Kia officially announces the Soul EV

Article by Christian A., on October 6, 2013

Kia Motors America (KMA) is planning to offer an electric version of the Soul urban passenger vehicle in select markets in 2014. It is only logical for the ever-popular Soul to have an all-electric variant as the vehicle is one of Kia’s best-selling models. Kia will announce details of the Soul EV’s powertrain, range/MPGe, packaging and go-to-market strategy at an upcoming auto show in the United States.

Interbrand recently included Kia Motors in its list of “50 Best Global Green Brands,” with the Soul EV becoming the brand’s second alternative-fuel to be sold in the US. The first was the Optima Hybrid that Kia launched in 2011. For 2013, the Optima Hybrid will feature several improvements like a number of powertrain upgrades for smoother operation and enhanced drivability. These powertrain upgrades include a better 47 HP electric traction motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery.

Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning at KMA, noted that eco-consciousness is already a standard feature on the new Soul as 85 percent of the vehicle’s materials are recyclable at the end of its lifespan. He remarked that Kia will further show its engineering capabilities and commitment to producing environment-friendly vehicles by offering an EV version of the Soul.

He added that the all-new Soul features a good balance of technology, refinement, style, improved dynamics and value – all making the urban passenger vehicle efficient and fun to drive. Meanwhile, Kia is proud to be one of only three auto brands able to boost their US sales in each of the past four years. In fact, the carmaker topped the 500,000-unit mark for the first time in 2012.

Kia’s unprecedented rise both in terms of sales and sophistication has been attributed to its employment of European-influenced styling, cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and very low cost of ownership. Its rise is proven by the fact that it has joined Interbrand’s exclusive list of “Top 100 Best Global Brands.” The carmaker does not intend to stop and is even fueling its momentum by launching seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles in 2013.

Kia Motors has invested over $1.4 billion in the US over the past decade – including Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, its first assembly plant in the country located in West Point. The plant is home of the Optima and Sorento, which were responsible for fueling Kia’s rapid growth in the US. The carmaker’s product lineup includes the Cadenza flagship sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, Forte5, and Forte Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.

Press Release

KIA MOTORS ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLE IN THE UNITED STATES

At the media launch of the all-new 2014 Soul, Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced plans to offer an all-electric version of the company’s iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle in select markets in 2014. Already one of KMA’s best-selling vehicles, an all-electric variant is a natural extension of the Soul’s urban-friendly place in the brand’s lineup of award-winning vehicles. More details about the Soul EV’s powertrain, range/MPGe, packaging and go-to-market strategy will be announced at an upcoming major U.S. auto show.

“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, KMA. “The Soul has always been a terrific choice for drivers in urban environments, and the all-new version’s blend of technology, refinement, style, improved dynamics and value has allowed us to create a car that is as efficient as it is fun to drive.”

Kia Motors was recently ranked by Interbrand as one of the “50 Best Global Green Brands,” and Soul EV will be the second alternative-fuel Kia vehicle to be offered for sale in the U.S. The award-winning Optima Hybrid was introduced in 2011 and for 2013 sees a number of enhancements including numerous powertrain refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a more robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery.

Kia: One of the World’s Fastest Moving Global Automotive Brands

Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. Kia recently moved up in the exclusive ranking of Interbrand’s “Top 100 Best Global Brands” after joining the list for the first time last year, and the company is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company’s first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 14,000 plant and supplier jobs. The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry’s largest segments has fueled Kia’s rapid growth and is complemented by Kia’s comprehensive lineup which includes the Cadenza flagship sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, Forte5, and Forte Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA. In 2012, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.

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