 80-120 miles of range with a car full of gear is just cutting it too close. At least a Tesla has a much longer range so there is little to worry about. Also, 80 miles isn't much if you start driving around all day work, daycare etc etc.
      David Murray
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess the charge door is on the other side?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @David Murray
        [blocked]
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