While its sister brand Hyundai invests in hydrogen fuel cell technology, Kia is entering the battery-powered electric vehicle market with the new Soul EV. The Korean automaker plans to sell some 5,000 units of its first electric vehicle around the world. While it's not saying exactly what proportion it hopes to sell in (or how many it's allocating to) any individual market, the latest reports indicate that it expects the United States to be its biggest market.

Part of that may come down to the growing popularity of electric vehicles in America, but also to the substantial incentives offered by federal and local government agencies towards buying an EV. Though the Soul EV retails for a reported 42.5 million won in South Korea – equivalent to less than $41,500 at today's rates, of which the battery alone accounts for about 40 percent – incentives will mean that the actual cost to a buyer in the US will be about half that, although Kia hasn't announced official pricing yet.

The latest electric vehicle on the market is based on the existing Kia Soul hatchback, a vehicle chosen due to its packaging vis-à-vis more conventionally shaped vehicles. The 27 kWh lithium ion battery pack adds about 330 pounds to the vehicle's curb weight, resulting in a 0-62 time of 11.2 seconds and a 92-mile range. The Kia Soul EV will initially be sold only in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.


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  • 30 Comments
      CoolWaters
      • 7 Months Ago
      Is that 92 miles the EPA range, because that'd be pretty good.
        Spec
        • 7 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Perhaps. It does have a 27KWH battery that is much bigger than in most small EVs.
        Naturenut99
        • 7 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        27,000 * .9 = 24,300 (90% is the most you can use of a battery) 24,300 / 288 = 84.375 EV miles The Volt is rated at 285 watts/mi. The Model S is rated at 288 watts/mi. Both are more aerodynamic than this is, so it will use more. And even using their w/mi only gets it to 84. I doubt they can get it rated for 91 mi. Not unless they increase the battery size. I would guess about 77-80 EPA rated. That might even be optimistic.
      username
      • 7 Months Ago
      When will automakers learn that it's completely okay to make an EV look identical to its gasoline counterpart? everything they do to make it look different from it's internal combustion sibling just makes them uglier
        PM
        • 7 Months Ago
        @username
        Around the same time you learn that most EV styling changes are driven by aerodynamic needs which are even more crucial for the EV model.
        redssstew
        • 7 Months Ago
        @username
        Thank You!!!
      United
      • 7 Months Ago
      Amusing to see people who are totally ignorant about aerodynamics in automotive design always making some air-headed comment about how Soul's boxy shape would be a problem. Stupid people. Please go get an education.
      skoobey
      • 7 Months Ago
      That range is laughable!
      FIDTRO
      • 7 Months Ago
      This seems totally legit because correct mileage estimates are what Hyundai/Kia are know for. /s
        TruthHertz
        • 7 Months Ago
        @FIDTRO
        Consumer Reports testing showed that Kia and Hyundai's mileage claims were closer than Chrysler or GM's claims. It was a witch hunt because the Korean's were making strides against the bankruptcy twins and idiots like you fell for it. Congrats on being a lemming...
          danwat1234
          • 6 Months Ago
          @TruthHertz
          Ford's hybrid MPG numbers are still bogus, as is the '14 Accord Hybrid, though not as bas as Ford
      electric-car-insider
      • 7 Months Ago
      The inclusion of DC quick charge makes the Kia a more viable option for anyone who needs to travel outside of the car's 80 mile real world round trip range occasionally, a feature missing in the Fiat 500e and Ford Focus Electric. What remains to be seen is whether Kia can develop a base of "raving fans" that create a buzz around the product that extends beyond the limited media reach that the budget for a 5,000 series run could accomplish. Fiat has accomplished this with the 500e. It brings a lot of people into the studio who would never be there otherwise. Kia seems a long way from creating a similar object of desire.
        fairfireman21
        • 7 Months Ago
        @electric-car-insider
        DC fast chargers are good but first there needs to be some. There is no way I would spend $41,000 on an 80 to 90 mile Soul not when I could pick up a full gas one for about $15,000. That is a $26,000 differance. $26K could buy 8 years worth of driving at 24 mpg with gas at $6.00 per gallon or if at $4.00 per gallon 12 years worth.
      bakedpatato
      • 7 Months Ago
      "incentives will mean that the actual cost to a buyer in the US will be about half that" ???? there's only the $7k federal tax credit and $3-4k at most from your city + state....I think you meant "actual cost to a buyer in South Korea" as there are almost $20k in rebates from the government and the city of Seoul and Jeju. on that note I'm imagining that this is going to cost $28k base as every Soul EV sold in CA and other ZEV mandate states means buying less credits from Tesla, and the Spark EV and Leaf start out at $28k
        Spec
        • 7 Months Ago
        @bakedpatato
        The article is wrong. The original article mentioned the big incentives were for South Korea only.
        fairfireman21
        • 7 Months Ago
        @bakedpatato
        The actual price is not $7500 less that is unless you have paid in $7500 to the feds in taxes. Why is it so hard for people to get that most will not get that much? That is the max from the feds you can get but you will not get more than you pay in. What credits are you talking about? You are making zero sence. I would take a Tesla, or Spark any day of any week over this thing just for keeping my profit money in the States. You have been standing in front of the oven too long waiting on your tater.
      Flat4
      • 7 Months Ago
      We don't care about another sponsored KIA story!
      CoolWaters
      • 7 Months Ago
      Looks the right size, but needs an aero-front-end. Looks interesting, but will there be enough for CA and then the nation?
      CoolWaters
      • 7 Months Ago
      Is that 92 miles the EPA range?
      Green Dealer Support
      • 7 Months Ago
      Happy to see Kia going this direction
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