Out of all of the new electric vehicles developed by Kia and Hyundai over the last few years, perhaps the cutest and most interesting of them all is the long-promised Kia Soul EV. But now it sounds like it’s never actually going to go on sale.
At least not in America, according to a source within Kia speaking to Roadshow:
Our source July 29 said the cancellation is due to a combination of factors, including the already mentioned supply issues and high demand in other markets. Unlike the standard Soul, the EV uses an independent rear suspension, which adds complexity and would make the car even more expensive in the US. Not bringing the Soul EV here will allow Kia to focus production and supply efforts on the Niro EV, which uses the same battery pack and electric motor and is already established in the US.
When reached for comment, a Kia spokesperson said they hadn’t heard that the Soul EV had been canceled, but confirmed that the company has “no pending plans to introduce before 2021 at the earliest.” That’s not an outright denial, but Kia has completely removed the Soul EV from its US consumer website and wiped almost all mention of it from the company’s US media site, too.
The original production and sale date for the second-gen Kia e-Soul in the U.S. was planned for 2019, but the company delayed the release until 2020 in May of last year, and then pushed it to a vague “2021” sale date again back in October.
This would have been the second generation of the Soul EV, with the first-gen only offering a measly range of just 107 miles, and it was only sold in a limited number of states.
The new EV was announced back in the fall of 2018, with an estimated range of up to 240 miles from the 64 kWh battery powering the motors for an output of 201 horsepower, which is more than the base gasoline version of the Soul crossover.
If the report is true and we won’t get the current-gen Soul EV, that really sucks! It was estimated to start around $31,000, and it promised to be one of the more interesting, practical and affordable electric cars with an impressive range.
Instead, we’ll have to live with the Kia Niro, which wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t nearly as fun to look at as the Soul is.