When the brand-new (and very cute) Kia Soul EV debuted in November 2018, it was originally set to go on sale in the US at some point in 2019. But in May 2019 it was delayed until 2020 without any specific reason. Then, just a few months later, the Soul EV was pushed back again, this time until 2021 at the earliest, with Kia citing low battery and electric motor supplies, as well as high demand in Europe. Now, a source inside Kia Motors America tells Roadshow that the new Soul EV has been canceled completely for the US market.
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.
2020 Kia Soul EV: Electric power, familiar shape
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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.
What's more, while the 2020 model-year Soul EV received an official range rating of 243 miles, this has since been removed from the EPA's website. Fuel economy estimates for the 2021 Soul are currently available, but the EV is nowhere to be found on that list, either.
While it's too bad we won't get the new Soul EV — we were highly impressed when we got to drive it in early 2019 — the Niro EV is pretty great already, and the entire Niro line is due for a redesign in a couple years. Kia is working on a number of new electric cars, including a crossover inspired by the Futuron and Imagine concepts, and the Stinger's future may be electric, as well.
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