Withholding powertrain details, Kia announced plans today to sell the electric version of its Soul hatchback in the U.S.
Expect to see the vehicle officially unveiled at an upcoming U.S. auto show – likely L.A. – although the company hasn’t announced that either. What Kia did announce today is that it plans to sell the Soul EV in select markets starting next year. The brand said an electric version of the Soul is a natural extension for the product.
“Eco-consciousness already comes standard on the all-new Soul with 85-percent of its materials able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and the Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia’s engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints,” said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning, Kia Motors America.
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There are plenty of other questions this announcement raises. Kia promises that its range, MPGe, packaging options and go-to-market strategy will all be discussed at the official debut. More than pricing and options, it will be interesting to see how Kia plans to sell the Soul EV. Automakers including Nissan and General Motors are pushing to sell electric vehicles on a mass market scale, but that isn’t always the case.
Often, companies will build an electric variant of an already-existent product to comply with California Air Resources Board Regulations that would otherwise block them from selling cars in California. During last year’s L.A. Auto Show, Fiat grudgingly unveiled the 500e, al electrified version of its 500 that is available in limited numbers. Honda’s Fit EV exists for the same reason.
GALLERY: Kia Soul EV Spy Photos
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