Count yourself among a very special few if you’re wondering how much the electrified Kia Soul will cost.
It’s one of many cars re-purposed with an electrified drivetrain to satisfy a requirement by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Any automaker with annual vehicle sales over 10,000 units in California produce a certain number of zero emissions vehicles or buy credits from other companies that do so beyond prescribed the minimum. A list of low-volume, expensive electrified cousins to normally gas burning cars began emerging and continues to do so. Within the automotive industry, these vehicles are sometimes casually called “compliance cars.” That obligation often means the cars are built without without much thought for followthrough – like being bought at a date auction. You’re required to go…
But people who actually want to drive something like, say, a Fiat 500e suffer the consequences of paper-thin promises about cars the company would probably prefer not to build in the first place. Chevrolet and Nissan push their respective stabs at green transportation in earnest, but that isn’t always the case. So the fact that Kia is releasing an electric version of its Soul hatchback raises similar questions.
Honda only offers its Fit EV in select markets. But Kia might not have charted such a melancholy life for the Soul EV. AutoCar reported yesterday that the vehicle will be priced around £25,000 or about $40,000 in the U.S. – although that probably doesn’t reflect what it will actually cost in the U.S. On the other hand, it does signal that Kia plans on building at least enough of the quirky electric cars to supply more than one market. In the same report, Kia U.K. commercial director Yaser Shabsogh said the vehicle won’t be priced to stimulate demand.
Kia also reportedly hasn’t settled on whether it will use a battery pack leasing program like several other manufacturers with low-volume EVs do or if it will try to sell the cars outright. At least there isn’t long to wait because Kia plans to market the vehicle in 2014.
GALLERY: Kia Soul EV Spy Photos
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